Posts tagged ‘Etiquette’

March 13, 2011

Textually Active

Before I get to some texting tips I wanted to mention that the more I continue with this blog the more I’m finding that I seem to be focusing less on things that are rude/impolite and more on that which is just downright annoying. Then again, maybe avoidance of obnoxious behavior is the way to be polite nowadays…Just a random thought.


WARNING – The following might be a tad persnickety.

-Autocorrect-
Sometimes I don’t mind that my cell phone wants to predict what I want or will correct my mistakes for me. Other times, technology works against you. Just take half a second more to proofread your texts.

-Fwds-
I love a good joke as much as the next person but unless it is gut-bustingly funny, pass on forwarding it to everyone on your contact list. Along the same vein, stop chain letters in their tracks.

-One word responses-
Just no. I’m not advocating entire full blown conversations via text but there are few things more aggravating then getting a text that only says things like:

  • k/kay/ok.
  • ya.
  • lol.

You might as well come out and say that you don’t want to talk to me.

-Timely Responses-
I understand that people get busy and that you can’t possibly spend all of your time texting, but try to respond in a timely manner. This is especially true if you’re the one to initiate the conversation. On the other hand, keep in mind that sometimes a response isn’t needed least you get that pesky one word response.

-When/Where-
I’m terribly guilty of being on my phone while I’m with friends and it isn’t the way to go. Put the phone away when in social situations – pay attention to the people around you (especially on dates). Also, text in appropriate places. Obviously during a movie isn’t one. Keep the “Bathroom Rule” in mind.

-While Driving-
Another thing you simply don’t do. This isn’t even about manners, it’s about safety. Nothing is so important that you need to endanger your life or the lives of others.

-With a Purpose-
There is nothing wrong with shooting the breeze with someone but I find the “Hey. Hi. Done.” conversations to be useless.

-Under the Influence-
I know the old adage that a drunken man’s words are a sober man’s fault, but put the phone away while you’re intoxicated. Very few good things come from drunk texting. (Despite what Texts From Last Night and My Drunk Texts want you to believe. It’s only funny when it isn’t happening to you.)

-Sexting-
Who you text and what you text should be private. Always ensure that any explicit content is wanted by the other party. Remember that you never actually know who might have possession of that phone. Beware of unintended recipients.

-Mass Texting-
Just because communicating with each other is easier, that doesn’t mean it should be any less personal. I appreciate wishing me a happy holiday, but some of the sincerity is taken away when you send the same message to everyone.

February 20, 2011

Beware the Fail Whale

Twitter's Fail Whale

Fail Whale actually refers to the above image – displayed (with unmitigated frequency in the past) to alert Twitter users that the site was over capacity. Sarah Perez offers a fuller Story of the Fail Whale.

For my purposes, I’m defining a fail whale as a user who disregards the following rules/commandments for proper Twitter usage. As always the Twitter etiquette (Twitequette) are my beliefs and the compilation of prevailing opinions. Hopefully these will help users avoid not only other fail whales but prevent them from becoming fail whales themselves.

I. Be You – If you’re going to be a fake say so, but it is probably better to leave the parodying to the big boys – Lord Voldemort, DaggumRoy, etc.

II. Always leave them wanting more – You don’t have to post everything (or anything at all). Don’t forsake real face to face conversation.

III. Direct Messaging – Avoid direct messaging people you don’t know. Messages from strangers are typically unwanted, as are mass messages and automatic messages.

IV. Following/Unfollowing – Unfollowing is a bit less intense than defriending, so don’t feel obligated to continue to follow people. Just because somebody follows you doesn’t mean you have to follow them.

V. Think Before You Tweet – Once it’s gone. It’s gone. You can’t get back what you tweet, even if you delete it. (The Library of Congress is archiving all public Tweets). Don’t put your digital foot in your mouth and shy away from twit-fights.

Generally –

  • Everything in moderation (tweets, RTs, @s, #s).
  • Spam is bad.
  • Time and place are everything. You wouldn’t tweet from a funeral would you?
  • Be mindful of the 140 character limit. You’ll have to keep your content short & concise. Modified grammar rules just for Twitter can help.
  • Be weary of the mob mentality. Just because everybody else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to do it too.
  • Don’t perpetuate wrong or unverified news like the death of celebrities.

For more check out:

10 Commandments of Twitter Usage

Tweeterland – How to Use Twitter

Margaret Mason – 14 Ways to Use Twitter Politely

9 Essentials of Twitter Etiquette

What rules would you give for proper Twitter Etiquette?

(Fail Whale Picture via All Things Paper, shared via Creative Commons.)

February 13, 2011

Digi-Dating

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cartoon couple cuddled, looking at a heart

Plenty of Fish, E-Harmony, Match.com, etc. Those websites might be familiar to you as popular dating websites. That list, however, is far from complete – the number of dating sites is exhaustive, each offering to serve specific needs (JDate – “The Premier Jewish Community Online for Dating Jewish Singles,” for instance). The prevalence of those sites and others has even sparked interest in academia.

In addition to the websites to help you find a date, there is no shortage of ways to communicate with that date digitally – texting, instant messaging, emailing, skyping. It certainly is easier to keep in touch with others, butwhether or not technology’s influence on matters of the heart will ultimately be positive remains to be seen. What about new dating dilemmas? That, however, isn’t exactly the question I’m looking to answer. I’m more concerned about how to stay cordial in the face of ever changing tools of communication.

Traditional social codes have been supplanted by choices, risks and uncertainties that are a component of the consumer society. – Anthony Giddens as cited in “The Formation of Social Rules for Digital Interactions

Kristina Grish’s book The Joy of Text – Dating, Mating, and Techno-Relating, is interested in just that – how the rules of etiquette having changed. Her advice does seem to be geared solely to women. Sorry fellas. A more balanced approach may be found on the Dating Digital Podcast.

FINDING A DATE ON A DATING SITE

  • Have a good idea of what you’re looking for. Romance, Friendship, or something else.
  • Be upfront about who you are. Don’t “fudge” personal details or be misleading.
  • There is no need to post all of your personal information.
    • After you send something out, you don’t have control over who sees it or how it is dealt with.
  • Don’t feel obligated to go on a date with every person that shows interest.
  • Avoid stalking.

ON A DATE

  • Keep an open mind.
  • Don’t call or text excessively. Focus on your date – not your technology (phone, iPod, etc).
  • Be respectful of your date’s concerns, opinions, and beliefs.

GENERAL TIPS

  • Don’t rely only on texting, emailing, and the like if you can help it.
  • Understand that tone can be lost in the text format.
  • Lack of instant responses doesn’t mean lack of interest. Be patient.
  • Keep the details of your relationship off Facebook if you want that information private.
  • Don’t update your social media with disparaging things. If you have an issue, go directly to your partner.
  • Break up in person. (Unless your situation makes this impossible).
  • Beware of sexting –

The act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs, primarily between mobile phones – Wikipedia.

¤ Keep these private. (A friend of mine gave me her old phone and forgot to delete a few texts of a rather personal nature).

¤ Make sure the recipient actually wants content of a sexually explicit nature.

Caroline Giegerich also wrote an article for Huffington Post with more helpful tips. Nobody wants technology to sabotage their relationship.

♥ The main thing to remember is to be yourself and be open & honest.


(Graphic via The Digital Scratch Pad, shared via Creative Commons)


February 6, 2011

To Unfriend or not to Unfriend

Unfriending or defriending has often been hailed as one of the major Facebook don’ts. To unfriend/defriend means to remove (delete) a user from a social networking site. It’s dominant use is in conjunction with Facebook. In the interest of full disclosure, I will state that I unfriend Facebook friends regularly. Every couple of months, I go through my friends list and make cuts where I see fit. I keep my friend list right around 300 people. Most, however,  find unfriending to be petty and passive aggressive. I agree that the action can be quite rude when done impulsively and/or for the wrong reasons.

There are however, some general guidelines to follow while using Facebook. A quick Google search of “Facebook Etiquette” will yield several pages of results. YourTango even offers the following video :

The following tips are a compilation of my own opinions.

FRIENDING

  • Don’t feel obligated to add everyone who requests to be your friend.
  • By the same token, you don’t have to add everyone you know. Finding your best from kindergarten doesn’t necessitate cyber friendship.
  • If a friend is using Facebook in a way you disagree with (updating too often for example), then try to hide them before completely removing them.
  • Don’t be afraid of the Great Facebook Purge, but be weary of trivial removals.
  • Give yourself a least a day before friending people you’ve just met.

PHOTOS

  • Respect requests for photos to be taken down.
  • Tag your friends with caution.
  • Be conscious of taking pictures that may eventually end up on Facebook. If you won’t be proud of the content later, don’t take the picture.
  • Cropping and captioning will improve how your pictures look.
  • There is no need to have repeats of pictures. One is enough.
  • Be courteous and sincere when commenting.
  • Don’t use pictures without permission.

UPDATING YOUR STATUS

  • Do so with a purpose. There probably isn’t a reason to update more than 3 times a day.
  • Don’t be cryptic or use your statuses as a conduit for passive aggressiveness.
  • Credit quotes and music lyrics.

GENERAL TIPS

  • Know and understand your privacy settings.
  • Utilize lists (for coworkers, family members, exes, etc).
  • Don’t comment on a friend’s conversation with a person you don’t know.
  • Limit lengthy photo comment and wall posts conversations.
  • Nobody likes spam. (Games, messages, group requests, etc).
  • Try to avoid profanity/crude jokes on other people’s walls. You never know who might have access.
  • Facebook is a public website. Keep personal information to a minimum.
  • Take conflicts offline. Otherwise the fall-out may be disastrous (or spawn out of control and make you look foolish).

Hopefully this list makes your Facebook experience more enjoyable. And if all else fails, you can always deactivate.