Your iPad or tablet—it’s your bookshelf, your photo album, your home entertaiment system, your social network and your office.
The more ways we can use a device, the more we’ll want to take a look at how using it affects those around us. In a nutshell, that’s how “old” etiquette is applied to new technology.
If you use an iPad or tablet, here are a few things to consider:
Have kids? Set the rules for use first thing. Tell them it’s only for mommy’s or daddy’s work, or else be prepared to lose your latest spreadsheet or email inbox. It’s a good idea to lock your device with a passcode.
Back at the office, think about your work culture. Will the tablet be considered a work tool or a personal device? Be explicit with colleagues about what you’re using it for, such as taking notes or checking a calendar, so they don’t think you’re playing the latest “it” game during your morning meeting.
The reading feature for books or news feeds is a huge component of tablet use, so feel free to pull it out during your morning commute. Use headphones if you’re streaming music or videos so you don’t disturb others. And, be mindful of what’s on your screen: Don’t view confidential or potentially offensive material in public. Most people try not to look at others’ screens, but it’s no guarantee, and kids, particularly, can be overly curious.
When you’re with your family, equate device reading to the same choices you make with your books and magazines. For example, if your family is watching “Dancing With The Stars” but it isn’t your thing, and you’d be reading a magazine during the show regardless, fire up the iPad, Kindle, or tablet. Just consider dimming it if the room is dark. But if the idea is to spend quality time interacting with your family, put it away. Even if you think you’re paying attention, you won’t look it—and that’s all that’s going to matter to your spouse and kids.
Reading in bed is a time to think about dimming the device. Again, how will it affect others? If their light is out, it’s time to dim.
Without question, turn of and put away all your devices at the dinner table, particularly if you have children. This is one time to be fully present and engaged with those around the table. Set the example for your kids so they know that meal time is a “device-free” time, whether at home, at a friend’s house, or at a restaurant.