everyday's tidbits

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Living in the gadget era

Gadgets. There are never enough of them. I used cellphone for the first time in 2001, 3 years after I received my first salary. I doubted the advantage of cellphone at first, and after 1 year of seeing my other frieds using them, and because of some personal needs, I bought one, the famous Nokia 5110. It was rather expensive for me, since the price was almost the same as my monthly salary. Since then, I changed my cell only twice, once because my N5110 was broken, and once more because someone stole my cellphone in the bus. I tend to love my personal belongings to the extent of considering them as live objects, so that I don't have the heart to sell them or substitute them with something better. Although I was a gadget-freak once, following all the gadget news like a hungry wolf, since 2002 I stopped (being a hungry wolf, I mean), confused by the avalanche of various gadgets.

Any youngster has more than one gadget nowadays. Cellphone, PDA/Palm, e-reader, laptops, notebooks, external disk drive, flash drive, iPOD (bye bye walkman and discman), common mp3 player, digital cameras, handycams, etc, with all their accessories, including those wireless headsets or earpiece. Their parents must have hatching money, paying for all that, because all those gadgets are coming together with fancy clothes, modded cars, and expensive lifestyle.

People start to depend on their gadgets, especially cellphones. People can't live without them. Look how freaked-out people when they accidentally left their cellphones at home. They are even bugged if their phone is out-of-battery, and the charger is left somewhere else. Business and personal life depend on this one small piece of electronic device. To the extent that they can't even turned it off in business meetings or classes.

It always annoys me to hear ringtones in my class, it broke my concentration. Besides, it's rude. People should turn off their phone in class, or at least, mute it (vibration mode are very useful here), although the action of actually read sms or answer the phone in class is still rude. Sometimes students use their cellphones to send sms to other students in the same class, trading gossips, or even the answer of the tests. Suddenly, communication is so important.

Business meetings are worse. Especially when the attendees are some important people. Their phones are just keep ringing off. To make it even worse, since they need to maintain their prestige, their phone are usually from the latest array of cellphone tech (OK, I admit I am jealous), and the ringtones are from OST of some famous tv series or from the latest pop songs, with the scale of sound is Full, it's just blasting in the room. The person will answer the phone directly in the room, with loud voice, announcing to others about some expensive flight to take, or some international place to go, or some big projects he/she is in. High position, but with poor etiquette. So un-elegant.

I also find out that using personal laptops or PDAs in meetings to do some work or sending important emails were rude. People ask you to come to the meeting to listen to what he/she said, not to see you tapping happily on the keyboard (in my case, the keyboard is indeed noisy). Hey, I even peeved when someone called me while tapping on their keyboard. Made me feel like the second in the person's mind.

Peter Handal, chairman of Dale Carnegie Training, said (to avoid tech-etiquette blunders) in CSMonitor: "Embrace all the new technologies, but keep focused on the people around you, whether it's your boss, your co-workers, or your customers. Technology is a great tool to help you get to the people. But even in this wired world, you need to have the personal touch."

Consider your attitude!
(Note: Pictures taken from http://grant.henninger.name)




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