10 tech etiquette rules to remember for Christmas

Peace and goodwill to all?

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More than any other time of the year, Christmas is about friends and family, and so rules of engagement that you might not typically use come into play - topics to avoid with your uncle, who's in charge of the TV remote, what time the sherry can be opened, and so on.

That extends to your use of tech too, and we've put together some quick tips and tricks for making sure your gadget use sticks within the appropriate boundaries over the holidays. Of course, your family might have some idiosyncrasies of its own to deal with too...

1. Limit your mobile time

We get it, your smartphone is interesting - it's a window on to all the information in the world, an endless stream of music and video, and instant communication with people who are probably much more interesting than the folks you find yourself stuck inside with. But maybe just cut back on your phone usage just a little and enjoy some family time instead.

2. Keep the video gaming on hold

No doubt you're eager to start blasting zombies or stealing cars on Christmas Day, and this is the season to relax and kick back after all, but maybe save the hardcore video gaming experiences until the rest of the family has either left or fallen asleep. Until then why not dust off one of your old board games and get your relatives around the kitchen table?

3. Wish everyone a merry Christmas

It can be easy to think technology and family time don't mix, but instant messaging and video calling apps can bring you into contact with friends and relatives half a world away. Without spending so much time on your phone that the people you're actually with feel offended, use the opportunity to message or call up someone you haven't seen in a while.

4. Be patient with one another

It might be the hundredth time you've shown your parents how to log into their email, but no matter - take a deep breath, remember your Christmas spirit, and show them again. What are the holidays for if not for fixing your family's computer problems? The same applies to setting up new Fitbits for your grandparents or Nintendo Switches for your kids.

5. Don't start an Android vs iOS debate

If you've got a phone then it'll run either the Google-powered Android (or a variation of it) or the Apple-powered iOS. No matter how strongly you feel about sticking to one camp or the other, don't start digging into a debate over Christmas dinner - it's only going to bring up bad vibes over widgets and walled gardens, and send your grandparents off to sleep.

6. Everyone gets a say

Whether it's the movies you're going to stream through Netflix or the Christmas tunes you're going to blast out of Spotify, make sure everyone has a say in what gets put on over Christmas, from iPlayer to the Apple TV. Are you sure that the rest of your family are as eager to hear Fairytale of New York for a tenth time as you are? (Spoiler alert: they are not.)

7. Be polite about Wi-Fi access

We all rely on Wi-Fi, so it's polite to offer the access code to your Christmas guests if they ask for it - you can always change it so they have to ask again to access it next time. And if you are a guest, don't demand to know the password or go hunting for the router yourself: ask if you can log on to the network and be courteous in using other people's internet.

8. Promise to use your fitness tracker

Chances are there are going to be a host of fitness trackers stuffed into stockings this Christmas, and the correct response if you get one - just like with any other gift you've been given - is warm appreciation. You might be thinking the wearable is going to spend the rest of its life in a drawer, but say that you'll use it diligently every day during 2018.

9. Go easy on the social media

As fantastic and as fabulous as your Christmas holiday might be, bear in mind that not everyone who follows you on social media is as likely to be having quite as good a time. Even if it's the bestest Christmas ever, just enjoy it privately without constantly sending Instagram or Snapchat proof to your friends that you really are living the good life.

10. No drunk texting

It may seem like a good idea to text your ex after five glasses of wine or pick up that argument you had with your work colleague when you're half way through a crate of lager, but it's not - not really. This also applies for the rest of the year of course, but don't let the heady Christmas mix of drink and self-reflection tempt you into saying something rash.