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The Beauty of Modern Manners

11 September, 2017 - 10:26pm by - Head Pixie | 16 Comments

By BR Kellie

A fair few moons ago we did a series on etiquette and manners, because we're a big fan of both at BRHQ. There's something wonderful about a person who is considerate of others, who effortlessly makes people feel at ease not because of what they say but because of what they do, how they act. Of course times change and the introduction of technology has seen the way we act, or interact, with each other change as well. But with all the apps and social media and mobile phones and tablets, we believe there's still room for good old fashion etiquette and manners... 

You know what's so right about the above picture? You've three women enjoying a meal and there's not a mobile phone to be seen. They're there to talk to each other. Not to wonder if their latest Instagram picture has been liked. If their tweet is going viral. They're engaged, they're enjoying themselves, they're being present. Keep mobile phone's off tables when socialising. The only time it's okay to keep the phone out is if you're waiting for an important phone call. Say your partner is due to go into labour. Or you're waiting for a call to find out about a job. Or someone you love dearly is unwell and you're waiting for important news. But be sure to explain to your dining or coffee partner why the phone's out before you just plunk it on the table. 

Another phone no-no? Talking on the phone while you're being served by someone. Doesn't matter if it's at the supermarket or in a retail store. If the conversation is that important hang about in an aisle and finish it before taking your purchases to the counter. Customer service is a tough job at the best of times, the least you can do as a customer is smile, say hello and perhaps even ask after their day. 

Your friend has left their mobile on the table. Or their laptop open. Here's how to be a good pal - don't take that as an opportunity to screw round with their social media. ****Side note - if their social media is open and available you didn't hack it. Hacking requires a bit more stealth and sneakiness. If it's open and you posted something all you've done is abuse your friends trust.**** Don't create a 'funny' derogatory post. Don't write a witticism that isn't really. Don't take it as an opportunity to go through their DMs or to send something to someone pretending it's from them. 

On that note. If they're on a dating app or site, don't play cupid. Back away from the swiping. Don't go left or right on their behalf. Don't message somone on a dating site that you think they might like pretending to be them. Leave love, or good old fashioned lust, in the hands of the actual Cupid.

While I'm on the love bandwagon - Don't use your friend's phone to text their ex on their behalf. And don't block them on their behalf either. Even if you think it's for the best. It's their life, they need to figure stuff out themselves.

When you meet someone for the first time, whether it's in your social circle or in your line of work, what do you do? Do you greet them, maybe offer a hand to shake or an 'it's nice to meet you', or do you launch into a series of demands about what you require from them? Chances are you'd at least introduce yourself and go about some sort of social nicety. The same should be done when emailing someone for the first time. Whether it's a customer service person via Facebook Messaging, a colleague in another part of the country or the world, or an acquaintance you need to get in touch with regarding a mutal friend's surprise birthday. You don't have to gush and best friend them up, but a simple 'Hi so-and-so, how are you/nice-to-eMeet-you followed by what you need will suffice.

How good is Facetime? Or video calling through Facebook messaging? Or Skype? I remember watching Beyond 2000 when I was a kid and they talked about being able to see people while chatting to them on the phone and I thought it was a) amazing and b) never going to happen for us average folk. Well, colour me wrong. These days we can talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time (as long as our data holds out...), which is a great thing. Except for when it's not. That mother with her three young kids sitting one table over in the cafe does not need to hear you tell the friend you're video-calling about your sexy exploits from the night before, while your friends shrill laugh screeches into the cafe. The people on the bus don't need to hear you rant and rail and use every swear word in the book to your partner about what your horrible boss did to you that day, while your partner wholeheartedly agrees while swearing loudly back. 

As always, manners/etiquette, whether old school or modern, are about being aware of your surroundings, and being respectful of those you're sharing space with. A little thoughtfulness can go a long way to making the world a smilier place.

So do tell, what are your thoughts on etiquette and manners in this digital age? Is there anything that gets your goat? Are you guilty of any of the above? Do you dare confess? Chat away...

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I think some people put on a persona when they're online and think no one knows who they are behind the screen. I guess a general rule would be to not say anything you wouldn't say to someone's face.

I get really irritated when I am out with a group and people keep answering their phone -OK if are waiting for something urgent but hey guys how about enjoying the current company. The public transport one is annoying too for personal stuff however can be a laugh listening to the rubbish that seems so important to the caller.

People walking and texting and not watching where they are going! So dumb. Also people constantly on the phone like it is attached to them.

I have to agree on all of the above! It's not hard to be polite, and manners are definitely not a thing of the past. I even still stop myself from talking on my phone on a normal phone call on the bus. It really does irk me when people aren't aware of their environment, especially if it means pushing or not watching where you're going.

I absolutely hate it when you constantly check your phone or text while hanging out or at an event like a dinner. It gives the impression that my company is somehow unsatisfactory and you would rather be somewhere else. Or when I'm talking to you and your eyes constantly flick to your phone.

So true - rude so rude.

12th September, 2017 at 5:27 pm

I hardly see manners these days. I would love to see it more.

I think the level of manners I grew up with is long gone. I think people with impeccable manners sound really classy.

Omg drives me bonkers when you are out with someone or you have finally managed to catch up on a rare occasion and they are on their phone most of the time. Gone are the days when you can actually have a conversation that doesn't include some digital device. But then there are positives too - wouldn't have been introduced to you lovelies, met friends online that have been good friends with for years and being able to keep in contact with my family in the UK. There is a time and a place x

Totally agree on all accounts. I especially hate it when people write posts etc on someone else's account.

One thing I have become aware of (witness as regular occurrence) in recent times in hands free... if you are using a hands free set and start talking as you walk towards others don't be surprised if random people start answering you in reply... they have no idea you're on the phone :/

There is a time and place for phones and all they bring, also there is no excuse for bad manners and being rude!

My pet peeve is if you are talking to someone and their phone gives them a notification beep or something small like a text and they instantly give it their full attention just ignoring you or giving you the basic grunts while you talk. No excuse me or I should answer this right away could you give me a minute. Or maybe the phone rings and they take the call which is fine but then they just leave and don't come back and acknowledge you were talking to them or give you a brief explanation if there's something they need to do urgently in regards to the call but they give you a time they'll be back to talk.

It is the digital age. Don't get me wrong if you are waiting for an important call or message I understand if you need your phone out. But if you are going to a restaurant or cafe or a catch up with friends it completely defies the purpose of a social interaction outing if you are just going to play on your phone.

I go on dates with my fiance and we go out to dinner and I just want to talk to him we do not need a phone to check reddit/fb/messenger etc. We were sitting next to another couple who were also out for a dinner date and they were both on their phones not even talking to each other. I thought it was so sad. It's a time to talk, make eye contact and strengthen your bond together but I feel like it can widen gaps in a relationship.

Oh jeeze I would never go through someone else's phone, how rude and disrespectful of someone's privacy! I'm guilty of sitting there messing around on my phone when I'm in company of friends and family though.. I know better, but everyone does it, right??

I totally agree! People have become disconnected from each other in this digital world. I find it frustrating when a friend contacts me to catch up, only to have them on their phone when we meet up.


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