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Technology Etiquette

With all of the modern devices and the decreasing size and increasing technological power, we need to address the do’s and don’ts of usage. It is great to stay in touch with the latest news, hottest sales and all of your social media friends at a click of a button; however, there are times when such usage should be limited.

I was in a restaurant and looked over to see a couple at a different table both using their handheld devices to text and check emails. I remember a time when couples talked and enjoyed their “alone” time and used it as a way to connect to each other. I would consider it rude for my dinner mate to text other people while I am sitting there unless it was an emergency and this was expressed to me out of consideration for me. Another time, while in a restaurant while waiting for my food with a pause in the conversation, my mind wandered and I thought to check on a sale item I was bidding on but fought the impulse. Maybe if my date was an old friend who knew me well I might have checked quickly but still would have explained and immediately apologized for my need to know.

You are seeing more and more handheld electronic devices in places of worship. It is easy to find chapter and verse but the need to memorize and massage your brain muscles is fading fast. This can be distracting to your fellow parishioners who use the“old fashioned” worn, dog eared book that has been passed down through generations. I want to see that happen with these new devices that speed up and expand applications so fast that by the time you research and purchase the right device it has already been replaced by smaller, faster and better. Electronic and technology etiquette now is a part of the announcements i.e. please turn off or silence all…… Even still ultimately during the next 2 hours you will hear a soft hum or a ringing of a cellular phone or a reminder tone and see someone hastily trying to silence the device and have a sheepish please forgive me for my forgetfulness look on their face. My pastor not only uses the pre-recorded announcement, makes a verbal statement and sometimes has made it a topic to draw attention to how quickly our minds can wander and our handheld devices allow us to quickly detach and escape from the moment. There are some moments that you need to pay close attention to.

Next time you reach for your handheld devices be mindful of the occasion and be considerate of those around you. Just a thought!

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