Do You Follow the Tech Etiquette "Crossword" Rule?

Do You Follow the Tech Etiquette "Crossword" Rule?

Taryn Williford
May 26, 2010

Now that everyone has access to the world wide web with a literal pinch of their fingertips, it's not strange to see faces buried into their tiny touchscreen devices almost everywhere you go. But what might be a casual glance at an incoming text message might be a horribly rude gesture to their lunch mate. When it comes to tech etiquette, many decide to go with "The Crossword Rule." Do you?

As part of Real Simple's article on Tech Etiquette, they asked a panel of experts whether it was rude to check your PDA at a friends house. The article revealed more than just the fact that Real Simple still calls it a "PDA." Check it out:

It's all good advice. But we're fixated on the tip that email expert Schwalbe up there gave: If you wouldn't pull out a crossword puzzle and a pen in that instance, it's rude to pull out your smartphone.

So if you want to catch up on Google reader while you're riding the train to work, it's all good. But things get fuzzy when you opt to check your email while your date takes a trip to the restroom.

When in public or in the company of new people, we definitely abide by the crossword rule. But we're much more lax with supposed "tech etiquette" when in the company of close compadres.

How about you? Let us know in the comments!

(Images: Left, Flickr user Marco Arment under licensed under Creative Commons; right, Flickr user feministjulie under licensed under Creative Commons.)

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