Miss Debrett on... Techno Geeks
People are becoming increasingly besotted
their technology. It is quite usual to see them
gazing in passionate contemplation at their
pdas, mesmerised by their mobiles, lost in
their laptops… Entire train carriages are
transfixed - fingers tapping, screens
flickering, headphones chattering.
Techno geeks are becoming
immured from the real
world, all external stimulus
or distractions blocked out by
gadgetry. This can undoubtedly be very useful when concentration is paramount, but it is deeply frustrating when an attempt is being made to communicate with them.
A conversation that is interrupted by frequent, longing glances at the pda or mobile, which is parked in prime position on the table like a third guest, is a frustrating affair. Even worse are the geeks who are jerked, puppet-like, into activity by an annoying array of incoming call tones, message alerts and voice-mail bleeps.
Mobile communication is no substitute for real conversation, and interactions with disembodied texters and emailers should never be mistaken for the real thing. If you are having a love affair with your technology, keep it to yourself. Regard it as a private vice, to be indulged in when you are on your own, or at the very least in a neutral environment, such as a train carriage.
Be ruthless about sifting the vitally important from the pointless chitter-chatter that technology facilitates and encourages. If you are expecting an urgent message, then it is acceptable to announce it to your companions beforehand, and warn them that you will have to take it. In all other circumstances, the human being must take priority over the electronic gadget. This means turning off mobiles, pdas, etc., and consigning them to bags and pockets when you are actively engaged in personal communication.
Under all circumstances resist the temptation to sing the praises of your love-object. A dissertation on the technical specification of your gizmo is guaranteed to turn off your audience, unless you surround yourself with a circle of like-minded, and equally boring, geeks.
Try, above all, to see your gadget as an instrument, not as an end in itself. It should facilitate communication, not terminate it…
Miss Debrett's Top Tips
- Mobile communication is no substitute for real conversation, and interactions with disembodied texters and emailers should never be mistaken for the real thing.
- If you are expecting an important call, announce that you will have to take it at the outset; in all other circumstances the human being must take priority over the gadget.
- Resist the temptation to sing the praises of your love-object - boasting about technical specifications will mark you out as a bore.