Ask the Geek: Tech etiquette


This week’s article is slightly different from my others. Instead of responding to a question from a reader, I wanted to take a minute to write about tech do’s and don’ts, which is a direct result of some experiences I had over the past couple of weeks. My past two weeks were chock-filled with youth hockey tournaments my daughter played in and school vacation activities for my son, who had his school vacation the past two weeks. There was plenty of people-watching, and I created this mental list of do’s and don’ts I think you’ll likely relate to, and hopefully get a kick out of.

We’ll start with a positive. You can broadcast youth sporting events from your cell phone. The ability to live-stream these events is easy and incredible. Ours was done via Facebook, allowing family, friends, and our community to watch and provide encouragement to our young athletes. In our small community, even friends without kids on these teams who wanted to support the community by watching tuned in to see these games — bravo! I do hope the folks at Cambridge Analytica enjoyed the games broadcast on Facebook too. Seriously though, great use of technology, and thank you, MV Youth Hockey, and Joe Mikos for channeling your inner Howard Cosell.

We started with a positive, but will now slip toward the other end of the spectrum. Even if it’s Stormy Daniels stating her preferred way to use a rolled-up magazine, I don’t want to hear your conversations with other people. None of us do. When we were in a hot tub at Great Wolf Lodge last week, my son and I looked in amazement at a gentleman in the same Jacuzzi using his phone in a waterproof case. Texting, talking, and taking selfies. It took all we had not to climb out and greet him with a shouted “CANNONBALL” followed by an immense splash.

At the same location, we had a breakfast buffet one morning. My son and his friend ate quickly and ran off to play in another part of the hotel while I sat back enjoying my coffee while looking around. At nearly every table, at least one adult and child were on their phones. We all use our phones more than we should, but etiquette, people. Especially when on vacation, lay off the screens when you are eating at a restaurant.

Back to a positive. Do something with the pictures you are taking. If they are worthy of taking up space in our phone’s memory, at least a fraction of the pictures are worth printing. Go to your favorite printing service (Mosher Photo, or Snapfish, Shutterfly, or a similar website) and make something great with them. I still have a coffee mug of my kids from seven or eight years ago, and I decorated my house last spring with all sorts of pictures. I still smile every time I stop and look at them, and plan on adding more to my house with memories from these past couple of weeks. Remember, we are taking all of these pictures for a reason. Do something with your favorites!

We all get busy, and we’re probably all guilty of doing my don’ts, and not doing my do’s. Nothing like a week or two of people-watching and reflecting to make me want to share a few thoughts that we all know but could use a reminder on. Myself included!


Adam Darack is the IT administrator for the town of Edgartown. He writes regularly about the technological issues facing Island business owners. Got a question? Send it to with the subject line “Dear Geek.”