How is Your Mobile Etiquette? (And a giveaway!)

Intel wants to give one of my readers a netbook.

My husband and I were recently enjoying a bottle of wine while watching the sunset over the water. There was a lull in the conversation – not an awkward, uncomfortable one, just a pause. He stared at the river and the colors washing over the clouds and I picked up my mobile and checked my email. Ironically, the only email worth reading was one from Alison at Intel who wanted to tell me about a mobile etiquette poll Intel and Harris Interactive had done. (She was also offering you, my readers, an amazing giveaway. I’ll get to that in a minute.)

“Nine out of ten adults say they’re annoyed by some mobile behaviors,” she wrote. “But only 38 percent actually admit to personal wrongdoing.” I chuckled at the irony of reading this message from Alison while I myself was behaving very badly in this regard. Checking email while on a date ranked pretty high among the most offensive behaviors reported. Intel even made a silly video about this very behavior. Also, the public restroom (as illustrated) is noted as one of the most inappropriate places people have been spotted using mobile their devices. Ewww.

I looked up to share this irony with my husband but quickly realized — from the dirty look on his face — that he had joined the ranks of the nine of out of ten who are annoyed by someone else’s lack of mobile etiquette. So I quickly joined the less populous 38 percent of those who admit to wrongdoing, apologized, put my phone away, and poured us both another glass of wine.

How good is your mobile etiquette? Here’s a little quiz to help you decide:


I learned early in life that the best defense is a good offense. So I quickly changed the subject. “Intel wants to give one of my readers a netbook!” I said. “I guess if people are going to learn mobile manners, they need the right tool for the job.”

“Wow!” he said, impressed, stunned, and jealous. His desire to have – or give away on his blog – a netbook had quickly replaced his annoyance at my poor mobile etiquette.

He can’t have this netbook. But you can. And this is just your average netbook either. It’s the gorgeous Vivienne Tam HP Mini. This is a netbook so sweet you will make all your friends jealous. Here’s a photo:

What do you have to do to win it? Answer this question in the comments: What is your worst mobile manners offense to date? This is true confession time. It’s not your chance to rat out your sister. So tell it like it is.

I will choose a random number from the comments. And Alison will send that person this adorable Vivienne Tam netbook. I don’t trust myself to send it on if I get my hands on it because I have been coveting this particular piece of geek bling since it came out.

This contest is closed! Dana won!

108 thoughts on “How is Your Mobile Etiquette? (And a giveaway!)

  1. I try to be good and pay close attention when my students are giving presentations. However, it’s very easy to be distracted and start Facebooking on my laptop instead of taking notes. Last semester, I realized at the end of one presentation that I hadn’t written a single note. Sigh.

  2. I would have to say my worst offense would have to be texting while driving. Very dangerous and doesn’t happen anymore. If I need to talk to someone that bad, I pull over and call them!

  3. I am one of those “non-traditional” folks in college…might as well say “OLD!!!” Anyhoo…I tend to get annoyed when I see the younger set surfing the net or texting while a professor is lecturing. Cell phone ringing??? Fuhgetaboutit…it really gets ugly then. So, when I heard the tell tale ring tone during my favorite class, I shot the look-of-death at the young lady beside me…she returned said look, gazed pointedly at my tote bag and said ever so sweetly, “I believe that crappy music is coming out of your tote bag” Oh horror of horrors! I was so mortified, I let the MCR diss go. Of course I could not find my sidekick in the voluminous bag, and breathed a sigh of relief when “Desolation Row” stopped. Only to start again 5 seconds later. By now the entire class is smirking at me, the professor is highly put out, and it turns out my daughter thought it necessary to call and ask me “if I were to eat that last piece of pizza?” Needless to say, I triple check my phone upon entering the classroom!

  4. yes ending a chat on facebook seems awkward……..almost as bad as small talk at a party….” uh, nice talking to you…….bye?”

  5. Forgetting to turn my ringer off while in an arbitration – YIKES!!

  6. New twist this weekend: My husband’s best friend was visiting and befriended me on Facebook.

    “Hey,” he said, “I can TELL you’re on facebook. I’m watching you right now. So why can’t I start a chat session?”

    “Oh, I go invisible all the time,” I said. “I’m constantly on gmail and Facebook, but I am the World’s Most Awkward Chatter and don’t know how to end a conversation. So I only chat if and when I can initiate the chat session. And I only do it with people who know how awkward I am.”

    “That seems really standoffish,” he said.

    “Hmm. I think Geek Girlfriends would agree that it’s nice that I’m sitting here talking to you and NOT available for internet chatting,” I said.

    “I think that’s rude,” he said. And I laughed.

  7. 1) I text people sitting next to me and will respond to phone calls with text messages.
    2) I purposefully use my phone as a way to avoid conversation and eye contact with people I don’t know or don’t want to talk to. This is my favorite tactic in any type of line and especially during lulls at school events for my kids.
    3)If my husband is getting annoyed with the amount of time I spend on my blackberry, I will “pretend” to be using the bathroom, but I am really sitting in there reading email/txt/fbook/twitter where he can’t see me and judge me.

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