A recent article featured in the Guardian by Alex Hern entitled ‘Never get high on your own supply’ delved into why social media bosses don’t use social media. Reading that the very people who invented these social sites and strongly promote them don’t use them might be a surprise to many.

Social media has such a strong presence in our culture today, so it's quite astonishing that the ‘founding fathers’ of social media object to using it. What do they know that we don’t?

#1 social media influences how we feel about ourselves and the world we live in

#2 it is compulsive and addictive

#3 we have no idea what the repercussions of using social will be

The article shares that the people who created these social platforms know all of this and they use it to their advantage.

Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, exclaimed that he is “a conscientious objector” to social media at a conference this past October. Parker  is sounding the alarm to the dangers of social media and the deliberate ways that social networks do everything in their power to keep us coming back, even at the risk of hurting our brains.

The common understanding of what is considered appropriate has been drastically morphed over the years. Just log on to any social media site and you can immediately see the bullying and spewing of disrespectful rhetoric about race, politics, religion and everything in between. Could this transformation have to do with social media?

A recent national survey reported that an astonishing 75 percent of Americans believe that incivility has risen to crisis levels. Many people believe that technology plays a central role in the decline of good manners.

Stories of individuals being fired and even arrested for things they have said on social media sites have amounted to the thousands.  In late 2007, The American School of Protocol was asked to write the 'Dos and Don'ts of Using Technology and Social Media' into our Etiquette Certification curriculum because social media classes were in high demand. 

Technology and social media have reshaped the understanding and awareness of etiquette. Personal interaction is now being replaced with screen time, texts, online classes, dms, snapchats, and so on. And we are only just beginning to see the effects this has on our society. 

Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, said “Technology by itself doesn’t want to be good and it doesn’t want to be bad either. It takes humans to make sure that the things that you do with it are good.”

Since including our initial 'Dos and Don'ts of Using Technology and Social Media'' into our syllabus, we have written extensively on this topic to help educate others.  New content has been added every year and we ultimately had to give 'Technology and Communication' its own section in our training manual. 

"We are doing our best to combat the problem, but it would be easier if we had more support", says The American School of Protocol Founder, Peggy Newfield. Her words to those who want to listen,"Be aware of what you post, how you respond, and what you read. Social media already takes up much of our time and energy, don't let it take your dignity." 

Texting EtiquetteIs it ok to send a text message to your boss?  What about colleagues and clients?

There are few things to consider before sending a text message to your colleagues, clients or even your boss. Here's the list of what to think about before pressing send.

Consider your environment If you work in an informal work environment, then sending a text message may be appropriate. If you work in a professional setting, then sending a text message to reply about a business related matter, may come off as strange and unprofessional. It depends on the nature of the message and to whom you are sending the message. If you are unsure, then stick to communicating the information in an e-mail or by phone.

Keep it professional Even though it is only a text message, it is still part of a work conversation. Write in complete sentences and use proper grammar.

Texting EtiquetteHigh importance and texting don’t mix well In business, if it is important, then it should not be communicated via text message. Don't communicate big, imperative decisions through text messaging. Anything that requires important details and multiple back and forth communications is best left to e-mail, phone calls or face-to-face meetings.

Don’t send bad news It may be convenient or easy to give someone a heads-up via text, but it can be perceived as insensitive and too casual.

Hold off on the abbreviations and emoticons You don’t want your message to seem like you were in a rush to send it or to come off as being too unprofessional .

Businessman Texting During Meeting In OfficeThink about your tone Like any written work communication, read and think about how your words sound.

Don't send a novel If your message takes up more than three sentences, then sending this lengthy message by text should be out of the question.

Reread and reread Before you send a text message, reread it. Autocorrect and voice-to-text can create some horrible misunderstandings, so always proofread your messages.

 

????????????We live in a society filled with new and expanding technology. While new technology can be exciting, it can also create a barrier and take away from real world interactions. Here are list of ways to make sure that technology is not making you rude.

Trolling- This is a new term that has arisen due to the anonymity of the internet. Just because the internet gives you the ability to speak up and to hide your real identity does not mean that you can bully others. Remember the golden rule, if you would not say it directly to the person then do not say it all.

Thank You Letters- There is no doubt that technology has made communication much easier. However, thank you notes should not be written in text messages and on Facebook. If you need to thank someone then make an effort to write a hand written note and if that is not possible then send an email. Hand written notes are highly regarded and show appreciation.

???????????????????????????Interruptions- Just because you have a gadget that can make noises does not mean that you should have it on loud 24/7. Before going into a movie or a meeting make sure your phone is silenced. These interruptions are small but can carry a large impact.

Lateness- It is unacceptable to be late. We all know that things happen and that sometime we come across unfortunate circumstances. However, it is not acceptable to constantly rely on  text messages to say your running behind or to make excuses.

????????????????????????????Human Interaction- Do not let technology replace human interaction. Just because technology makes it easier to reach out to people and to connect does not mean that you should do away with human interaction. Whether or not you are with friends, family, or colleagues make sure that you are present. Live in the moment that you are in.

Technology is wonderful, but do not let it make a negative impact. Keep these tips in mind to make sure that technology is not making you rude.

A common understanding of etiquette has been drastically morphed over the years.   It seems as though today’s younger generation is characterized by rudeness, compared to traditional standards of etiquette. Many people believe that technology plays a central role in the decline of good manners and the media agrees.

Talkin on the Phone During Dinner

The integration of technology and social media into nearly each and every act of interpersonal communication, particularly among young people, is changing the common understanding of what is considerate behavior and what is inappropriate. The less face-time people have with others, the less accountable they are for their behavior.  If someone is rude or inappropriate online, they may never have to answer for their behavior in-person.  It is difficult to understand the virtual implications of inconsiderate treatment.

With mobile technology, people can expand their social circles and connect instantaneously with anyone.  While the number of friends we have may be increasing, often the quality of those friendships, particularly with those people we actually do see face-to-face, is declining. The more time people spend expanding their circle of friends online, the less time they spend cultivating healthy and satisfying relationships in person.

Mobile communications and social media have re-shaped the understanding and awareness of etiquette both virtually and in-person.  Have you ever been invited to spend time with someone, then been ignored by that person because they were texting or calling others?  If so you have witnessed the effects of technology on interpersonal communication. The Internet, mobile devices, and social media are critical to us and for businesses.

Don’t ever forget that face to face interactions are just as important.  Make the goal of your day focus on kindness, courtesy and consideration for everyone you meet – virtually and in-person.