The growth and adoption of social networks and smart devices have created many a grey area with respect to social norms and etiquette. Here is a brief look at a few such situations that we encounter in our everyday lives.
Food Porn (a.k.a. Food Photography)
How would you react if you walked into a restaurant and saw a sign that read “photography strictly prohibited”? The good old days of merrily snapping pictures of your ten-course tasting menu and Instagramming it to your friends may be coming to an end; at least, in some finer establishments. While some of you may say “about time!” it is worth spending a couple of minutes to ponder this one. I agree that flash photography in a dimly lit restaurant is intrusive and distracts patrons. On the other hand, a bunch of well-heeled, self-proclaimed foodies promoting the restaurant and its fare ought to count for some free publicity that no marketing department can duplicate. The concept of paid vs. earned media is gaining momentum with businesses trying to leverage positive customer reviews and comments for marketing purposes over expensive advertisements on traditional media.
Hookers on LinkedIn
A number of sex workers were caught off-guard when LinkedIn modified their user agreement to include language that prevented them from using LinkedIn as a platform to solicit business. Workers in the world’s oldest profession feel that they have a right to tout their skill-sets and experience on LinkedIn which is the largest social network for business professionals. After all prostitution is a tagged skill within LinkedIn’s “Skills & Expertise” section, though often it pertains to law enforcement professionals and support groups. A few of the other options within this section are shown in the image below. If you are someone who has been generously endorsing people on LinkedIn, you may want to do a quick check to make sure that your endorsements were intended.
By now you would have heard about Google’s much awaited GLΛSS – eyeglasses that double as a mobile computer. It lets users surf the web, store, retrieve and share pictures and videos similar to the way you would do with a smartphone.
Currently in limited distribution, there have been many views on the usefulness and usability of this device. Besides looking a little stupid, there are other ramifications that deserve attention here. Privacy is an obvious one, and some businesses have already banned or are considering banning Google GLΛSS from their premises. For a start, these include casinos, banks and movie theatres. Keeping in mind that the wearer of this device can snap pictures with the blink of an eye, how comfortable would you feel around someone who wears one?
Texting at the movies
How would you react to someone, sitting next you in a theatre, engaging in an ongoing chat on a mobile device? Even if that person confines their incessant communications to texting, the bright screen and the act itself can be distracting while you are trying to focus on the movie or concert. With the proliferation of smartphones and the users feeling the constant need to stay connected, this may be a trend that is here to stay. When compared with some others who actually initiate and answer voice calls in a theatre, texting may be deemed to be the lesser of the two evils. Will you take a laissez-faire attitude to this, or react like this theatre-goer who grabbed the offending lady’s cell-phone and tossed it?
Turning the flash off on my camera as I head out to Momofuku Shoto…
So what do you think? Is social media blurring the lines of social etiquette? Please comment and share using the options below.