Dot-com tombstones

Miss Manners for cell-phone cameras

By now, you’ve probably seen those ads for cellphones that come with camera attachments. You’ve seen the ads with young goateed hipsters mugging for their friends’ cameras. Or chicks taking secret shots of men on the subway to send to their friends for assessment. Or laughing couples taking goofy action pix as they walk arm-in-arm along the sidewalk. And, like me, you’ve probably thought: Damn, do those people ever look annoying.

As it turns out, so does CNET — so they put together a quick list of cell-phone camera etiquette. It’s online here, and here’s a sample:

DO seek consent before you take shots of strangers. The last thing you should do is to suddenly or stealthily sneak up and snap away.

DO be mindful of your surroundings. As you’re taking pictures with your camera-phone, you may be blocking others just looking for a good view.

DON’T send photo messages to all your friends, unless you know it will appeal to them. As much as you’re proud of them, not everyone wants to see your mundane pictures. Remember, recipients often have to pay to download MMS messages.

Of course, they left the most important one out: Don’t take your cameraphone into the locker room. Heck, they’re already banning that in Tokyo.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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