The five rules of smartwatch etiquette
As amazing as new kinds of technology are, they often come with new ways to accidentally offend people. With smartphones, it was loudly informing callers that you were on a train as the people around you tutted quietly. With TVs, it was cancelling plans so you could stay in and watch Friends. With calculators, it was repeatedly typing 5318008 instead of doing any actual maths.
So if you've got a new smartwatch, don't fall into social pitfalls that will see you ostracised from polite society! Just follow the O2 Gurus' guide to smartwatch etiquette.
1. Don't check your watch every three seconds like you're too busy and important to pay attention to the person you're talking to.
This one seems like a no-brainer but how often do you find yourself surreptitiously sliding your phone from your pocket and glancing down to see if your Candy Crush lives have been refilled when your friend is trying to tell you about their day? If you look at your watch, you give the impression that you're disinterested and impatient to get away from the person you're with; so don't do it. Wait until a polite interval or excuse yourself to check for updates in solitude instead.
2. Don't use voice control if it's going to annoy others
Just as Dom Joly annoyed train passengers by bellowing into his comically large phone back in the early 2000s, so your chattering away into your wrist like a rubbish FBI agent could become a nuisance in 2014. Think before you start jabbering away: trains, buses, libraries, hospitals, at the altar and funeral parlours are all no-nos.
3. Don't brag!
We asked etiquette expert William Hanson how a new smartwatch owner should avoid social faux pas, and he told us: "Don't become the Smart Watch bore. Yes, we are thrilled for you that you have one, but a few minutes talking about it (if asked by friends and colleagues) and then that's that. Don't go on and on about it!" That said, like-minded tech fans will be ready and willing to discuss the minutae of your new toy: and we don't mind if you want to gush about your new smartwatch to us!
4. Turn notifications off when your attention is required elsewhere – like driving or, you know, working
It goes without saying that you should not allow a smartwatch to distract you while driving. Turn off notifications or – even better – turn it off entirely before you leave. Our etiquette expert William Hanson adds that the world of work may not be quite ready for your cutting edge new tech: "If you think you may get distracted, or that the watch won't fit the more serious nature of your business, then save the watch to be work out of office time."
5. Just don't be a jerk
It's not rocket science. If you think you might be being rude, you probably are.
If you're not sure about any techy terms, check out our jargon buster