Thank you to U.S. Cellular for allowing me to be a member of their Blogger Brigade. All opinions are 100% my own. Take a look at this Parent-Child Agreement if you’re looking to set some ground rules for cellular use within your family this summer.
Communication – in it’s most basic form communication is simply the act of relaying a message from one party to another. Things in life are rarely that simple though and I would venture to guess that most of you would agree, communication in modern society often tricky and misunderstood. That stems largely from the variety of methods we tend to communicate with now. Face to face communications, phone calls and handwritten letters have in many cases been replaced by abbreviated text messages, emoji and GIF’s. While fun, easy and convenient, interpretation is often left to the recipient and so much can get lost or twisted in translation. Do I think mobile technology has been a bad thing for communication? No, not at all; in fact I wholeheartedly believe the positives certainly outweigh the negatives; but I also think everyone should be mindful when communicating just as they would if speaking to a person face to face.
Like a lot of people, I’m always using my Samsung Galaxy S7 to post day-to-day activities, special occasions and life events. It’s how we share with others in our life that may not be there. In fact, with all of the available apps such as Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, people use their smartphones more frequently than ever before. However, using your phone too much and at inappropriate times can annoy others. In fact, 71 percent of smartphone owners get upset at others for excessive phone use at least some of the time, according to a recent U.S. Cellular survey¹. Have you ever been in a situation and thought “can’t they just put their phone away for a minute?” Yeah…me too but I know that at times I’m guilty of being that person myself. Putting our devices down at appropriate times or in certain situations is just one way to be mindful of others. U.S. Cellular has some suggested tips to help smartphone owners avoid a social media faux pas.
How smartphone owners can ensure their post conveys the intended message:
· Think before sharing. Before posting a Facebook status or Instagram caption, it is important to think about the message being conveyed. Immediately after an especially emotional event or moment may not be the ideal time to express feelings via social media. It is always a good rule of thumb to relax, take a deep breath and think before posting on any social media platform. Emotions can skew the perspective of both the poster and the readers so just be cautious when sharing anything that may be emotionally fueled.
· Check the background before posting a photo. Instagram has become especially popular due to its visual nature. It is important to check the background of any picture before sharing it on social media. You may have a great photo, but the surroundings could compromise the intended message. And we’ve all seen those stories with photos from around the web that are more than what they seem once you look at the background – mirrors may not be your friend so just inspect carefully before posting. You can thank me later.
How smartphone users can know when a post is appropriate:
· Ask a friend before posting about special occasions. The ability to instantly document a friend’s wedding day or special announcement is a wonderful benefit of social media. To avoid spoiling a surprise like a special baby announcement or what the bride is wearing before she walks down the aisle, ask a friend about the post’s timing to confirm its appropriateness. Finding about your aunt’s death on Facebook is tough so be considerate of others in the good times and the bad.
· Be careful when engaging in online conversation. Facebook statuses and tweets are often conversational in nature, but be mindful that the message tone is key. Sometimes, topics are somewhat controversial and require a more delicate approach. Keep in mind that anything said publicly online can be read by someone not participating in the conversation. Sharing, retweeting and engaging in conversation are great ways to build a larger social media following, but be careful of communicating with others through public platforms. These days professionalism, even on a personal page is a must – you never know who could be reading and there’s been more than one instance of ruined opportunities because of negativity on social media.
If you have questions or need help picking out the perfect device for your family’s needs, be sure to visit your nearest U.S. Cellular and check out some amazing devices and deals. In the meantime, I challenge you to be more conscious of your social media activities…I know I definitely need to do a self-check and we can all be a little bit more aware of others, even if they’re not physically present.
What’s your biggest mobile technology pet peeve? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!
¹ Between Nov. 10-17, 2016, a total of 701 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Maritz CX.