General Etiquette > Techno-quette

People and their electronic devices

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Itza:
I understand people have every right to use their electronic devices as they choose. But what if, how they’re using them, leaves you somewhat... confounded?
 
Let me tell you about my Mum. Like me, she has an iPod touch and a mobile phone (not the same brand).

She uses her devices then turns them straight off when not in use. That is her choice, I get that.

But what happened this morning made me wonder if she was, in fact, ‘misusing’ her devices.

We communicate various ways: phonecall (be it landline or mobile), text message, iMessage, FaceTime, email or Facebook inbox.

I find text messages are great if either of us is out and about and can’t do a voice call. FaceTime is good for seeing each other as we’re at opposite ends of the country but only at home on WiFi, iMessage is good for sending photos or short video clips taken on the iPod but again, only at home on WiFi, Facebook/email is good for sending other photos, links or long messages, etc.

Anyway, this morning was a killer: my husband’s first day back at work after the Christmas break so we were up early as the kids are still off school and I’d need to be up for them.

While my husband was showering, I realised I hadn’t switched my devices off overnight. Luckily the volumes were off. I checked my mobile: there were no messages. I put it down when I saw my iPod flash. I picked up my iPod, noticing from the main screen that it was an iMessage for Mum. I opened it seeing that she’d replied to a small audio file I’d sent her the night before when her iPod was switched off. She also asked a question to which I began responding straight away. When I sent it, nothing appeared at the bottom of the message. If her iPod was on, it would say ‘delivered’ followed by ‘read’ when the app was opened. I figured she’d turned her iPod straight off after sending her message. Whatever, that’s nothing unusual.

However, my phone then flashed. I noticed it was a text message from Mum saying pretty much the same thing as the iMessage and asking the same question. I had to put my eyes back in my head and a lot of unrepeatable things went through my mind as well as the confusion.

I could understand receiving the same content text message say, after about an hour or so, if she’d left her iPod on and hadn’t received a reply from me. I understand she doesn’t know when I’m going to see the message or when I’ll reply. But it was just minutes after sending the iMessage that she sent the text message, but of course, she hadn’t read my immediate reply to her iMessage as she’d gone and turned her iPod off straight after sending her iMessage!

Is it etiquette approved to tell people that their device usage is illogical and explain why?

Shopaholic:
I'm kind of confused as to why exactly this bothers you so much.
If it were a regular occurrence then I would say you two should decide which form of communication works best for you , and stick to that - but it sounds like a one time thing.
She probably thought she'd get a quicker answer from you on the phone, and hadn't seen that you had replied yet.

Itza:
If I'd have been able to reply any quicker than I did this morning, I'd have been in the 2012 Olympics! I was right on it and couldn't reply any quicker than I did. She'd turned her iPod off without waiting for a reply and moved straight to text message.

Although this particular incident is a one time occurrence, other things happen such as I'll iMessage her a short video clip of whatever I've taken on the iPod, notice hers is switched off so either text her or message her on FB that I've send her a video on iMessage. She'll switch her iPod off, then switch it straight back off to text me that nothing was there. I then tell her it won't be on her device waiting for her and that she'll have to wait for it to arrive. She simply doesn't give it chance to reach her before she switches it off again. I've explicitly had to tell her to leave it on for 10 minutes while I do a re-send. Only then does she receive the video.

It's really weird.

Hmmmmm:
With the first issue, it just sounds like she doesn't know which device you check first, so sent to both.  Not sure why this is such an issue.

For the second, it sounds like she doesn't realize how the service works.  To resolve, unless the note is time sensitive  just don't text her to let her know you sent something via the other format.  She receive it when she's had her device on for sufficient time for it to download.

JenJay:
She sent you a message via iPod, immediately turned her iPod off, then sent the same message via text? I can see why you'd be kind of  ???. Hey, at least she didn't then turn off her cell phone and Facebook the message to you!  ;D

I'd let her know that if she uses device X to message you then to please leave that gadget on until you've had a chance to reply. She may think of it as ensuring you get her message but it must be a pain to have to send the same reply to multiple devices to ensure she gets your message.

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