- Me: on the defense of new standards in social media etiquette in the real world
- My boyfriend, James: on the offense against social media, in support of traditional real world etiquette
- My roommate, Allie: referee, on the fence
I posed the question of what is acceptable and what isn't in real-word social interactions now that mobile Web devices are gaining such an increasing presence. James is very traditional about etiquette. If we're out to dinner, he's totally a hats-off-at-the-table, no-cell-phone-in-sight kinda guy. Although I agree there are certain standards of etiquette that shouldn't be pushed, I'm a little bit more open to a less strict set of rules.
Still, how much is too much when we're reconsidering these standards? Is sipping a latte at a coffee shop with a friend a setting casual enough to whip out your phone to send a tweet? Are instant message conversations on your laptop during a class lecture a no-no?
Obviously it depends on the situation, the audience and the setting. At social media panels and conferences, the above practices are completely acceptable and even encouraged. People are caught on their laptops, Blackberries and iPhones live-tweeting and spreading information. In my New Media and PR class yesterday, I relayed a tweet from @TDefren to my class and professor, and it was perfectly cool.
But what about when we're hanging out with our friends who aren't as social media friendly as we are? When I brought up that coffee shop/cell phone scenario to James, it practically made him cringe. Does this mean we should only save public tweeting for when we are around our social media friends? And even when we are around only our social media friends, do we still run the risk of seeming disrespectful?
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Personally I, like Allie, am on the fence.