Last week, I came across a (mostly) great list published by the author of Twitter account @GSElevator, called “How To Be a F%#king Man.” (Business Insider later republished it as “The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide to Being a Man.”) Yes, some of the tips are obnoxious, pretentious, sexist, and otherwise supremely douchey. But for the most part, the list, which was co-written by CNBC.com’s John Carney, is a solid run-down of tips for guys. Unfortunately, only a handful of them deal with tech issues – no selfies, no hashtags, and use your phone less. Given that our tech plays a huge role in our lives, and is increasingly defining who we are in this life, I’ve picked up where the previous list fell off, with a 21st century man’s guide to using tech.
Note: Much of this list applies just as much to women as to men. But seeing as I am a man, I’m writing this advice for other men. Take from it what you wish.
1. On a date, don’t check your phone until you’re in the bathroom (or she is).
2. Have at least three appropriate Spotify playlists ready for these occasions: Cocktail dinner, all-out party, romantic evening. Keep them updated with fresh tracks.
3. Buy a proper stereo for your home – preferably one with an audio jack and a turntable.
4. You don’t need a $20,000 curved OLED TV – but you shouldn’t have a boxy dinosaur television either. Get a flat screen – it’s better in every way.
5. Familiarize yourself with the Yelp app so you can always find a good restaurant or bar on the fly, wherever you are.
6. Learn how to fix a broken phone screen yourself.
7. Going to a concert? Leave your tablet at home.
8. Call your mother every week, even if she “likes texting.”
9. Text your dad – he hates talking on the phone.
10. When you’re not in a hurry, turn off the GPS and find your own way. It’s also okay to get lost sometimes; that’s how adventures happen – spontanaity is fun and sexy.
11. Don’t change your Facebook or Twitter profile photo to support a cause – donate time, money, and energy instead
12. Wear a Bluetooth headset if you must. Take it out when you’re not using it.
13. Never wear a phone holster. If your job requires one, remove it after you punch out.
14. Don’t take naked pictures of your girlfriend on any device connected to the Internet. Never upload them. And if you break up, delete all copies – or at least store them in an encrypted hard drive.
15. Help your parents set up anti-virus on their computers (and with any other tech needs they have).
16. Learn to code (at least the basics). It’s the only way to understand how the world works now.
17. Don’t be a “fanboy” of anything. Own the things you buy, don’t let them own who you are.
18. Never get angry at anonymous online comments. They aren’t worth your time.
19. Don’t be a troll. It’s weak and lame.
20. Don’t create a porn collection on your computer. Doing that means porn has too much significance in your life.
21. Keep most of your personal photos off Facebook. Privacy is better than likes.
22. Never refer to yourself as a “guru” (a trap many techy people seem to fall into, for some terrible reason). Let your knowledge and expertise speak for itself.
23. Use fitness trackers to help keep yourself in shape. Google is built on good data. And you can be, too.
24. Don’t use your phone in a movie theater. Leave your seat to take an important call or text.
25. If the only console you have is a Wii, don’t call yourself a “gamer.”
26. Use incognito mode on your browser to shop for engagement rings – clearing your browser history alone won’t cut it. Fail that, and the ads your searches generate will follow you everywhere, and your girlfriend will find them.
27. The Web offers a million ways to buy groceries. There’s no longer an excuse for only having mustard in the fridge.
28. Shut off the Internet and read great books (e-books count too, of course).
29. Sell or give gadgets away when you don’t use them anymore. It avoids clutter, and either refills your wallet or your karma.
30. When using your real name online, be the person you are offline.
Have a tip or rule to add? Hate something I’ve suggested? Let everybody know your wisdom down below.