Should My Wedding Ban Phones?

Dan Piraro nails the wedding cake. A couple atop the cake  (caketopper) looks down at their respective smartphones.
Artist: @danpiraro.

Dear Ms. Smartphone: I am sending a picture I saw on Instagram. It’s of a bride and groom atop a wedding cake, holding phones in their hands. I am getting married this summer. Is it OK to ask guests to come unplugged? …To not bring their phones to the ceremony? We are getting married outdoors in a meditative and tranquil spot. Buzzing phones might ruin the moment. Briana, San Francisco

Dear Brianna: First of all, congratulations to both of you. I have personally been to a board meeting where I was required to lock up my phone outside, and second, at a school exam where backpacks had to be left at the door. I don’t see harm in your request, although guests will have to forfeit snapping their own pictures as you come down the aisle. If you follow on with a wedding reception, will you want to reneg the rule? The KNOT says ‘yes’.

Sending a Text on Mother’s Day Sent Wrong Message

Mother’s Day went awry when Mom got a text…not a phone call

Dear Ms. Smartphone: On Mother’s Day I texted my mother to wish her a happy Mother’ Day. This seemed like good digital etiquette as I live out of town and could not visit. Now my mother is angry and says I should have called. Did I do something wrong? T.J. Tiburon

Dear T.J.: There are too many factors here to pull apart. Do you typically text your Mother, or do you call her? Is there a tradition of sending cards or flowers? And, when did you text: late in the day, or before she got up? There are many different options for communications today, and you should choose the one your Mom would like- not the one you prefer.

Here is a useful academic take- the mode we use (say text vs. voice call) also changes the messages in a subtle way. Have you considered making peace now by sending Mom a singing telegram?!

Put Your Damn SmartPhone Away…You’re Running the Boston Marathon!

Boston Marathon runner wonders whether to bring her smartphone along.

Finish with the Phone? Photo: Wired Magazine

Dear Ms. Smartphone: I have been training for the Boston Marathon for a long time and finally made the cut. Am I wrong to want to bring my phone when I run? This marathon is an important memory for me and I would love to get shots along the way. I am not planning on breaking any speed records and I have a zipped pouch to keep the phone safe. My friends say I should reconsider this. Brooke, Boston

Dear Brooke: No! You trained so hard for the race, don’t be distracted. Focus on running, not on selfies. There’s plenty of time before the race, and after to get your best pic. Do not overlook the fact that you might distract other runners if you take out your phone during the course.

Plan to have your friends cheer you on, say midway, or meet them at the finish line. This way they can snap the photo finish and you can set your marathon personal record. Good luck to everyone.

Remember to leave home without it if, you are a runner. Leave home with it if you are following someone or cheering them on.