Communication Etiquette v Being Connected @CoffeaCoffeeMY

Good afternoon guys, It’s a Friday which means 2 things. The weekend is back and I’m at Coffea 🙂

I’ve been thinking and discussing quite a bit about Distractions after last weeks post and how it relates to communication and phones, how they can relate and react, and whether we always need to set the phone away in the presence of others.

Last Weeks Arkay’s Thoughts Distraction post was focused on focus, about the lack of focus and some of the factors involved and how to deal with it. It wasn’t specifically about communication issues regarding phones/gadgets etc and the development of Communication Etiquette.

So today, I’m going to follow up on Distractions and talk about Communication Etiquette v Being Connected.

Communication Etiuqette

This courtesy applies more to specific Active Human Interactions.
Having a one-on-one conversation with someone (ESPECIALLY)
1. Out for dinner with people
2. Participating in an Active Group session
3. When we are doing something with someone

Essentially, if we are participating in something, Actively Participating, we should give our full focus, attention and interest and not look at your phone every time is buzzes or beeps;

1. an important contact has messaged or called

Exclusions in a Group
1.We explicitly expressed that we are going to do our own thing
2. We are not presently Actively Engaged in conversation/activity
3. Once every 20/30 minutes or so.

The Lepak/Hanging Out Scenario

In this sort of situation it depends on the group, we know the people we hang out with, so we should know whether they are particular about this. Here are some of my views here.
1. It’s generally ok to use the phone/gadget, if we are just sitting around not doing anything; this is the Doing My Own Thing but with People Scenario
2. If a conversation is going on and we really have no interest or viewpoint, then go ahead and use the phone/gadget, this will also signal to the others that this doesn’t interest us as much and that we are possibly feeling left out
3. We don’t have to be Always On and participate in all conversation or activities, its ok to take a few minutes for ourselves and do our own thing.
4. Generally applies to when people get together for no particular purpose
a. University – We see each other almost everyday so there are times when we have nothing to say, but would rather just sit in the company of each other and do our own thing rather than go home
b. Home – with regards to people that often & regularly come over, we don’t have to engaged for every minute, if there are 4 people and 2 are playing FIFA, then either talk to the 3rd person (which would be the polite thing), but if the 3rd person is engrossed in watching the other 2 play FIFA, then by all means take out the phone/gadget and reply that message or plan tomorrow or read whatever it is you read on your phone so that you don’t waste that 10/15minutes. We’re not Actively Engaged.
c. Mamak/Lepak – in a situation where we meet friends/family outside, then we should really keep the phone away unless it’s important, we’ve come out to HangOut with each other, so do that, don’t go online and read Facebook or Twitter, we can do that at home. Don’t take Silence as the license to whip out the phone. Just don’t. Quiet doesn’t mean that it’s time to distract ourselves with other things. There was an INTENT to hangout with each other, so do that, whether it’s staring at each others faces or talking. The problem with taking out the phone at first ‘sight’ of Silence, is that it sigals to others that maybe we don’t want to talk, it shows disinterest, (remember there are exclusions), we know each other, so talk about something, or be in collective quiet, don’t Excuse yourself from the Present Moment by engaging with the phone/gadget.
Exclusions include:
1.Important Call/Message
2.Taking out phone to show people at the table something
3.Collectively engaging in an activity/game on the phone – you are still doing something together.


Now with regards to games, they should not be played when with others unless related to The Lepak Scenario Point #4.1 & #4.2. Don’t play that game on the phone unless you have already Explicitly stated that you would like to do your own thing or if everyone is in the mood to do their own thing, which means that there are no Active Elements in play.

I personally don’t like to compete for the attention of the people I am Actively Hanging Out with.


Now this point, similar Exclusions in a Group Point #3, is about how often we check our phones. If we really need to keep tabs on our phone notifications, especially in a one-on-one scenario, let’s attempt to keep it to every 20/30 minutes. The aim is to ensure minimal distraction from our gagdets whe in Active Scenarios.


it comes down to Intent, Purpose and Participation. Not all gathering are Active Social gatherings, some are just reasons to be in the presence of others as we do our own things. Let’s be aware of the these factors the next time we are in the presence of others. Remember we don’t want to distract focus from the matter at hand but that doesn’t mean that we always have to keep you phone away. I think the above points will help us preserve the quality of our Active Human Interaction in this Modern day and balance the need to be Connected.

Straight From The Heart




6 thoughts on “Communication Etiquette v Being Connected @CoffeaCoffeeMY

  1. I like this piece. It’s especially nice because it comes from a young man like you , a generation that cannot live without their gadgets.

  2. its very strange how we meet up with people only to end up using our phones to chat with others who arent there. as if you need company to do that. i like how you’ve categorised types of hanging out in which it is acceptable to be on your phone, knowledge that can extend to work/colleague scenarios as well.

  3. So good to see how organized your thought process is man! There are real coherent live-by points here.

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