In pictures: How to stop bad tech habits

Futurist and trends expert Scott Steinberg shares his tips to better tech etiquette
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Addicted to your phone? Not quite social media savvy? Are your e-mails getting lost in translation? Well, here are some relevant tips to brush up on your tech etiquette!
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Experts recommend shutting off all devices a minimum of one hour prior to bedtime to improve chances of enjoying restful sleep, and scheduling at least one day a month where you do not turn on your devices. If you must check your phone, tablet or mobile device regularly, decide on regular intervals at which this task will be performed, say, every half hour or hour and enjoy being disconnected for that moment. (Image: Shutterstock)
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Don’t forget to maintain a positive tone and attitude either. Negativity, complaints and condescending messages often reflect poorly on the poster. Similarly, be advised that conversational nuances and subtle shifts in tone or personality may be lost in translation, and that individual users may interpret messages differently. Consider how posts will be read and interpreted before sending. Note to outspoken entrepreneurs: Sharing extremely opinionated viewpoints (eg political leanings or thoughts on controversial topics) can be a lightning rod online. Think twice before liking supporting status updates or posting such opinions, which can incite and aggravate others (and live on in perpetuity).
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When e-mailing, remember that the medium is a common source of miscommunication, because tone, context and subtle nuances are easily lost in translation. Before sending, consider if your commentary could be misconstrued and/or misinterpreted, and if a simple phone call might be better advised. Before marking e-mails as urgent, tantamount to putting an underscore under your message in someone’s inbox, genuinely ask yourself: Will the other party consider the query just as important as I do? And before hitting “Reply All” consider whether it’s important for everyone to receive your response.
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Devices should be turned off during meetings, presentations, conferences, corporate retreats and other professional functions. If you must keep your phone on because you’re expecting an important message or communication, silence it or set the ringer to vibrate. If you cannot avoid having to take a call or text for business purposes while you are in the middle of engaging with others, politely excuse yourself from the meeting or discussion.
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Got to take business calls in public? They should be kept as short, sweet and quiet as possible, and confined to crowded or noisier areas where chatter is anticipated. When speaking in public spaces, avoid sharing private information, as it may be overhead and subsequently shared with others. Phones should not be used in enclosed spaces such as stores, subway cars, gyms, restaurants, airplanes and autos where conversations may intrude upon or annoy others. If you need to make a business call, politely excuse yourself and step outside to do so, or wait until you’re in a less private or intrusive setting. (Image: DoublePHOTO studio/Shutterstockcom)
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Social networks may seem like informal settings, but they should be treated with the same respect as any public place of business. Professionalism is imperative – if you wouldn’t say it in a social or work setting, don’t say it online, in the most public of forums.
Mon 27 Feb 2017 01:11 PM GST