I have written a number of Cell Phone Etiquette posts in the past – you can find them here, here, and here – and just realized my last one was written in May 2010. Therefore, for today’s post I have decided to once again tackle Cell Phone Etiquette.
To be fair, this post is somewhat of a PLEASE STOP DOING THIS as opposed to a discussion on etiquette but I will let you, my readers, make the final judgement on the suitability of the title.
You receive a text message asking you a question (or a series of them). You realize that it would be way easier to answer the person’s question(s) if you just called them instead of typing a veritable novel as a response so you hit the ‘Call’ button on your phone and they don’t pick up. You wait a minute or two and – politely – text them that you just called them to reply to their question(s) and they didn’t pick up – no response. You are confused.
I call this kind of thing The Text & Run. This kind of behavior is definitely very high on my list of pet peeves of modern communication. Beyond that it is just plain rude, what do people think the person on the other side of the phone is going to believe? That after you texted them you threw your phone across the room and ran in the other direction? Is that why you aren’t replying to calls and follow up texts?
Don’t get me wrong. I completely understand that there are times when although one can freely text they can’t pick up the phone. But if that’s the case then send a text to us explaining the situation. To paraphrase Warden Samuel Norton in “The Shawshank Redemption”: Don’t just vanish like a fart in the wind!
Does this happen to you ever or am I alone on this? Do you find it as annoying as I do? Let’s work together to let recurring Text & Run offenders know that this behavior is bad etiquette, downright rude, and all in all not ok!
This blog doesn’t have a “Blog Roll” (or is it “BlogRoll”?) but I have debated adding one so you folks can see what other blogs I read.
I was extremely honored when a friend of mine asked me if it was cool if he added a link to my blog to his blog’s Blog Roll. Of course, being so honored, I said he was more than welcome to and I thanked him profusely for thinking my blog was worthy of being on his blog roll but being as I do not know the etiquette of these things I wasn’t sure if this:
- Required me to now make a blog roll of my own and…
- Include this friend’s blog in my new blog roll
Now don’t get me wrong, I do read this friend’s blog so if I had a blog roll I would totally have added this friend’s blog to the list. But as I did not have a blog roll beforehand I do not know what the etiquette is here. Is it understood that as I did not have a blog roll beforehand that no reciprocal link is required? Or is it expected that because they added me to their blog roll I should now be adding their blog to my blog roll (once it exists).
As it is the beginning of April and I have blogged daily for almost 3 entire months I think it is fair to consider myself a blogger at his point. I understand the point of blog rolls is to:
- Share with your blog’s readers the blogs you find interesting
- Drive traffic to other blogs in your circle of friends who are also bloggers
- Receive traffic for your blog from your friends who are bloggers’ blogs
In my researching this subject I found that often times bloggers will ask for reciprocation before adding a blog to their blog roll but in my case this didn’t happen. Just a query if it is OK to add a link to my blog to this friend’s blog roll.
I should probably figure out the etiquette for this sometime soon or maybe I should just go with whatever my gut tells me to do – this decision-making process has remained in my brain thus far. Maybe I should make this a formspring question too.
Side Note: In researching this post I even saw the opinion opined on other blogs that a blog roll is a waste of space for one’s blog. I don’t know if I agree with that in terms of my own personal blog. I think even on a corporate blog it could do some good if your brand is part of a family of brands owned by one parent company. For example if the Unilever brand Axe had a link to Dove’s blog in their blog roll (which are two among the many other Unilever brands) that would make perfect sense and would help drive business as it would bring the customer onto more familiar terms with the entire brand family.
So what do you folks think? Let me know your opinions through any of the usual channels. I look forward to hearing from all y’all.
It has been said time and time again that a large part of human interaction is our body language coupled with the tone and inflection of our voice and a much smaller part is, surprisingly, the words actually spoken. This was less of a problem with our last major society changing communications device: the Telephone. Although we lose out on body language when talking on the phone at least we can still hear the other person’s tone of voice which greatly helps us to understand the true meaning behind their words. As seen in the above comic strip “Zits” when we attempt to move conversation over to the written word (in the form of text messaging or emailing or tweeting) oftentimes things can be misinterpreted or misunderstood completely or even not understood at all.
I have seen this myself countless times and one specific interaction of mine comes to mind to use as an example. During November’s annual Movember campaign (a campaign where men around the world ‘donate their faces’ and grow mustaches to draw support and awareness to prostate cancer) I was interacting with the Twitter account @MoChampions. Innocently (I thought), I tweeted the question “anyone know who is running the @MoChampions account” to which they replied “@Dan_L why I am Dan? What’s up?“. I was fairly taken aback by the strange answer but looking back on it I knew it was them joking around and not being evasive. I was wondering only because I knew some of my Twitter friends were running the campaign in Toronto and I wanted to know if it was one of them behind the account name. I therefore replied to the tweet “@MoChampions I is a pronoun and doesn’t really answer the q. I was wondering if it was one of the tweeps I know running the account“.
I thought I was just pushing lightly for an actual answer but little did I know they were wondering on the other side of their computers why I was so annoyed and combative with them – something I was not attempting to be. We Direct Messaged back and forth after that – they still kept my curiosity piqued without revealing anything! – and a few days later at the Movember Tweetgasm “MoGasm” event at the Gladstone Hotel I met with the guy behind the account who told me that I had the person actually sitting and running the account (who works for him) worried that they were really pissing me off. Of course, I told him that nothing could be further from the truth. I just wasn’t able to convey my joking tone and smiles via Twitter as it relies on words and although the words are sometimes coupled with emoticons and net acronyms like LOL or ROTFLAMO or even the classic haha even those can be misinterpreted as sarcastic instead of joking. Needless to say, the man behind the MoChampions account and I had a laugh about the whole episode once we were in front of each other in real life.
To sum up: In this day and age of instant communication we have to remember that there is a good portion of human language that is lost when we type our words instead of speak them. Always be careful to make sure the other person (or people) knows when you are joking around and when you are being serious. Remember that your words can be reinterpreted by different people to mean different things – ESPECIALLY if they have never met you in real life and know your personality from their own real world experience with you.
[Above ZITS comic from December 26, 2010 via Arcamax publishing at http://www.arcamax.com/zits/s-814331-685736?source=1930 Copyright 2010 ZITS Partnership. Distributed by King Features Syndicate.]
This post was updated & edited to include the cartoon from The Oatmeal (seen below) on January 5, 2011.
I recently got an email from a member of my shul (Jewish word for synagogue) who didn’t have a reason to know my personal email address as I’ve never emailed them and they’ve never emailed me before. The email was about the launching of their new business. Now while that email in of itself could be considered spam its content is NOT what this post is about.
This post is about people’s seeming lack of ability to use the BCC line instead of the TO line when sending a mass email. If you do not know what BCC means allow me to translate the abbreviation. It means “Blind Carbon Copy”. What this means is that every address you put in that line/box marked BCC is hidden from every other address you put in that box. I can only assume that this person who emailed me got my address from someone else who didn’t use the BCC and that is how your address spreads around the world.
That is also how your address gets to spammers and spyware mailing lists. Let me explain how that works. If one of the +150 people who were recipients of this email decide to hit the Forward button and send it to a bunch of their friends without using the BCC box and they further don’t take the time to delete my and all the other email addresses from the list at the beginning of the forwarded message my email address just got into another untold number of people I don’t know’s address books anywhere in the world. This is especially true if some of those people decide to repeat the forwarding process in the same manner. Now my email is out there and if one of those people gets a virus or spyware or is themselves a spammer guess who just made the list of people to email? Me and every other one of those +150 recipients of the original solicitous email. (Which, remember, was essentially spam in the first place).
To quote Wikipedia: “It is common practice to use the Bcc: field when addressing a very long list of recipients, or a list of recipients that should not (necessarily) know each other, e.g. in mailing lists.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_carbon_copy for more as it really does explain a lot about BCCing.
Maybe the problem is that people who aren’t technologically inclined and/or weren’t brought up using email simply don’t understand what they’re doing when they don’t use the BCC line and email en masse. I will try now to further explain it using more Baby Boomer/run of the mill technological concepts (as I jokingly did in a Twitter conversation – a tweetversation? – with @r_tania_n last night):
Would you want someone to start posting your phone number and address all around the world on walls in public places? Think about the guy from Lifelock who in commercials puts his Social Security Number on a cube van sidewall and has it driven around town. The reason the commercial makes a point is because usually this is info you don’t want everyone in the world to have. The same goes for your phone number(s). Sure most of our house lines and even lots of cell phones are in the phonebook and available on the internet in numerous places but we still don’t necessarily want people to have it stored in their address books (or written in their personal phonebook like my mom has kept for as long as I can remember near one of the phones in the house). This would be especially true if you knew telemarketers has webcams set up to rove the cities looking for phone numbers for them to call. There’s a reason countries have set up National Do Not Call Lists (American DNCL Canadian DNCL).
In conclusion please, people; please learn to use the BCC line & teach others who don’t know how to use it to use it too! (Or send them to this blog to teach them & get me more traffic).