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You must know the "netiquette"

  • Author:Esway
  • Source:www.eswaychina.com
  • Release on:2015-01-22

You must know the "netiquette"

Are manners dead? Cellphones and social networking may be killing off the old civilities and good graces, but a new generation of etiquette gurus is rising to make old-fashioned protocols relevant to a new generation.

Their goal: to help young people navigate thorny, tech-age minefields, like invites on social networking sites and online dating, not to mention actual face-to-face contact with people.

Perhaps the fastest growing area of social advice is what’s been termed “netiquette”. There are online tutorials on using emoticons in business e-mails, being discreet when posting on social networks and re-posting too many micro blog messages.

Young people “are getting sick of the irony and rudeness that is so prevalent in their online lives”, said Jane Pratt, editor in chief of XoJane, a women’s lifestyle website. “The return of etiquette is in part a response to the harshness of the interactions they are having in the digital sphere.”

 “Nice is very cool right now,” she added.

The social quandaries seem to be endless. Are you obligated to respond to party invitations on Sina Weibo? Is it rude to listen to your iPod while sharing a ride with someone else?

When Daniel Post Senning, the great grandson of Emily Post, a well-known etiquette writer in the US, was working on the 18th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette, he found it impossible to cover technology in a single chapter. Instead, he devoted an entire book to it, Emily Post’s Manners in a Digital World: Living Well Online.

The book tackles questions like whether one should announce a serious illness on a social networking site. (Yes, Senning said, but medical updates should be confined to close friends and family.)

Even the gurus who position themselves as the embodiment of Old World civility feel obliged to tackle 21st-century conundrums.

Charles MacPherson runs a school for butlers in Canada. In his new book The Butler Speaks, MacPherson talks about whether one may keep a cellphone on the table during a dinner party.

 “It is never OK to leave your cellphone on the dinner table,” he said. “If you must go out and anticipate a call, first inform your hostess of the situation and keep your cellphone on vibrate and in your pocket or on your lap. In the event that it does ring, excuse yourself from the table — don’t explain why, just a simple ‘excuse me’ — and leave the dining room before taking the call.”

Indeed, there is a retro allure to etiquette that appeals to 20-somethings, said Pam Krauss, a publisher of several etiquette books. “There’s a whole generation of young people for whom etiquette, much like cooking, sewing, and other ‘home arts’, was not passed down from their parents or grandparents the way it would have been in years past,” Krauss told The New York Times.

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