Does Your Smartphone Make You a Jerk?

Does Your Smartphone Make You a Jerk?

November 7

I’m lucky to have coworkers that avoid most of the following behaviors, but I certainly find myself doing many of these things in my day to day life without even realizing it. I’m not the owner of a smart phone, but every day I see the influence it has on the lives of my coworkers, friends, and family and frankly, I’m glad I’m not caught in the digital spell they cast. I’ve mentioned how smartphones or other computer technologies might cause us to lose focus and procrastinate, but maybe we should take a closer look at smart phones and learn the proper etiquette of smart phone and social media usage.

I’ll borrow a few tips from Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz’ recent CNN post on smart phone etiquette to elucidate some of these bad habits and I’ve also added a few of my own to add some kapow!

Stop all of the following:


I’ve got a lengthy list of people that I’ve un-friended on Facebook for this exact offense. We’re all sad that your phone is slow. I’ll paraphrase the words of comedian Louis CK, “don’t you know that text had to go all the way to space?” Boohoo, I hear a tiny violin playing just for you.

Being scared to make phone calls

It’s easy to text someone instead of face them one on one or call them. This is the case with email as well. Sometimes you just need to call people! A friend of mine got rid of her texting plan and informed all of her friends that she would only be taking calls because she can’t text, this allowed her to sort through the people that were truly friends, because only they would actually call.

It’s a matter of how important you perceive people; a phone call ranks much higher than an email or a text, call the people you care most about and only text them small things if you must. And please, don’t breakup with people via text; I’ve done it, you’ll feel awful, and no amount of “Im sry” texts will fix the awful choice you made.

Posting humiliating videos and photos of your friends.

Make sure you ask before you post any questionable videos or images of your friends and use the golden rule. I know that the series of photos I have of my roommate napping in awkward positions and places is funny to me, and probably anyone that sees it, but the fiery rage the sleeping beast will unleash on the world when he wakes probably isn’t worth the thirty seconds of amusement.

Being Angry

This falls into the whining category but deserves its own mention. We get mad, we want to kick and scream and throw tantrums and the perfect outlet is Facebook, Twitter, and texts to friends. WRONG! Just don’t do it. As a rule, if you’re angry enough to use more than one exclamation point, people probably don’t want to read it and you’ll end up sounding more like drunk hulk’s twitter feed ( by the way, I see the irony in the fact that I’m getting quite mad).

Throwing class out the window

The internet is a great place to be crude and rude right? It’s all just a joke, right? From experience I know that nobody thinks you’re funny when you decide to be publicly crude or rude. Friends that think a gentle ribbing is alright in real life will not like being publicly humiliated by a condescending Willy Wonka photo making fun of their Instagram sunset. Again, use the golden rule.

Drunk tweeting, texting, and Facebooking

Just don’t do it. Must I really explain? You’re not actually in love with a girl you’ve met twice and your ex doesn’t want to hear about how much you miss/hate her. Turn your phone OFF! Wouldn’t you rather be present in the moment than sharing with the internet how hot the bartender is?


As much as some of my “friends” would disagree, Facebook is not the place for political discourse. It’s best to avoid politics on Facebook because eventually (or immediately) someone will get all red-faced and puffy about your opinion and start a whole thread about something neither of you are likely to affect. Just be civil and treat people like people, why are you fighting with “friends” anyway? Your opinions can be stuffed safely in the ballot box where they belong.