If you run into me on the sidewalk while you are heads-down texting, emailing, IMing, reading, sexting, Angry Birdsing, or whatever elseing on your mobile device, I get to slap that fucking thing out of your hands a la Alex Rodriguez slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in game six of the 2004 American League Championship Series, except way less milquetoasty. And you do the same for me, ok?
Addendum: If you're heads-down texting on your phone accompanying a young child in a crosswalk with lots of traffic turning through it, I get to slap the phone out of your hands, punch you in the face, and take your child away from you forever. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people?
Peggy Nelson argues that everyone being on their mobile phones all the time -- even while at a dinner for two -- isn't rude, it signals a shift from our society's emphasis on the individual to the networked "flow".
We've moved from the etiquette of the individual to the etiquette of the flow.
This is not mob rule, nor is it the fearsome hive mind, the sound of six billion vuvuzelas buzzing. This is not individuals giving up their autonomy or their rational agency. This is individuals choosing to be in touch with each other constantly, exchanging stories and striving for greater connection. The network does not replace the individual, but augments it. We have become individuals-plus-networks, and our ideas immediately have somewhere to go. As a result we're always having all of our conversations now, flexible geometries of nodes and strands, with links and laughing and gossip and facts flying back and forth. But the real message is movement.
But au contraire, mon frere.
My new standard of cool: when I'm hanging out with you, I never see your phone ever ever ever.
If we're hanging out and you pull out your iPhone to water your Farmville crops, we can no longer be friends. It's not me, it's you.
David Shipley and Will Schwalbe have written an email style guide, an Emily Post for the cubicle set. I can't abide by the endorsement of excessive exclamation points, but maybe the rest of the book is more useful? Send is available at Amazon.
Apparently, signing off your emails with "Best" is "something close to a brush-off". I sign most of my emails with "Best", especially when I don't know the person particularly well, and I definitely don't mean it as a brush-off. "Sincerely" is too formal, "Warmest regards" is a lie (you can't give absolutely everyone your warmest regards), and "xoxo"...I'm not a girl. So "Best" it is...don't take it the wrong way.