Fix: If you're at all concerned about your appearance in the world, try to keep comments unique and unexpected. Dutifully copying the latest "Follow these instructions or else!" post on Facebook is no better than mailing chain letters to all your friends. Restrict social media chatter to a few posts a day. You can post the rest of your conspiracy theories ad nauseam to your blog.
17. Texting at the table
eally? It's that important? We all love our smartphones, but using them in the company of others, particularly at mealtime, is just plain rude. (It's also gross. See item #3.)
What about the phone-in-the-lap trick? Not kosher. Even Emily Post says so. And that goes for any kind of social situation, whether it's school, work, or a simple conversation with someone else.
Fix: If you must deal with another conversation, voice- or text-based, take it to another room or outside. And be sure to make the "no phones at the table" rule apply to everyone in your household, including yourself
18. Using your phone or tablet without a case
How will it end? Eventually your phone or tablet will die. The battery may explode. The CPU may melt down. Cosmic rays may fry the RAM. But realistically, you will probably just drop it.
No matter how sure-handed you are, and no matter how carefully you treat your devices, one day they are going to slip out of a pocket, or simply fall to the ground when someone's elbow bumps against you.
Fix: The only solution is to enshroud your gadgets in cases -- thick, sturdy ones. The flippy Smart Cover for your iPad is useless when a preteen fumbles it to the tile. Go for a thick rubber or silicone case that covers every corner of the device, such as the Otterbox Defender. A thinner, plastic case may do the job, but replace it when it becomes damaged.
19. Failing to pick up the phone
The phone rings. You look at the number and don't recognize it. You let it go to voicemail, and that little red light blinks all day until you finally get around to playing the message.
Technology has given us a half-dozen ways to communicate with one another -- virtually all at the expense of the fastest and most expedient, the telephone. It's easy to understand why we don't answer the phone anymore: We likely don't want to talk to a solicitor, a pitchman, or a robotic telemarketer.
Fix: We're not talking about breaking the rule against texting at the table (item #17), but a blanket policy against answering the phone may not make sense. Consider how much faster it would be to answer a simple question via voice than to read and respond to a long email message. Imagine that your $500-an-hour attorney is the one who is calling. Do you really want to force him to spend 10 minutes writing an email to you when he could have told you something on the phone in 30 seconds?
20. Failing to silence your phone
These days, just about every public performance begins with an entreaty to the audience to mute or turn off their cell phones. Thirty minutes later, the unmistakable jingle "Marimba" makes its presence, and its clueless owner, known.
Cell phones that erupt at the most inappropriate times are a cultural epidemic, and ironically it's likely because we have heard so many commands to shut our phones off that we simply don't hear them at all anymore.