There’s no question that the technological age is shaping cultural definitions of manhood. Only a little over thirty years ago having a large beard, long hair, and carrying around a briefcase was perfectly acceptable for regular Joes. These days middle class workers are more likely to be online freelancers and virtual business owners conducting their operations in Starbucks with a laptop and smartphone.
As mobile technology has taken center stage, a specialized 21st century etiquette has emerged, and rightly so. No one wants to hear about baby mama drama while waiting in line or enjoying the morning newspaper over coffee. It’s time to explore the do’s and don’ts of manly Smartphone usage.
Tweeting, Updates, & Browsing
Look up once in a while ok?
Remember the good old days when people were aware of others around them, and comfortable starting up conversations and making eye contact with someone other than the coffee girl while she takes the order?
Digital worlds are definitely compelling, and always a time-sink, but remember that there is a real one as well, waiting, and brimming over with opportunity. A single good conversation can be more beneficial than 10,000 tweets, and there is no number of cheesy/quasi political or outright ridiculous timeline updates that will score a decent date!
Just because it’s a relatively small screen, doesn’t mean people around it aren’t peeping in, especially those without such gadgetry. No porn please, and if a gauntlet of funny YouTube videos is a must, look into buying a nice pair of sleek looking headphones.
Don’t Go Overboard
It’s one thing to be cool, chatting with clients on the couch at the coffee shop or on the bench at the park, and another thing altogether to basically run a business on the go…Seriously, get a home office! Don’t haul the laptop, small pocket-sized printer, smartphone, webcam, and all else and set up shop it at a local store for six hours.
If you do, order more than a freaking cup of coffee!
A notebook is cool, a laptop and phone are cool, but don’t come off to the public like a techno-savvy homeless person. Keep the voice down, let others know they are being thought of as well, and keep the howling laughter to a minimum unless the background music is loud enough to handle it.
Basic Tips to Avoid Disasters
- This is still rather new to too many guys out there – no drunken usage of social media networks through Smartphones!
- Men don’t whine all the time! Common guys don’t treat Smartphones connected to the hip with social media like therapists. There is no confidentiality…and it’s downright annoying.
- If someone uses their smartphone to the point where they start losing the ability to interact with people in a public setting, umm, it might be time to unplug a bit.
- Be mindful of the pictures and videos being taken, and posted for all to see. What might seem fun in the moment, could end up being a friendship/relationship disaster.
The key is to be smart about using Smartphones. Once men start believing that smart products are excuses to be morons, then the human species is really in trouble.