Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Etiquette for the modern world

I was having lunch in a nice London restaurant with a female, foreign friend of mine. She wanted to tweet, SMS, update her various friends and social networks to tell them where she was. However, she was doing this using highly expensive roaming on her Swedish smartphone.

On the other side of the table, I was using my local, inexpensive data allowance on my smartphone. Seeing what she was doing, I quickly turned on the portable WiFi hotspot on my own smartphone, so that she could share my local data allowance and did not suffer the expensive data roaming charges that she was incurring.

Was I honour-bound as a gentleman to do this? Or should I instead spend my time mounting a campaign against the horrific roaming charges imposed by phone companies?

Update: As a further issue to ponder with respect to this trivial and largely absurd question, what should one do when one party, er, leaves the table for a few minutes? Portable WiFi hotspots have very short range, so if a gentleman leaves the table (particularly if his destination is in the basement) should he in fact leave his smartphone on the table so that the lady can continue to use his WiFi, but in doing so also slightly increase the risk that the phone will be stolen by the urchins of the East End? The fact that such a moment is likely to be the occasion when she is most likely to want to use it is pertinent, surely.

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