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Tech Etiquette: When To Stop Tweeting And Start Eating

By Kara Matuszewski, CBSBoston.com
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BOSTON (CBS) — Technology has seemingly seeped into every part of life. Whether it be finding the perfect recipe, or getting directions to a new restaurant, or even reading reviews of the new restaurant, it can all be done electronically and with devices so small they fit in the palm of a hand.

But with all of that technology comes questions.

For instance, when arriving at the new restaurant, is it okay to “check in” via Foursquare or Gowalla or SCVNGR?

Is it acceptable to tweet what you’re ordering? What about taking that phone call or responding to an email?

Kevin Phelan, Vice President at Gutenberg Communications, says mealtime is when tech insiders and tech outsiders “really collide.”

“(When you) get to an event, you see people checking to see how many of their friends are there or if there’s a special or discount. You also check to see who else may be there.”

Rich Brooks, president of flyte new media, says, “I think it’s fine to check in or Tweet out, but use your best judgment based on your family and the situation.”

He goes on to say you should consider will someone think of this as an invitation to come over, or is someone there in the witness relocation program and the cover’s been blown?

Phelan says people should avoid constant web surfing. He says there are often times in a conversation when someone questions when something happened, or who did it and someone at the table will pull out their smartphone to check the stat.

“I think some people are so accustomed to living inside their phone, or when I talk about web browsing they’re constantly consuming content or constantly looking for new information. It’s like they forget they’re sitting around other human beings,” said Phelan.

Brooks also says if a call is necessary during dinner, be sure it’s taken away from the table after excusing oneself.

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