It used to be that simply saying ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ or smiling and holding the door for someone would travel a long way on the polite path. Miss Manners’ business was booming because people were so concerned with appearances. However, the fine art of etiquette doesn’t seem to be as highly regarded as it once was by yesterday’s Miss Manners.
So, I thought, “what would today’s Miss Manners have to say about etiquette these days? Does it stop with social media? What about texting and email?”
Allow me the demonstrate:
How many times have you been in the middle of a conversation and the person you are talking to looks at their phone to check a missed call, send a text or check in on the new Facebook notification they received? Miss Manners’ take: That device is a choke chain. Don’t pull it out unless there is something truly urgent happening.
On the topic of dirty laundry, Miss Manners would like to know when your’s become a public affair? She is certainly against the airing of said soiled garments in regular settings, so when did it become ok to do it over social media so your whole network of friends, and their friends’ friends, can make it their business? Miss Manners’ verdict: I didn’t join this social network thing to read about your problems. How about being positive?
Next topic: driving. Since when did driving become all about you? I’m sure we all have experienced it – some jerk keeps swerving into your lane. It’s 2 pm on a Tuesday, so you hope this poor sap hasn’t already had a few too many. No surprise – he’s on his cell phone, yapping away, not giving a hoot that he’s almost creamed your car about a half a dozen times. Miss Manners’s take: What would your mother think? She would probably say, “I didn’t raise my kid to have such a lack of respect for another’s life and safety.” Put the phone down. I’m sure your social life emergency can wait another 10-15 minutes until you – and those around you – arrive safely at their destination.
Subject: Friending. Did I friend you only so you could stalk me? You know you have been there, admit it. Someone you don’t quite know has requested your friendship but you don’t know them that well, if at all. Or, maybe it’s that girl you kind of know but she’s friends with your best guy friend and maybe she’s only friending you to see how close you all really are. Do you have to friend them? Miss Manners’ take: If you don’t know someone, don’t friend them. Okay, that’s a little harsh – if you are worried about someone being mad at you for ignoring their request, put them on the limited view profile list. Call the list ‘Your mom,’ or ‘Your dad.’ Call it whatever you want, just know you aren’t horrible if you only allow someone you don’t know that well to see the bare minimum about you, if anything at all.
The grand spectacle of the sporting world — the Olympics — has, after a year of delay and confusing information, come and gone. But now