Checking text messages, responding to texts and emails and sending a tweet or adding a Facebook status are all actions often seen at the dinner table, in a meeting or at a movie theater. However, proper manners state taking to social media during those times is a no-no.
Using smartphones or electronic devices has led to parents ignoring children and vice versa.
Social etiquette is sometimes ignored in the world of technology, but Colleen Rickenbacher, co-founder of Global Protocol, Etiquette & Civility Academy, says no one should allow their electronic devices to take over life.
“When you enter a meeting, church, funeral, school, a restaurant, pull into a drive-through (fast-food, bank or check out in a store) or just meeting a friend, turn it off,” she said.
Rickenbacher says the goal is hopefully to focus on that other person or meeting and not to the message.
A problem she sees and addresses in her book “Be On Your Best Teen Behavior” is texting or emailing versus a face-to-face conversation.
“People will text another person when they are within walking distance from them,” Rickenbacher said. “It is more comfortable for them to text than to talk.”
She says people are much more daring when they type a message as opposed to a face-to-face conversation, even to the point of being rude and unkind. For some, the typed word is much easier than confronting or addressing a situation in person.
Where is the line drawn when it comes to airplane and restaurant? According to Rickenbacher, people feel the need to talk three times louder on a plane and in a restaurant. They also feel the need to share all the details about their evening, romance and all personal matters just before take-off and landing on a plane or while sitting in a restaurant.
Airplane conversations should be brief, quiet, relate to your arrivals and departures and those last-minute necessary business talks. Keep all those personal matters to yourself until you’re out of the airport and in the privacy of your car.
Restaurant conversations should be with the person next to you. If you’re by yourself, then enjoy the food and read a book. Please don’t interrupt the people at the next table with your constant loud conversation on your phone.
Here are her tips for dealing with a rude person at a movie theater:
· Never confront a person that’s using improper language, talking loud or even continues to use their electrical device during a program/show once they have been asked to turn off all electrical devices
· If possible, go to the manager of the store, movie, theater or venue and ask them to handle the situation. They have the authority and can take the necessary steps
· If you approach this person, generally they will not accept your suggestion to soften their voice, turn off their machine or to stop using any profanity (no matter how kind you are in your request). This request may only escalate the situation
· I also suggest that once you make the request with the management that you run back to your seat so the person has no idea who reported them to the management
Tips for texting or sending emails for business versus for pleasure:
· Please know that there’s a big difference between a professional business email and a fun and friendly text
· A business email should always begin with “Hello and their name” and continue with proper grammar and spelling, punctuation, complete sentences and words
· A text to a friend should be brief, to the point and can contain words that can be abbreviated to one or several letters
· Never, ever confuse the two
Tips for handling cyberbullying:
· Report it instantly at school or at work (HR)
· Offer help, professional help
· The biggest offenders are 12 to14-year-old girls
· Once it starts it’s hard to stop.
· Generally it starts very innocently and then grows quickly
· It can quickly get out of control and destroy a person, which can be devastating