6 Social Norms Technology Created That You Follow Every Day

With each new revolution in technology, people are changing their lifestyles to adapt to changing social norms. In just over ten years, we have put smartphones in the hands of more than six billion people worldwide.

With such a huge shift in global culture, we have developed some interesting social norms for better interaction with other people. In this article, we will review six such general rules that help us regulate the use of technology.

1. Don’t look at someone’s screen without guests

Smartphones have become our primary tool for documenting our lives. They store large amounts of our personal information, including photos, videos, contacts, passwords, banking information, chats and more. No wonder people like to keep secrets.

Related: The best iPhone screen protectors for privacy

Failure to follow this rule of not looking at someone else’s screen without an invitation can make you look awful, disrespectful and even dangerous. Of course, this mainly applies to strangers and colleagues, as you can get away with close friends and family.

2. Don’t swipe your finger when someone points something at your phone

Friends look at iPhone together

Even if you are invited to see something on someone’s phone, don’t swipe left or right to see more than they asked you to see. If you want, be sure to ask permission first before doing so.

Otherwise you risk making them feel like they can’t trust you with their phone.

When a friend tells you, for example, to watch a cool video in TikTok that they made, he doesn’t invite you to view their entire gallery. Unlike public social media walls, private media are private for a reason.


3. Take off your headphones when talking to someone

Modern headphones are equipped with various useful features such as ANC (Active Noise Canceling) and Transparency mode. The latter allows you to hear the surroundings while keeping the headphones on. However, this is a relatively new feature and far from mainstream.

On the topic: What is active noise reduction and how does it work?

This gives the obvious impression that the person wearing the headphones cannot hear you properly and therefore requires you to raise your voice unnecessarily while talking to them.

In this regard, if someone starts a conversation with you, it will be good to remove the in-ear headphones.

4. Do not unplug the charger to charge yours without permission

Photo of the iPhone charging

Maybe your device is running out, but unplugging someone’s charger just to charge your own without asking them is annoying. The exception to this may be your immediate family, but it can cause quarrels among friends or colleagues.

Also, not every charger is compatible with every phone. Obvious examples are iPhones with Lightning connectors and Android phones with USB-C or Micro-USB connectors. So even if a friend or colleague has a spare charger, they won’t be able to help.

5. Don’t play your music out loud in public

It’s just annoying. You may have the best taste in music, but not everyone wants to listen to your playlist, no matter how carefully you manage it. At train stations or bus stops, people may not hear announcements if you play music loudly.

On the topic: Sound scene against audiovisors: what is more important for better sound?

In parks, supermarkets and public areas, this causes unnecessary worries to people around you who are just trying to relax, shop or commute to work. If you want to mute your favorite tracks in public, use headphones.

6. Do not use the zoom lens to track people

A man clicks a photo from a smartphone

Over the years, zoom cameras on smartphones have become very good. For example, the Galaxy S22 Ultra can give you surprisingly clean shots even with a 30x zoom.

While this is great for people who like to photograph birds, buildings and the moon, it is also unfortunately a great tool for stalkers.

Imagine that you are doing your business, and someone in the next building just pulls out your phone to see what you have in mind, as it’s okay. Obviously, this is a serious invasion of privacy.

Be sure to use the technique responsibly

Technology has a big impact on how we interact with each other, especially today when they have become such an integral part of our lives.

While we all benefit from its versatility, we also lose because of it. To mitigate these unpleasant effects, it is important to follow social norms to improve our relationship with technology.

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