Whether or not you are a nice, polite person is in the eye of the beholder. What might make one person think you’re a horrible person might not elicit even the slightest reaction in another. It usually helps your standing if you’ve known the person for a long time and consider them a friend.
I don’t claim to be the best person to ever come along (maybe third or fourth), but I always strive to be nice to a person, no matter what I think of them. I might disagree with everything they believe, and they may feel likewise about me, but I’m willing to be nice as long as they are also.
Unlike a lot of people today, and in days past (let’s be honest), I like to say “thank you” and “you’re welcome.” It seems like simple things to let escape your mouth, but I’m always astounded by the number of people who seemed shock to encounter such words.
The world is different now than it used to be and simple manners do seem to have become passe. Most people seem to not have time for anything that isn’t on a phone screen and will drop anything to see what is currently on the thing in their hands.
I have a vision of somebody winning a big prize, being presented a giant check for $10 million, maybe Publisher’s Clearing House, and they still say “Hold on” when their phone makes a sound and turn away because nothing, NOTHING, is as important as what’s on their phone.
So, how do we handle manners in the modern world? Business Insider (no outsiders allowed), recently came up with 15 questions everyone should ask themselves. Some don’t pertain to this area at all (should you keep your phone volume turned up on public transportation?), but some are universal. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Can I keep my phone on the table during a meal?
Business Insider (BI), quoting an “etiquette expert,” says no. I say yes. Sometimes it’s hard to think of something to talk about during a meal and your phone can give you some ideas. Business Insider does say if you’re by yourself, go for it.
2. Can I answer a text or call during a date?
BI says no and since I haven’t been on a date since prehistoric times when there weren’t any cellphones, I’ll agree.
3. How long can I go without answering an email?
BI says 24-48 fours. I say you better answer my email in about five minutes or I’ll question our relationship. I’m a busy man!
4. What is the proper way to address someone in an email?
BI says it depends on the person writing. If they sign their full name, use Mr. or Mrs/Miss/Ms and their last name. If they just sign their first name, think of a colorful nickname for them. They’ll love it!
7. Should I announce my engagement or pregnancy on Instagram?
BI says make sure those close to you know first, then put it on whatever social media you want. Avoid hurt feelings and you’ll get much better wedding and baby shower presents!
9. If I’m over 21, can I post photos on social media that show me drinking alcohol?
BI says it depends on the situation, but you should really proceed with caution. I think it shows you’re a raging alcoholic and can’t function in day to day life without a crutch, so I appreciate the heads up!
10. Can I send a thank you note over email?
BI says it’s the least you can do, but I think it’s fine. A thank you is a thank you.
14. Should I delete my ex on social media?
BI says if it bothers you seeing things about them, go ahead and hit unfriend, or whatever it is you do. If you truly don’t care anymore, you can keep watching and laugh at them.
There were also several dating-related manners questions, but since I’m pretty sure nobody younger than me reads my stuff, and I’m older than should be allowed, dating isn’t a very big concern. In the end, just be a nice person. And if you do walk around staring at a phone in your hand, try not to frown while you do. I mean, the double chin you give yourself in that activity is bad enough.