Monday Manners: Emily Post on Virtual Manners

I hope y’all had a fabulous weekend!  We showered my sister (the one getting married at the end of July) with gifts on Saturday morning at a brunch, and celebrated with a lingerie shower, Saturday night!  Can’t wait to show y’all photos on Wednesday!  Even Little L had a blast…

So I’ve been reading up on Emily Post’s Etiquette (18th Edition) and thought y’all would enjoy this excerpt on Virtual Manners, from the book…

“Whenever two people come together and their behavior affects one another, you have etiquette.”  That’s what Emily Post said about etiquette, and it’s just as true about the world of electronic communication.  You may not see or hear the other person, but it’s still an interaction between two people that calls for the same manners as though you were in a room with them.

While each specific Internet service serves a different purpose, they all share common attributes governed by etiquette.  Most importantly, the conventions for interacting and conversing in a polite, positive, considerate, respectful, and honest way still apply.  That means taking care with what you write and what you post.  People who receive your message don’t have your body language, your facial expressions, or tone of voice to help interpret the meaning of your message.  All they have are the words on their screen. While you might have been joking or sarcastic, they may read your comments as hurtful, rude or spiteful. Take time with your messages and posts to consider whether they might be interpreted in a negative light by the people who look at them.

Be Polite…Remember, once you’ve put something out there on the Web, it’s out there – forever!  You can’t take it back or undo it.  Post a picture of a friend in a compromising situation and you can’t pull it back and pretend it never happened.  Post a disparaging remark in the heat of the moment about somebody else within an online community and you can’t get it back; you’ll have to accept the responsibility of your post.

Everything Online is Public…and Permanent.  One litmus test for deciding whether to make a comment or post is to ask yourself, “If I posted this on a bulletin board for anyone to read, would that be okay?”  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs – these are all virtual bulletin boards and anyone can access and see them.  A college graduate should remember that posts and pictures of vacations and parties on Facebook may well be seen by bosses and prospective employers and can affect getting and keeping a job.  The same is true for employees whose tweets and blogs castigate a company or individual.  Assume that unflattering comments about friends, ex-friends, significant others, or exes will be seen not only by the targets themselves but by their friends and families.  Their opinions of the posts and of you will be affected.  Remember: Nothing online is private, and computers have perfect memory.
Intentionally making disparaging remarks has no place in personal communications, and it has no place online either.  It’s not simply a matter of expressing your opinion, but of crafting it to stay on topic and to contribute constructively to the conversation.

You’re Not Anonymous.  As easy as it is to think no one knows who you are, don’t believe it for a minute.  People think that just because they’ve created a clever user name that their identity is protected.  But that’s no guarantee that your comments, phrasing, or tone won’t be recognizable to acquaintances.

It’s Your Image.  Not only does what you say matter, how you say it reflects on you as well.  The rules of good writing apply just as much online as they do to traditional pen and paper.
Spelling and Grammar.  Proofread, proofread, proofread.
Word Choice.  Take care that the words you use have the meaning you think they have.
Sentence Case.  Use correct capitalization and punctuation so your writing is clear and comprehensible.
Punctuation.  Proper punctuation helps a person know what you mean.
Text-Speak Abbreviations.  Except when writing text messages and tweets, avoid using abbreviations.  B4 may be simple to figure out, but 2GTBT (too good to be true) could be misinterpreted.  If you’re reader doesn’t understand it, then his focus shifts from getting your message to deciphering your code.

So what did you think?  Pretty informative, huh?
All I can say is I’m loving this book, and even if I feel like some of it is obvious to me, it’s nice to have a pleasant reminder.

Y’all, J.Crew makes this in PINK now…
This will be extremely hard to resist!
If anyone has seen this marked down anywhere, please let me know!

If you need a perfect pick-me-up Monday post this morning, read The Entertaining House‘s post today.
It’s refreshing and the images are fabulous!

Happy Monday!

W starts swim lessons today.  Hope the rain holds off!

Photo Credit (Images were found on my own, from the web, not from Emily Post’s book): 1, 2, 3, 4

15 thoughts on “Monday Manners: Emily Post on Virtual Manners

  1. That eCard about the Lean Cuisine had all my fellow female colleagues and I laughing hysterically this morning! Great Monday pick me up!

  2. Such great reminders; thank you!

    Also, there is a knock-off version of the necklace on eBay for around $15 and they also had it on JewelryNuteAuctions on FB last week for around $25 in the hot pink. I usually do not do the knock offs, but JCrew's baubles are just too expensive to justify considering who seldom I can wear them!

  3. I love Emily Post and can't wait to pick up the newest edition of her book! Thanks for sharing that excerpt!


  4. Wonderful advice! Emily knows best. 😉
    And the bubble necklace in hot pink?! I'm too distracted by that pretty to think about anything else now….teehee.

  5. I think the Internet Etiquette should be required reading before you are allowed a Facebook account!
    LOVE that necklace. I still have not bought a blue one, maybe the pink would do the trick!

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