Back when I was growing up, there were no cell phones, there was no Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, let alone did we even have computers! So how do we learn and deal with these things called TECHNOLOGY that are ever evolving? I know for me, and I’ve said it before, I am learning as I go. But thankfully, my sweet friend Carey Sue Vega, etiquette expert, is here to help me and all of us.
Carey Sue and I met a few years ago when my daughter went through the Cotillion program. But Carey Sue goes beyond teaching our kids. She is an etiquette expert, a modern day “Miss Manners” and has a business called Expeditions in Etiquette, that involves not only classes for our youth, but classes for adults, both individually and as groups and on the corporate level. She is a former cruise ship director (you read right!! isn’t that SO cool???), now with her own business in manners, social skills and etiquette education. Isn’t that VERY cool?
So I asked Carey Sue to give us some tips, pointers, advice on technology as we know it today. There is some VERY interesting info here you should take a look at, especially FEEDBACK from the younger generation!
Carey Sue, take it away!
When it comes to technology, texting and social media; you often hear adults referring to others misusing their smart phones as “those kids”. Wellllll, we polled the students in our program last season and asked them to share the technology “don’ts” they find most offensive. We found their responses quite interesting and thought you would too.
The following list is compiled of comments from our 6th, 7th and 8th grade students:
– Table texting
– Parents texting while kids are talking to them
– Texting and Driving
– Parents texting you (the child) while you’re both at home
– Parents texting during events like movies and church
– Parents having loud ringtones that draw attention
– Parents using text lingo wrong
– Parents constantly checking Facebook
– Responding to a text with one word – or not at all
– Students texting while in class
From the looks of this list, it appears as though the technology gaffes don’t have as many generational boundaries as some of us may assume.
Here are some other tips that might be helpful to us ‘big kids’.
– Don’t post or tweet openly about party details as others who were not included will feel left out (this goes for both ‘big’ and ‘little’ kids).
– Ask your host before tweeting or sharing pictures from an event where you are attending as a guest.
– When dining out, if you would like to take a picture of your food to share with others via social media, do it quickly and nonchalantly, without interrupting the conversation at the table, and wait to post it until after you’ve left the venue.
– If someone doesn’t follow you back, don’t worry about it. They may not check their social media on a daily basis, and it may take them awhile. And of course, don’t ‘ask’ them to follow you. You’ll look like a creeper!
– On that same note, if someone ‘unfollows’ you. Let it go. And if you have an app that tells you who is following you and who unfollows you? Stop looking at it!!! You’ll make yourself crazy! Focus on you being you and engaging with your community! That’s what’s most important!
– Don’t like every single photo. It diminishes the value of the action.
– Don’t flood the feed with ‘selfies’. A selfie is ok every once in a while. But not daily. And yes, parents/adults are posting selfies! They did add ‘selfie’ to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013 in case you missed it.
– Don’t forget to identify yourself in a text to someone who may not have your number stored in his or her phone.
– Go easy on the group texts. Only use them when absolutely necessary. No one likes to have their phone blowing up with group text chats flying back and forth over something trivial. You feel as though you’re being held hostage in a conversation you can’t escape!
– Make sure your subject line is good. It will be your first impression to the recipient.
– Use a greeting; don’t jump right in before saying Hello.
– Proofread, proofread, and proofread again! And don’t hit send until you proofread. Did I mention you need to proofread?
– Be as concise as possible in your text. Try not to ramble and overstate your request or point.
– Reply. When someone sends you an email, reply to let them know you received it.
– If the reply requires answers to questions, make sure you answer all questions addressed in the original message.
– Keep up with your inbox. Try to respond within 24-48 hours to all messages.
– Sometimes emails get lost. If you have not heard back from someone who you sent a message to after a few days. Resend it with a brief message along the lines of ‘checking to make sure this landed in your inbox.’
– Respond to the message in the form it was sent: Call = Call, Email = Email, Text = Text. Or go ‘up’ a level in your response. By going ‘down’ it appears as though you are avoiding the person.
Yes, we all have our smart phones and tablets with us at all times. But we need to remember to focus 100% of our attention on the people in front of us. Especially when we are eating, put the technology down. Mealtimes are a great time to connect and share via good old-fashioned ‘face-time’. Don’t let technology disconnect your relationships.
And if you have a teen or tween, check out this article for more information on what apps you need to know about: Teens, Tweens and Apps you need Monitor!