Etiquette in the Internet Age


I couldn’t find a picture related to this post. So whenever I can’t find a picture that goes with a particular post, I thought I might share a favorite picture just for the heck of it. I captured this middle school girl reacting to the music she had to learn. Fujicolor 800. Nikon F5 200 mm lens 1/250 @ f2.8

I must be the only person who didn’t see the President Obama’s Inauguration “live.”  At least that’s how I feel. I’m sure you’ve seen the footage on tv and the pictures online. See what my friend, photographer Geoff Baker, saw through his lens.

I was teaching from 8 am to 12:30 pm Tuesday. I did feel it was rude that one of my students in class was watching it during my lecture.

I sort of let it slide because I was substituting. As historic as it was, I was rather disappointed that she clearly disregarded classroom decorum.

I was disappointed that she was also “older.” Folks, this is a case in point where older doesn’t always mean more respectful. The “younger” students didn’t take such liberties. I finally told her to turn down the volume. 

I’m particularly sensitive to these sorts of incursions  because I teach photography at a junior college. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in those seats taking classes.

I’m not unsympathetic to what it’s like to be a student. The problem is when it becomes very apparent that they’re not listening, text messaging or surfing the net during lecture.

In my syllabus, I’ve asked for phones to be put on vibrate and for students to take calls outside the classroom.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little more irritable when people waiting in line at the post office speak on their cellphones as if I wasn’t there. 

It puts me in a rather awkward position. I don’t want to listen but I’m forced to. I would hate to be the person on the other end of that conversation. Why?

Well, she went on and on about some intimate matters. So what if I don’t know this woman or her friend? I hate to be put in that position. What am I supposed to do? Cover my ears with my hands?

Sort of like being seated in a standing-room-only bus, inches away from the bosom of a voluptuous woman wearing a low-cut dress with nowhere else to look.

2 thoughts on “Etiquette in the Internet Age”

  1. I don’t know what exactly Ms. Manners would say about this sort of behavior. I guess “etiquette” is general needs to be revised to incorporate the internet age. Since a lot of manners is common sense, it’s up to “teachers” in schools to set the tone.

    I wouldn’t have a problem watching the inauguration live with “my class,” but I was substituting. It wasn’t my class.

  2. Blabbing on cell phones while hogging gym equipment ticks me off. I usually ask if they are done, and if not will stand by tapping my toe or move onto other equipment.
    When people are in line @ Stater Bros blabbing loud on cells I’ll start whistling or coughing. I don’t want to hear their noise pollution.
    Spouse Tim was teaching Fire Behavior Analyst class for Cal-Fire in Monterey last week and stopped class for Inauguration. He and one student were only hispanics in class, others were older white men who didn’t seem interested in historic moment. Tim said he would have stopped the class for the 18 minute Inauguration no matter who or what color/gender it was. But his class was 8 hours for five days. I ended up watching CNN thru Facebook.
    Whether they are rude cutting you off in traffic, not indicating or noice polluting with cell phones, they are just inconsiderate.
    BTW I remember this photo you took in Hemet of Mr. Waner, my daughter’s former band instructor. He now leads Mt. San Jacinto College Chamber Band. He is great and you are right, this photo captures how we feel about people with bad and inconsiderate behavior.

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