Modern Manners 101: Basic Etiquette For the 21st Century
Etiquette2 Minutes Read

Modern Manners 101: Basic Etiquette For the 21st Century

July 27, 2023 Share

Mastering Modern Manners: Navigating Digital Etiquette, Social Media Savvy, and Workplace Decorum for a Harmonious Life.

Manners, etiquette, and grace may seem like relics of the past, something your grandmother would have lovingly nagged you about. She must have reminded you often enough, because you know the drill like the back of your hand: forks to the left, knives to the right, no elbows on the table, and chew with your mouth closed… These classic guidelines have stood the test of time. What your grandmother might have not been so well equipped in teaching you, however, is how to navigate the modern equivalent of a sit-down dinner, which in today’s fast-paced, tech-driven world, comes with a whole new set of challenges. Most of which, your social-etiquette expert grandmother, wouldn’t even know how to begin uncovering. For her sake and for yours, let’s dive into the very basics.

Image courtesy of Benjamin Salvatore

1. The Art of Digital Communication

Texting is no book writing, and you might find yourself wondering just how casual a conversation with your boss over text can actually be. The safest option will always prevail; cordial, but not casual. Limit your use of emojis, capitalise your sentences and steer clear of abbreviations. This is not your best friend you are texting, but the person in charge of paying your salary at the end of the month.

Likewise, make sure you are weary of your profile picture, particularly if you are dealing with clients through your personal mobile. A photo of you drunk at a night out might not cause the best impression on that business deal of yours, unless you’re striking one with a Vodka company. In that case (and in that case only), perhaps it’s a win.

2. Social Media Savvy

Social media has become an integral part of our lives, but it’s essential to use it responsibly. Be mindful of what you post and consider how it might be perceived by others, particularly if you have made the questionable (but understandable, everyone likes to snoop) decision of adding your boss. Avoid sharing overly personal or controversial content that could offend or hurt someone’s feelings, and remember, just because you have the option to post something doesn’t mean you have to. Sometimes, it’s best to keep certain thoughts to ourselves.

3. Respect Personal Boundaries

In this interconnected world, it’s easy to forget about personal space and boundaries, which can negatively impact how your manners get perceived. When interacting with others, whether online or in person, always respect their privacy and personal boundaries. Avoid prying into someone’s personal life or asking intrusive questions, as it can make them feel uncomfortable or violated. Remember, even if you stalked them online and know everything about their 2008 vacation to Mykonos, its best to feign ignorance and ask them about it instead.

4. Mind Your Phone Usage

We’ve all been guilty of this at some point: checking our phones during conversations or social gatherings. While our devices are incredibly useful, they can also be distracting and disrespectful. When engaged in face-to-face conversations, put your phone on silent or vibrate mode and give the person in front of you your full attention. It shows that you value their company and what they have to say.

5. R-E-S-P-E-C-T at the Workplace

Office etiquette is crucial for a harmonious and productive work environment. Always be respectful to your colleagues and superiors, both in person and through digital channels. Avoid using all caps in emails (it comes across as shouting) and refrain from sending non-work-related messages during business hours. If you’re not sure about the appropriateness of a joke or comment, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

6. RSVP – A Small but Mighty Acronym

When it comes to social events, RSVP is your new best friend. Responding promptly to invitations shows respect for the host’s efforts and helps them plan accordingly. Even if you can’t attend, a simple decline is much appreciated. And remember, showing up fashionably late might be acceptable in some situations, but it’s always better to arrive on time.

7. The Power of ‘Thank You’

In a world full of emails and text messages, a handwritten thank-you note can go a long way. Whether it’s for a gift, a favor, or a job interview, taking the time to write a heartfelt thank-you shows gratitude and appreciation. It’s a small gesture that can leave a lasting impression.

8. Handling Conflicts Gracefully

Conflicts are bound to happen, but it’s essential to address them with grace and maturity when it comes to displaying impeccable manners. Avoid engaging in heated arguments online, as things can quickly escalate and become hurtful. If you have an issue with someone, try discussing it privately and respectfully. Keeping the lines of communication open and calm can often lead to resolution and a better understanding of each other’s perspectives.

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Author: Avery Echo
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