January 30 2013

Chew with your mouth closed, always say please and thank you, give a courtesy wave when a driver lets you in – these are the common rules of etiquette we have drilled into our brains from a young age (and often choose to ignore!). But what about those situations your mum never lectured you about that seem to arise so frequently in modern life? Here’s our updated look into the more difficult decisions associated with modern day etiquette.

Online Lifelines
Sure, the internet has given us instant access to our friends (and online shopping!), but there can be too much of a good thing. Here are our tips for politely handling some of those awkward email and social media situations.

Q. My friends always send me jokes and chains through email – there’s just too many. Should I ask them to stop?

A. Joke and chain emails don’t require a response, and the sender has probably forwarded them onto to more people they can remember so there’s no need to confront your friend. Simply move the sender into the spam folder, and if they ever ask you about it blame your email provider and busy lifestyle.

Q. A relative I’m not very close to added me on Facebook, do I have to accept?

A. It is kind to accept. Family is family, and they shouldn’t judge your lifestyle choices. If you’re still self-conscious about it, you can hide photos and your wall to limit their exposure to your life. However, unless they’re extremely un-tech savvy, they will realise and be just as hurt as if you had never accepted them in the first place.

Q. A person I don’t like invited me to her party on Facebook but I don’t want to RSVP ‘no’ and be rude. Should I just ignore it?

A. No, you should still RSVP. As Facebook has become the sole way many people communicate their events, it is still polite to RSVP as you would to a print invitation. Put yourself in the host’s shoes; if you had a party without RSVPs, can you imagine how difficult it would be to provide an adequate sized venue with enough food and money over the bar? Tell your friend you have to a prior engagement, and never click ‘maybe’ to a personal event, it screams arrogance.