Tech Etiquette: Guide to being a gadget gent

How to become a debonair man-about-tech

How does one define a gentleman? Someone who lets a damsel in distress use his iPhone to make an emergency call? T3 reveals how you can become a bona fide tech gent in a few easy steps

Herein you shall learn of matters such as being fitted for a suit made by lasers, locating the right gym for you, how to disport yourself on 'The Facebook' and how to achieve success in matters of the heart and of work. Read below to get learning:

Tech Etiquette: Commuting

Do: Test any headphones for noise leakage
Atomic Floyd and many Sony earphones sound great, but leak quite heavily. Try Sennheiser or Phonak earphones with deeper canal buds, perhaps. Best not to annoy the rest of the carriage.

Don’t: Talk loudly on the phone on public transport
Staggeringly, people still do this.

Do: Be thoughtful around satnav usage
If you’re the driver, think carefully about how much marital strife has been caused by map reading before demanding your passenger operates the GPS. Conversely, if you’re the passenger, realise that refusing to read the satnav is petty…

Don’t: Sit at a table seat by yourself and spread your gadgetry around
It’s obnoxious and you’ll only end up with a can of lager being spilled on your laptop when football fans join your carriage.

Do: Carry your gadgets in a container that does them justice
For the best iPad case, try the new iPad slim sleeve from T3 favourites Knomo (www.knomobags.com). It also makes very natty laptop bags.

Don’t: Forget to use earphones with your PSP or DS
The constant bleep-bleep-bleep of a handheld gaming machine will lead your fellow commuters to lynch you otherwise. Please bear in mind the point about earphone leakage, as well.

Do: Travel in style
Check out BA’s new business class flights. Pairing with OnAir, BA now gives you the go-ahead to use your smartphone’s browser and email onboard. www.BritishAirways.com

Tech Etiquette: Exercise

Do: Pick a decent gym
If you’re going to keep it up, you’ll need a gym with a layout and clientele to suit your style. For the modern affluent gent there are few finer workouts to be found than at Matt Roberts’ personal training centres in Mayfair, Chelsea, Hampstead and the city in London.
www.mattroberts.co.uk

Don’t: Join the gym if you only like one type of exercise
There’s no point paying upwards of £50 a month if you’re just into cycling. Get a bike and get outdoors using one of the many route tracking apps such as Motionx or Cyclemeter.

Do: Get yourself some good looking home gym equipment
The £7,500 Ciclotte is part exercise bike, part work of art. It’s made from carbon fibre, steel and fibreglass with four flywheels within an outer wheel for increased resistance and reduced size.
www.ciclotte.co.uk

Don’t: Have said home gym kit overly visible
As much as possible you want your pad to not look like a boxing gym. Technogym’s Kinesis machines give you a full-body workout, then folds away flat to the wall.
www.technogym.com

Do: Get bespoke trainers
NikeID provides a fantastic service to create your own running shoe – and sneaks for a range of other activities, too – any way you want them. You can even have a different size for each foot. You should also get yourself a gait analysis at Runners Need.
Nikeid.nike.com/uk, www.runnersneed.co.uk

Don’t: Customise your trainers with your own name
That’s just not cool.

Do: Find yourself an online fitness coach
After an initial assessment, professional coaching company Votwo can set up an elog account for online training. You log your exercise each week and get online advice from trainers.
www.votwo.co.uk

Don’t: Jog with iPhone in your pocket
Damage and embarrassing bulging may occur. Belkin provides an affordable range of iPhone/iPod armband cases.
www.belkin.com/uk

Do: Chill out afterwards
Floatation tanks and other luxury man-pampering (“manpering”?) treatments can be had at Floatworks in London.
www.floatworks.co.uk

Tech Etiquette: Facebook

Do: Practice proper spelling and grammar
You’re not 12 and if you’re on Facebook you’re certainly not in any kind of hurry. Txt speak, under/overusing punctuation or failing to understand the difference between “your” and “you’re”, is like taking the English language round A back alley and throttling it with your own abject laziness.

Don’t: “Like” yourself
People know you think your own musings are clever – if they weren’t, you wouldn’t post them In the first place. Liking your own updates is the web equivalent of laughing maniacally at your own jokes, while tumbleweed billows past and everyone regards you with a look somewhere between quizzical and pitying.

Do: Comment and “like” sparingly
Clearly, Facebook is a community that relies on user input: if you don’t actively comment on others’ posts, they’ll be disinclined to comment on yours. There’s a fine line between being proactive and being nosey or obsessive, however. You need to tread it with the skill of a tightrope walker to have a truly rewarding Facebook experience.

Don’t: Post pictures of yourself looking too excited about new gadgets
A snap of yourself holding the iPad with the caption “Look: the iPad!!!” Will make people assume you live with your parents at the age of 32.

Do: Be careful with your relationship status
To announce you’re in a relationship before you’ve really cemented it is to open yourself to heartbreak Nnext week when you have to change it back to “single, desperate and living with my Parents at the age of 32”. That’s before you even get on to asking your ex which one of you has the right to separate your online avatars first. And remember all this will be turning up in your acquaintances’ feeds.

Don’t: Boast too much
“I can’t believe the weather in St Tropez could be so hot! Pour me another free Martini!” won’t make your devoted followers envy you. One such chap in our industry insists on doing this daily, no, hourly. Time to stop now, mate...

Do: Respond to event invitations with a “Yes” Or “No”
Can you imagine posting an RSVP to a friend’s wedding with “Maybe” scrawled on it? At least a “No” doesn’t raise False hopes…

Don’t: Describe yourself, friends or family as “crazy” or “mad” in your info
…Even if you actually are mentally ill. Actually, particularly if you actually are mentally ill – “mad” and “crazy” are very insensitive terms to use in that case.

Do: Only add people You know
Think of it this way: if someone you had never met suddenly sent you an add request, would you think they were the type of person you’d want to spend time with? Exactly…

Tech Etiquette: Smartphones

Do: Put it away after you’ve shown someone something cool
They might be impressed the first time they see Google Goggles in action, but they won’t appreciate you then checking your emails and not listening to what they’re saying quite so much

Don’t: Get into unseemly arguments
If you’ve got friends for dinner, don’t get into a heated debate with the guest who brought his HTC Desire along about why your iPhone is better, while the other guests try to drink themselves to death out of boredom and embarrassment. Time and place…

Do: Pick your ringtone carefully
A sensible, classic “ring ring” tone on a moderate volume shows you have class and that you don’t consider yourself clever or unique for having a phone. Avoid loud, brash custom tones, and never use a polyphonic comedy song. You won’t be seen as ironic, you’ll just be hated. Just pick the least offensive of your phone’s preset ringtones

Don’t: Touch your phone while inebriated
Would James Bond text his last romantic liaison to tearfully beg her to see that there’s more to him? No. By the same token, stay away from texting your boss or Steve Jobs after a few too many ales. Check out www.textsfromlastnight.com to see some of the consequences of sozzled SMSing

Do: Customise your screen wallpaper
A picture of your kids or loved ones is a nice touch, and shows your caring side. It also makes it more likely that non-sociopaths will return your phone if you lose it and they find it. If you want more customisation, the affordable HTC Tattoo (£200) lets you choose a picture to put on the actual casing of the phone

Don’t: Store your phone like a gun
Belt holsters went out with global hypercolour and “urban boy band” Another Level

Do: Use emoticons sparingly
Constructing winking or tearful faces out of punctuation is not the gentleman’s way. However, emoticons can come in handy for those with a dry or edgy wit who find themselves sending messages to someone who has no discernible sense of humour. Like you, you twat! ;-)

Don’t: Talk on the phone while taking a leak
Or anything else toilette-related, come to that

Do: Get the names right
Your iPhone is not an “iPod Phone”. Your iPod Touch is not an “iTouch”. We know we’re preaching to the converted here, but boy do we hate that…

Don’t: Over-use your phone’s camera
Thinking of snapping someone? Ask permission even before you whip your phone out and turn it to camera mode, or the evening could turn frosty. Also avoid those LED “flashes”: there’s a thin line between using one and shining a blinding torch in your subject’s eyes for several agonising seconds

Tech Etiquette: Style

Do: Invest in a great watch
The new bell & ross 01 92 carbon fiber 3 hand br-304 (£5,800, www.bellross.com), for instance, is a fixed bezel automatic timepiece, waterproof to 100m.

Don’t: Wear bluetooth earpieces
Unless you’re in a car, preferably with tinted windows. In public places it’s only acceptable if you’re the president’s bodyguard or you work in Burger King.

Do: Get a laser-fitted suit
Tailor made London (www.tailormadelondon.com) make suits to measure using a 3D laser body scanner, then use the measurements to make a laser-cut suit. As a result they can knock you up something bespoke from about £450, with a huge range of English and Italian cloths to choose from

Don’t: Buy a “designer” fashion phone
Pricey, chrome-plated, leather-backed mobiles made in collaboration with fashion houses are so 2007. The minimalist good looks of the iPhone or HTC Legend are much more stylish and smack less of desperation. By the same token, please don’t Wear any t-shirt, hat or rucksack branded with the name of a tech company…

Do: Try clothes before you buy… even online
Intel has developed a 3D cloth simulation engine, a 3D visualisation package designed to help with online clothes shopping. It shows a 3D model of you – you can enter your height and other dimensions – dressed in the clothes of your choice. Advanced real-time physics mean the material is realistically modelled, allowing you to see how it hangs and the effects any movement will have on your “look”. See software.intel.com

Tech Etiquette: Work email

Do: Realise you’re never too busy for manners
Chances are your co-workers are as harassed as you, and if they see yet another demand on their time flitter into their inbox they’re likely to ignore it unless you use “please” and “thank you”. It’s especially galling if you’ve referred to them as “mate” In the same email.

Don’t: Use exclamation marks
There’s no need to emphasise everything! It’s really annoying! Similarly, an elaborate font, wacky out of office message, or “distinctive” email signature on every message are all the messaging equivalent of wearing a Garfield tie.

Do: Read over anything sensitive a few times
There’s a big difference between saying something regrettable in the heat of the moment and having it written down on permanent record. Use that “save as draft” option, then look at it back a couple of hours Later. generally, rants are best saved for after-work drinks.

Don’t: Start the subject with “Re:” unless it’s actually a reply
It’s sneaky and deceptive, relying on the recipient’s bad memory to make them think it’s a continuation of a conversation you’ve been having about annual results, tractor parts or whatever. Popular with online Viagra salesmen, we’ve noticed.

Do: Keep it light
As a general rule, if it’s something serious don’t say it over email. It’s impersonal, you won’t know if they’ve received it, and it generally shows you can’t deal with people. Save it for a meeting room. And there’s also always the possibility you accidentally hit reply all…

Don’t: Keep it too light
If you’re on a shared email about an office project, try to avoid going off on humourous tangents. It can be aggravating to have to read a four-post mini exchange about dogs mid-way through a lengthy discussion of, say for instance, a planned series of redundancies.

Do: Be concise
“I was just thinking that maybe if you weren’t too busy we could get together at some point in the next couple of weeks, whenever’s good for you, so we could sit down maybe over a coffee and discuss issues arising from our discussions…” just say you want a meeting, what it’s about and suggest a time. Thanks.

Don’t: Share too many links
Remember there’s a difference between friends and colleagues. One genuinely amusing clip every now and again among close colleagues is light relief. That one of The dog having sex with a lion? Probably not worth circulating around your whole contacts list. If you’re forever forwarding funny links, people will begin to wonder why you never have any work to do.

Don’t: Insist on putting personal affairs in the office Outlook calendar
Note to managers: colleagues are a funny bunch. Some of them even feel a funeral might be a slightly sensitive matter, and therefore doesn’t need to be listed in the shared office diary next to “Pauline at wellington boot conference” or whatnot.

Do: Actually talk to colleagues as well
Emails are all too easy to ignore. If you actually want anything to happen you may need to speak to them. It’s more socially awkward, sure, but also more effective in the long run. People feel less under pressure when there’s not an electronic record of the conversation being made, as well.

Don’t: request read receipts
You might as well place your colleagues under 24-hour webcam surveillance if you’re Going to do that, really…