Portable technology promotes obnoxious behavior

While technology tends to enable its users to integrate and better their lives, it also yields second hand effects that make life more difficult for others.

In social situations, people tend to follow a certain etiquette, but when technology and sociality mingle, the effects are less than desirable.

This week we’ll look at the top ten most annoying things people do with technology.

Texting is a light way to carry on a conversation or to simply get a quick message across.

Some people, however, tend to have entire conversations through text messaging, even when it’s possible to call the other person and talk to them more quickly and normally.

The most unreasonable thing people do is have a conversation in person and then pick up their phones and cut off the outside world while responding to a text.

It isn’t that difficult to text, so people need to stop cutting off real life conversations to write barely coherent messages to someone who can’t even bother to call.

Whether it’s all caps, “leet” speak or unnecessarily abbreviated words, it can be difficult to discern what people are saying and how they’re saying it.

When someone writes in all caps what they say, it either sounds angry or really important.

Most of the time, it isn’t much of either. “Leet” speak, the meme involving the replacement of letters with numbers, is unbearable, and is also very inefficient, since it’s easier to type letters than numbers.

By far, the worst of electronic communications is the use of abbreviations and intentional misspellings, such as the replacement of “s” with “z”.

Most people think they might be hip or cool by typing as if though they can barely type, but the end result is that the receiver can barely read the message.

Sometimes phone calls are important, like those relating to classes, home or work.

It’s always annoying when a good conversation or intimate moments are marred by a lengthy, fun conversation when the real fun should be with hanging out with friends in person.

A good example is when a friend is driving another friend, and the passenger picks up his phone to chat away, while useful moments in real life trickle away. In this case, technology warps a person’s priorities.

Facebook can be a useful tool to network and socialize, and is considered the best social networking device.

However, Facebook has been corrupted by invites not only to useless groups and events that pertain to nothing in which a person has no interest, but the doom of worthless Facebook applications.

Though the Facebook layout has improved, it can still be difficult to patrol a person’s page without running into annoying games, quizzes or simply stupid things (like the LOLcats app).

“Every time I get an invite for something stupid, I respect that person a little less,” says Josh Adair, a 3rd Year ME.

It might be easy to block the inviters, but occasionally it can be a catch 22 to drop someone that’s needed as well as annoying.

Again, Facebook has been corrupted by recklessness. Facebook stalking is not only a waste of time, but also detrimental to a person’s socializing ability.

It’s easy to read a list of a person’s interests, but much harder to interact with the person in real life and learn common interests.

Though it’s a challenging task to talk about real topics with real people, it’s one of those things that’s worth the effort.

Not only is it worth the effort but it also saves you from looking like a true stalker when you speak to people in person.

Technology in classrooms is a double-edged sword.

While reading along in lecture with a personal copy of the presentation is helpful, people abuse the system by going to class to not pay attention.

“If you’re going to class to do that, then don’t come,” says Katie Braswell, a 2nd Year Architecture major. Sitting in on a mid-level CS class, it’s very possible to find people not paying attention by playing World of Warcraft.

Though that’s an extreme example, chatting on AIM and GChat tend to distract the student from the importance of class.

Most harmful is Facebook surfing. Stephen Crouse, a 2nd Year Architecture major, explains that “It is really distracting when people get on Facebook during class”. Facebook’s addictive nature draws in more than the first-hand surfer, with one screen distracting many students.

Other annoying forms of technology during class are the use of cell phones and even portable gaming devices, both of which can click the nearby attentive student to madness.

At their most frustrating when they go off in class, phones can very easily ruin a calm, productive atmosphere.

With the advent of personal ringtone software, users can now employ the most despicable songs from the 80s to drive everyone else insane.

Text alerts are guilty as well. A piece of advice to those who question what ringtone to use: the phone one.

No one wants to hear your favorite song form middle school in the middle of trying to concentrate in class.

Hitting pause is easy enough, and so is taking off one’s headphones. Even though they may be cheap and easy to hear through, it’s still rude, as if though the listener has to deal with someone who’s ruining his or her music break.

This type of behavior makes other people believe that you do not wish to make the time for them and do not have the respect enough for them to make a simple movement and remove your headphones.

Though others might be used to it, those who are not usually feel disrespected and belittled.

The library is for class work. While the Macs are wonderful and the PCs sometimes have more than one screen, they are for productivity, not awesome Youtube viewing or speedy Facebook surfing.

Even if the use of the computer isn’t school related but provides some sort of productive service to the user, it’s much better than having to wait in line because someone needs to catch up with the last episode of South Park that he or she missed.

It is also rude to leave the computer locked while you go and run errands for 30 minutes while other people are waiting.

Flash games can be played in private, but honestly, college is about reaching out and experiencing more of the real world.

Especially in an urban environment like Atlanta, no one should have to spend all day playing cheaply made games in his or her dorm room.

Other people generally can not play and it distracts that person from making friends, playing sports or doing a number of useful things because they are busy playing useless games.

Though the occasional flash game is appropriate, most people turn it into an obsession, and annoy the rest of the community by playing in class, posting games on Facebook (and then inviting others to it) and simply staying inside, sacrificing precious real world time for the virtual world.

Though this list could easily be extended, it identifies some of the major problems with abuses of technology.

A person simply needs to be considerate and set his or her priorities straight to avoid technological and social clashes.

For those who are surprised by something on this list, perhaps those persons should consider extra research in the area to make sure that they are not committing technology faux pas.