virtual vs. physical social behavior

18 Mar 2008 - 6:30am
6 years ago
15 replies
610 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

thus is a tangent from Andrei's thread on Twitter @ SxSWi.

"why us the person in front if you more important than the person a
million miles away?"

the assumption coming from a pre-digital culture is that the people
with you ate more important than those away from you.

I would like to suggest that in the digital cultural world that this
distinction is blurted at beat or just outright arbitrary dependent on
specific contextual queues.

Personally I believe there is a balance we ate going to learn to
strike, but to do that we have to put aside our presumptions and allow
new and different things to happen.

BTW, I am a lot less concerned about the example if people isn't media
while a panel or speaker is going on, then I am about Andrei's example
of people prioritizing their digital connections over those in front
of them during 1-on-1 moments. But even then, I would allow for the
possibility that someone can split their attention between the virtual
& physical. To take a Buxtonism I don't think we have reached "G-d's
Law" in terms of our abilities to attribute meaning and value to our
virtual relationships.

- dave

Comments

18 Mar 2008 - 9:16am
christine chastain
2008

Being an anthropologist and designer, my observations have taught me
that there is little difference between physical and virtual social
behavior from a cognitive behavioral and anthropological perspective.
People have the same needs they always did - to feel part of a social
structure and network, to feel validated and loved, to wield power, to
seek and present identity, etc. I would argue that while technology
itself provides differences in virtual and physical interaction, the
structure remains traditional. It is just more visible more quickly
now.

What I've been thinking about is whether the "etiquettte" arising from
the use of "virtual" technology in a more traditional setting and
people's reaction to that might be anti-social punishment. Consider
this - as long as everyone (particularly in a collectivist setting)
has access and benefits from the same technology, the use of such
becomes the accepted norm. An example of this would be texting in
Finland - because almost everyone has a cell phone and the benefits to
society as a whole are understood. no one would dream of asking
another to stop texting someone during a conversation. In fact, the
person being texted is often drawn into the physical conversation as
though they were a part of it. So there is no opportunity, really, to
get something someone else has or to punish someone else for doing
something that everyone is doing.

In the United States, we use shame to get people not to do things or
"decide" for themselves to adhere to the normative. If most of the
room has decided that cell phone conversations or twittering is off
limits in a particular setting, stronger-minded individuals will
"police" the group making sure everyone adheres to a certain code of
conduct.And this works most of the time as those being "policed" don't
want to stand out and don't want to cause trouble among peers who
might act as valuable connections.

In a place like Greece, there is no reason to feel shame from someone
who is a stranger. Because family and close friends are the only
connections that truly matter, what a stranger says to you can be
completely disregarded. And because rule of law is perceived as
unreliable, no one will be following up either. So there will always
be multiple people speaking loudly on cell phones during a concert,
etc.
Interestingly, those who try and "police" this behavior are punished
by the policed as they are often seen as do-gooders and
maternal/paternalistic in behavior. Individuals seem not to mind that
the collective "suffers" as a whole.

These are extreme examples however it makes me think that there are,
as much as cross-cultural differences, individual differences within
cultures. Perhaps those unwilling to conform at the lecture to
"lecture-like" behavior did not see the benefit of doing so for the
group as a whole and some could have become irritated with being told
what to do and as such, anti-social punishment may be part of the
reason they persisted.

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 4:30 AM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> thus is a tangent from Andrei's thread on Twitter @ SxSWi.
>
> "why us the person in front if you more important than the person a
> million miles away?"
>
> the assumption coming from a pre-digital culture is that the people
> with you ate more important than those away from you.
>
> I would like to suggest that in the digital cultural world that this
> distinction is blurted at beat or just outright arbitrary dependent on
> specific contextual queues.
>
> Personally I believe there is a balance we ate going to learn to
> strike, but to do that we have to put aside our presumptions and allow
> new and different things to happen.
>
> BTW, I am a lot less concerned about the example if people isn't media
> while a panel or speaker is going on, then I am about Andrei's example
> of people prioritizing their digital connections over those in front
> of them during 1-on-1 moments. But even then, I would allow for the
> possibility that someone can split their attention between the virtual
> & physical. To take a Buxtonism I don't think we have reached "G-d's
> Law" in terms of our abilities to attribute meaning and value to our
> virtual relationships.
>
> - dave
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

18 Mar 2008 - 10:19am
Mark Schraad
2006

Two points of what I consider common etiquette (call me old school if you
want).
First, if I am standing in front of a person having a conversation and the
other person is emailing, texting or answering the phone it is a definite
indicator that I not only don't have they're full attention, but that I am
not terribly important. Obviously these indicators and interpretations place
me at the center of concern.

Second, my behavior should not negatively impact another's if I can at all
avoid it. Personally I would never have a loud phone conversation where it
disrupts others (think check out lines, restaurants and even public spaces
to some extent. While I can only hope for this in return, it definitely
impacts my personal space.

As for lectures, speaking events and even meetings - its pretty common place
to be taking notes, referencing additional material and even blogging. But I
love when someone gets busted for playing solitaire.

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:16 AM, christine chastain <
chastain.christine at gmail.com> wrote:

> Being an anthropologist and designer, my observations have taught me
> that there is little difference between physical and virtual social
> behavior from a cognitive behavioral and anthropological perspective.
> People have the same needs they always did - to feel part of a social
> structure and network, to feel validated and loved, to wield power, to
> seek and present identity, etc. I would argue that while technology
> itself provides differences in virtual and physical interaction, the
> structure remains traditional. It is just more visible more quickly
> now.
>
> What I've been thinking about is whether the "etiquettte" arising from
> the use of "virtual" technology in a more traditional setting and
> people's reaction to that might be anti-social punishment. Consider
> this - as long as everyone (particularly in a collectivist setting)
> has access and benefits from the same technology, the use of such
> becomes the accepted norm. An example of this would be texting in
> Finland - because almost everyone has a cell phone and the benefits to
> society as a whole are understood. no one would dream of asking
> another to stop texting someone during a conversation. In fact, the
> person being texted is often drawn into the physical conversation as
> though they were a part of it. So there is no opportunity, really, to
> get something someone else has or to punish someone else for doing
> something that everyone is doing.
>
> In the United States, we use shame to get people not to do things or
> "decide" for themselves to adhere to the normative. If most of the
> room has decided that cell phone conversations or twittering is off
> limits in a particular setting, stronger-minded individuals will
> "police" the group making sure everyone adheres to a certain code of
> conduct.And this works most of the time as those being "policed" don't
> want to stand out and don't want to cause trouble among peers who
> might act as valuable connections.
>
> In a place like Greece, there is no reason to feel shame from someone
> who is a stranger. Because family and close friends are the only
> connections that truly matter, what a stranger says to you can be
> completely disregarded. And because rule of law is perceived as
> unreliable, no one will be following up either. So there will always
> be multiple people speaking loudly on cell phones during a concert,
> etc.
> Interestingly, those who try and "police" this behavior are punished
> by the policed as they are often seen as do-gooders and
> maternal/paternalistic in behavior. Individuals seem not to mind that
> the collective "suffers" as a whole.
>
> These are extreme examples however it makes me think that there are,
> as much as cross-cultural differences, individual differences within
> cultures. Perhaps those unwilling to conform at the lecture to
> "lecture-like" behavior did not see the benefit of doing so for the
> group as a whole and some could have become irritated with being told
> what to do and as such, anti-social punishment may be part of the
> reason they persisted.
>
> On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 4:30 AM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> > thus is a tangent from Andrei's thread on Twitter @ SxSWi.
> >
> > "why us the person in front if you more important than the person a
> > million miles away?"
> >
> > the assumption coming from a pre-digital culture is that the people
> > with you ate more important than those away from you.
> >
> > I would like to suggest that in the digital cultural world that this
> > distinction is blurted at beat or just outright arbitrary dependent on
> > specific contextual queues.
> >
> > Personally I believe there is a balance we ate going to learn to
> > strike, but to do that we have to put aside our presumptions and allow
> > new and different things to happen.
> >
> > BTW, I am a lot less concerned about the example if people isn't media
> > while a panel or speaker is going on, then I am about Andrei's example
> > of people prioritizing their digital connections over those in front
> > of them during 1-on-1 moments. But even then, I would allow for the
> > possibility that someone can split their attention between the virtual
> > & physical. To take a Buxtonism I don't think we have reached "G-d's
> > Law" in terms of our abilities to attribute meaning and value to our
> > virtual relationships.
> >
>

18 Mar 2008 - 10:48am
Mark Schraad
2006

Sorry, did not mean to blow by your point. It was taken and I also find it
interesting. I also find it interesting to observe how people pick up on
those social ques and norms and to what level they react. Some charge
forward the exact same way they always do.. others take those ques and adapt
fully - sort of cameleon like... most fall somewhere in between.

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:35 AM, christine chastain <
chastain.christine at gmail.com> wrote:

> Personally, I agree and come from the same social norms of behavior as
> you do. But I guess my point was that not everyone does and isn't it
> interesting to think about what might be driving that! ;)
>

18 Mar 2008 - 10:56am
Dave Malouf
2005

Mark,

Aren't concepts of "rude" dynamic?
I agree about "disruption" to a point, but again I wonder.
The fact that you are "interpreting" I think that is the word you used,
suggests to me that it is fluid, contextual, cultural and personal.

Right?

To me I'm fascinated with the idea that the virtual pulls us in equal ways
as the physical and that that is OK.

But then again, maybe I'm just making excuses for my own bad behavior. ;)

-- dave

18 Mar 2008 - 11:04am
SemanticWill
2007

This was an absolutely fascinating post. I twitter, email, text, quite a
bit. But - I think their are boundaries, and etiquette. I can't forget the
time that my grandmother took me to see Peter Gomes, a good friend of hers
and the minister of Harvard memorial church. We were there because he was
going to write me a recommendation to get into school there. While sitting
in his office, waiting for his secretary to bring coffee in, the phone rang.
He reached over to the phone and turned the ringer off, and then explained
that deviding his attention or answering the phone would be rude to both of
us and lamented the ringer on the phone as intrusive and that it should
never get in the way of 1-2-1 meatspace conversations. There is a hierarchy
of value - and those people in front of you are frankly more important than
those that are not. Certainly more important than a web page, blog, online
conversation.

Ask yourself this - if you were out to dinner, and your dinner companion
picked up a book, mid conversation, and began reading - what would that tell
you about how your companion viewed your value.

That is exactly how I feel when a person picks up their phone and surfs the
web or checks email when we are having a conversation. It says that
something or someone is of greater value and interest. That may not be their
intention - but it is the effect.

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 10:16 AM, christine chastain <
chastain.christine at gmail.com> wrote:

> Being an anthropologist and designer, my observations have taught me
> that there is little difference between physical and virtual social
> behavior from a cognitive behavioral and anthropological perspective.
> People have the same needs they always did - to feel part of a social
> structure and network, to feel validated and loved, to wield power, to
> seek and present identity, etc. I would argue that while technology
> itself provides differences in virtual and physical interaction, the
> structure remains traditional. It is just more visible more quickly
> now.
>
> What I've been thinking about is whether the "etiquettte" arising from
> the use of "virtual" technology in a more traditional setting and
> people's reaction to that might be anti-social punishment. Consider
> this - as long as everyone (particularly in a collectivist setting)
> has access and benefits from the same technology, the use of such
> becomes the accepted norm. An example of this would be texting in
> Finland - because almost everyone has a cell phone and the benefits to
> society as a whole are understood. no one would dream of asking
> another to stop texting someone during a conversation. In fact, the
> person being texted is often drawn into the physical conversation as
> though they were a part of it. So there is no opportunity, really, to
> get something someone else has or to punish someone else for doing
> something that everyone is doing.
>
> In the United States, we use shame to get people not to do things or
> "decide" for themselves to adhere to the normative. If most of the
> room has decided that cell phone conversations or twittering is off
> limits in a particular setting, stronger-minded individuals will
> "police" the group making sure everyone adheres to a certain code of
> conduct.And this works most of the time as those being "policed" don't
> want to stand out and don't want to cause trouble among peers who
> might act as valuable connections.
>
> In a place like Greece, there is no reason to feel shame from someone
> who is a stranger. Because family and close friends are the only
> connections that truly matter, what a stranger says to you can be
> completely disregarded. And because rule of law is perceived as
> unreliable, no one will be following up either. So there will always
> be multiple people speaking loudly on cell phones during a concert,
> etc.
> Interestingly, those who try and "police" this behavior are punished
> by the policed as they are often seen as do-gooders and
> maternal/paternalistic in behavior. Individuals seem not to mind that
> the collective "suffers" as a whole.
>
> These are extreme examples however it makes me think that there are,
> as much as cross-cultural differences, individual differences within
> cultures. Perhaps those unwilling to conform at the lecture to
> "lecture-like" behavior did not see the benefit of doing so for the
> group as a whole and some could have become irritated with being told
> what to do and as such, anti-social punishment may be part of the
> reason they persisted.
>
> On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 4:30 AM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> > thus is a tangent from Andrei's thread on Twitter @ SxSWi.
> >
> > "why us the person in front if you more important than the person a
> > million miles away?"
> >
> > the assumption coming from a pre-digital culture is that the people
> > with you ate more important than those away from you.
> >
> > I would like to suggest that in the digital cultural world that this
> > distinction is blurted at beat or just outright arbitrary dependent on
> > specific contextual queues.
> >
> > Personally I believe there is a balance we ate going to learn to
> > strike, but to do that we have to put aside our presumptions and allow
> > new and different things to happen.
> >
> > BTW, I am a lot less concerned about the example if people isn't media
> > while a panel or speaker is going on, then I am about Andrei's example
> > of people prioritizing their digital connections over those in front
> > of them during 1-on-1 moments. But even then, I would allow for the
> > possibility that someone can split their attention between the virtual
> > & physical. To take a Buxtonism I don't think we have reached "G-d's
> > Law" in terms of our abilities to attribute meaning and value to our
> > virtual relationships.
> >
> > - dave
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | CrowdSprout
tel +1.617.281.1281 | fax +1.617.507.6016 | will at crowdsprout.com

18 Mar 2008 - 11:07am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

I agree that virtual communication can be just as important and
engaging and f2f.. but the way I see this issue doesn't really have
much to do with the mode of communication. Starting up an
email/im/text conversation while having a f2f conversation with
somebody is rude in the same way as leaving an in person conversation
mid sentence to talk to somebody else...

The heart of the issue is that if you're engaged in a conversation
with somebody (or a group of people) you should be -engaged- in that
conversation...

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:56 AM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:
> Mark,
>
> Aren't concepts of "rude" dynamic?
> I agree about "disruption" to a point, but again I wonder.
> The fact that you are "interpreting" I think that is the word you used,
> suggests to me that it is fluid, contextual, cultural and personal.
>
> Right?
>
> To me I'm fascinated with the idea that the virtual pulls us in equal ways
> as the physical and that that is OK.
>
> But then again, maybe I'm just making excuses for my own bad behavior. ;)
>
> -- dave

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
work: matt at bibliocommons.com / www.bibliocommons.com
--
personal: mattnl at gmail.com

18 Mar 2008 - 11:09am
Mark Schraad
2006

Absolutely... dynamic and frankly relative to so many criteria. You can dice
social behavior a zillion ways. Not to get to heady, but personally, I like
how philosopher's describe it as 'spheres' of ethics. One sphere being you
own, another for family, yet another for those you associate with, one for
those you tolerate (community)... and so forth.
I think you are also right on in your earlier assessment of this as a moving
target...

Mark

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 11:56 AM, David Malouf <dave.ixd at gmail.com> wrote:

> Mark,
>
> Aren't concepts of "rude" dynamic?
> I agree about "disruption" to a point, but again I wonder.
> The fact that you are "interpreting" I think that is the word you used,
> suggests to me that it is fluid, contextual, cultural and personal.
>
> Right?
>
> To me I'm fascinated with the idea that the virtual pulls us in equal ways
> as the physical and that that is OK.
>
> But then again, maybe I'm just making excuses for my own bad behavior. ;)
>
> -- dave
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

18 Mar 2008 - 11:45am
kimbieler
2007

It doesn't matter what I consider rude behavior. What matters is what
the person I'm talking to thinks. It's common courtesy not to presume
that others have the same values as me.

Along those lines, if you're giving a presentation, it might be
helpful to mention that you would or would not be offended if people
take notes or read blogs or text each other.

-- Kim

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Kim Bieler Graphic Design
www.kbgd.com
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

18 Mar 2008 - 10:12am
Brad Ty Nunnally
2008

As being a person that deals with users on a normal basis in the
physical world and playing in the virtual, it has been my experience
that the qualities of a person that are normally down played in the
physical are more pronounced in the virtual.

I have known people virtually that I know are normally quite, shy,
and almost meek in the physical social environment be in your face
and commanding while they are in the virtual social environment. My
theory for this behavior is the ability to not put a face to a
person. It is easier to yell and be irate to someone over the phone
then it is sitting across from them sitting at a desk.

Going forward with web technology and the visibility of the virtual
social environment in the terms of webcams, VoIP, etc I think
different types of behaviors will begin to blend into a single
behavior.

Just my two cents on the topics.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=27238

18 Mar 2008 - 10:35am
christine chastain
2008

Personally, I agree and come from the same social norms of behavior as
you do. But I guess my point was that not everyone does and isn't it
interesting to think about what might be driving that! ;)

18 Mar 2008 - 10:49am
christine chastain
2008

Not at all - I LOVE the discussion!! And here's a good time to add
that of the many lists I belong to, I can always count of this one to
be very active and interesting!

18 Mar 2008 - 3:01pm
James Haliburton
2008

I think that if we examine the reasons why a particular action, such
as texting during a one-to-one conversation, is considered poor
etiquette, we actually arrive at a really interesting problem framing
to explore.

If during a casual conversation with a friend or colleague a friend
were to walk by looking to join the conversation or simply ask a
quick question to me, it would be rude to continue with my original
conversation ceaselessly, and not acknowledge him or her in anyway.

This could roughly be considered an equivalent scenario as receiving
an SMS or call during that original conversation from my vantage
point at least. But, of course, the differences between the two
scenarios after that initial point of interuption are where we can
find the areas worth exploring from a design perspective of how that
SMS or mobile phone or other more virtual interaction is delivered.

As it is now, all the onus is on myself to negotiate the social
ramifications of answering an SMS while in conversation. In the
"real world" people understand the context I'm in to a degree -
e.g., somebody at work can see if I'm in a discussion with a client,
and whether that is a good time to ask me something.

Jaiku is a good example of sharing that cognitive load of handling
status with your contacts in a proactive way.

That onus is clearly just one example of a difference between the
"real" and "virtual" handling of etiquette.

I think that in the end, anytime somebody says that someone's
behaviour is incorrect, there's an opportunity for a better design.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=27238

18 Mar 2008 - 5:08pm
Katie Albers
2005

I also think it's interesting that we're all framing this question as
having only the speaker and the user as people affected by the
behavior.

I know when I am in an audience where one or more people are
communicating through some electronic means or other, I find the
traces of that activity -- sounds, light changes, whatever -- to be
extremely distracting.

The analogy to physical interruption fails because of the reasons
James outlined -- (1) it's rude for the interrupter to demand
attention immediately except certain limited cases, and society
provides a number of ways to interrupt for a moment and words to use
like "Excuse me" methods to employ such as "Can I talk to you later
for 5 minutes" and so forth; (2) Person A whose conversation is being
hijacked is aware of exactly what it is that's so much more important
to Person B than the first conversation; and (3) sheer volume puts
the virtual in another league. It's far more distracting to both the
speaker and the audience to have 20 out of 30 people (for example)
twittering, blogging, texting and generally dealing with another
world than it is to have a single interruption (which is why
responding to physical interruptions is seen as increasingly rude as
more and more occur in the course of a single interaction).

But I think the really interesting question here is: Why bother? Why
do we spend time, effort and money to be in the same physical space
with one another, sharing a particular experience, if we're going to
spend the vast majority of our time being elsewhere mentally? Judging
by the reactions to physical meetings on this list, we consider them
very important. Why?

To be entirely upfront about it, I'm one of those people who turn off
all their electronic communication devices in meetings,
presentations, speeches, and movies. I figure if the hospital needs
me to do that brain transplant right away, they can call the venue
and have me fetched. On the flip side, when I teach, lecture, speak,
present or whatever, I ask everyone to turn off their electronic
communication devices *and* put away their pads and paper. I'm mean
like that.

Katie

>If during a casual conversation with a friend or colleague a friend
>were to walk by looking to join the conversation or simply ask a
>quick question to me, it would be rude to continue with my original
>conversation ceaselessly, and not acknowledge him or her in anyway.
>
>This could roughly be considered an equivalent scenario as receiving
>an SMS or call during that original conversation from my vantage
>point at least. But, of course, the differences between the two
>scenarios after that initial point of interuption are where we can
>find the areas worth exploring from a design perspective of how that
>SMS or mobile phone or other more virtual interaction is delivered.
>
>As it is now, all the onus is on myself to negotiate the social
>ramifications of answering an SMS while in conversation. In the
>"real world" people understand the context I'm in to a degree -
>e.g., somebody at work can see if I'm in a discussion with a client,
>and whether that is a good time to ask me something.

--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

18 Mar 2008 - 4:00pm
James Haliburton
2008

I think that if we examine the reasons why a particular action, such
as texting during a one-to-one conversation, is considered poor
etiquette, we actually arrive at a really interesting problem framing
to explore.

If during a casual conversation with a friend or colleague a friend
were to walk by looking to join the conversation or simply ask a
quick question to me, it would be rude to continue with my original
conversation ceaselessly, and not acknowledge him or her in anyway.

This could roughly be considered an equivalent scenario as receiving
an SMS or call during that original conversation from my vantage
point at least. But, of course, the differences between the two
scenarios after that initial point of interuption are where we can
find the areas worth exploring from a design perspective of how that
SMS or mobile phone or other more virtual interaction is delivered.

As it is now, all the onus is on myself to negotiate the social
ramifications of answering an SMS while in conversation. In the
"real world" people understand the context I'm in to a degree -
e.g., somebody at work can see if I'm in a discussion with a client,
and whether that is a good time to ask me something.

Jaiku is a good example of sharing that cognitive load of handling
status with your contacts in a proactive way.

That onus is clearly just one example of a difference between the
"real" and "virtual" handling of etiquette.

I think that in the end, anytime somebody says that someone's
behaviour is incorrect, there's an opportunity for a better design.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=27238

18 Mar 2008 - 9:55pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

Katie Albers wrote:
"...when I teach, lecture, speak,
present or whatever, I ask everyone to turn off their electronic
communication devices *and* put away their pads and paper. I'm mean
like that."

Not the paper! Please. Can I keep my notebook to help me to remember your
thoughts later on?

So how can the communication devices promote civility?

How about two levels of calls: "will leave a message" and "drop everything
and pay attention to me, damn it!" (a spring loaded mode for the later; for
instance: the second call to the same number within 10 seconds of the first
call would mean: "You really, really need to talk to me NOW"). The second
call would have to have special "ring" on the receiving end.

Or, perhaps, three levels of availability: "can talk", "will talk, if it is
an emergency", "don't stop me now!". We have these levels already: sound
on/off, and phone off, but they are not very sensitive to context, demand
active involvement. So most people, I guess, choose the middle option and
simply put their phones in silent mode.

Oleh

-- Oleh Kovalchuke
IxDA Colorado (co-organizer)
http://ixdacolorado.collectivex.com/

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