Published November 04, 2015
It's a daily occurrence now.
The girl on the treadmill next to you at the gym gets a call, and you're suddenly learning more than you ever wanted to know about last night's party.
That guy on the light rail playing Angry Birds Space at full volume apparently doesn’t know that mute buttons or headphones exist.
And then there are all those texting zombies on the sidewalk who seem to be on a collision course with you and your large latte!
Are you guilty of using gadgets inconsiderately in public and "over-sharing" details of your private life?
Of course not. It's those 9 out of 10 other Americans who are the problem.
According to the 2012 Intel Mobile Etiquette Survey, 92 percent of adults in the U.S. wish others practiced better mobile etiquette in public.
Cynics will point out that respondents in surveys like this are being hypocritical. I think it shows that most people have good intentions. They just unintentionally fall into bad mobile behavior.
Smartphones and tablets put phenomenal technology at your fingertips. When you see an incoming message or a call from your spouse or one of your kids, you respond because it could be important. Family comes first in your life. But remember: That's also true of the person on the phone in the next seat who seems rude to you.
It's a good idea for all gadget users to take a step back once in a while and examine how our digital habits are affecting others.
Please consider these Komando 10 Commandments for daily digital manners:
1) You shall give top priority to those who are with you.
Listen intently when you are with friends, family members and coworkers. When you constantly check messages, you send the message that other people and things are more important to you.
2) Thou shalt not be distracted.
For safety's sake, don't text or engage in voice calls while driving. For the same reason, don’t let texting or voice calls distract you while walking in busy public spaces. Texting-while-walking mishaps have become such a serious problem that cities are starting to issue tickets.
3) Do not shout on the sidewalk.
It's OK to take a call when you're on the street. But try to keep your voice down. If you have to shout to be heard above the background noise, you should call back later.
4) Thou shalt not make private matters public.
Don't discuss private matters in public. Remember never to text anything that is private, confidential or potentially embarrassing. Messages can be forwarded and shared with hundreds of others in seconds - and often are.
5) Do unto others as briefly as possible.
Remember that you have a captive, unsympathetic audience when you're in a carpool or using public transportation. Only make or take a call if it's essential. And when you absolutely must talk, keep the call short.
6) Learn how to turn that thing completely off as soon as you get it out of the box.
Then please do turn it off whenever you are in a church, a restaurant, a library, at a movie, concert, at a play - and even in a meeting.
7) Use headphones correctly.
Use headphones whenever playing games or watching videos. Get a pair of snug-fitting headphones - and wear them. There's nothing worse than hearing sound spilling from loose-fitting earbuds. And it's basic good manners to remove your headphones when someone is trying to speak to you.
8) Thou shalt not cause light pollution.
Lighting up a darkened environment, such as a train at night, with your jumbo tablet screen is inconsiderate. Others usually don’t really care if you ask nicely first. When in public, turn screen brightness down as a courtesy.
9) Share only with permission.
Sharing pictures of current locations is a great way to update friends and family members. Don't take photos of strangers, however, without permission - and never post pictures of strangers on social media sites.
10) Exercise good taste.
Keep the content on your screen at a General Audiences level. Don't call up risqué videos, photos and websites in public areas.
And, finally, please do share this week's column - with anyone you think might agree (or even benefit). All of us in this digital world thank you!
Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. Get the podcast or find the station nearest you at www.komando.com/listen. Subscribe to Kim's free e-mail newsletters at www.komando.com/newsletters. Copyright 1995-2012, WestStar TalkRadio Network. All rights reserved.