Is live-tweeting a dinner date and facebooking on your smart phone at a party, bad manners? Or is it the new normal?
David Carr is a writer for the New York Times. He recently pointed out that if someone ignores you when you’re standing right in front of them, they’re considered rude. But if that same person has their Blackberry out and they’re busily typing an email, they may be considered a plugged-in person. In other words, the digital revolution is making it fashionable to be rude.
The truth is, our social standards have changed to keep up with the growing role technology is playing in our lives. How often are you texting while your parents drive you to school? What about uploading pictures to Instagram while you’re on a dinner date? It’s becoming more acceptable because we’re all doing it!
Basic human nature plays a big part in our love affair with technology. For one thing, we’re hardwired to look at something if it emits light, like a smart phone. However, the other reason we’re so into our tech isn’t as innocent.
David Greenfield is a psychologist and author of “Virtual Addiction.” He says computers, smart-phones and tablets are irresistible because of something called Variable Ratio Reinforcement. What that means is, we never know when something good is going to happen, like a funny status update, so we obsessively check in. It’s the same principle that keeps people sitting at a slot machine for hours on end.
The experts say being addicted to our technology can be as destructive to relationships as alcohol or drugs. So I want to hear from you on this. Is technology making it okay to be rude? Or do we all need to learn when to put the smart phone back in our pocket? Facebook.com/JohnTesh.