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Q. I took the cutest picture of my puppy’s haircut. Is it OK to share Mr. Fluffernutter’s new ’do with my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers?
A: No, no and no. “While you should use social networking to share your new ventures and accomplishments, try not to duplicate your information from network to network. Designate different networks for different functions.”
From Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top by Dorothea Johnson and Liv Tyler
Q: A nice guy reached out to me on Match.com. But quite frankly, I’m not interested. What should I do?
A: “If someone contacts you and they aren’t your type or don’t check your boxes, don’t just ignore them. Respond to them in a way you would like to be responded to. Simply be polite and let them down gently by saying ‘Sorry, you’re out of my age range’ or ‘I’m looking for someone who lives a little closer’ and then wish them well in their continued search.”
From Emily Post’s Manners in a Digital World: Living Well Online by Daniel Post Senning
Q: Is it OK to call my husband “the absolute love of my life and super-sexy snuggle warrior” on his Facebook page?
A: Ew, no! “Intimacy is not a show for friends. The broadcast relationship helps you express to your friends that your relationships are honest, happy and meaningful. But overdoing it can rob you and your partner of intimacy, as well as annoy your friends. Intimate, beautiful moments should be kept private. Sometimes, the only person you need to ‘share’ a moment with is right next to you.”
From Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives by Randi Zuckerberg
Q: I was recently at dinner with a friend who was texting with her mom and fielding emails from her boss. Was this rude? Or just part of modern life?
A: It was rude. “As a general rule, prioritize your social interactions by their proximity to an immediate, physical connection. The person you are with face-to-face has priority over the person who is calling you. Likewise, a person on the phone takes precedence over the person who is emailing you.”
From The Forgetful Gentleman: Thirty Ways to Turn Good Intentions into Action by Nathan Tan
Q: How can I delete a contact on Facebook without causing offense?
A: You can’t. “Jane [Austen] would tell you to stick to the basic rules of good manners, and then to quietly and discreetly block the incessant updates.”
From Miss Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas by Rebecca Smith
Q: My sister-in-law sent me a Snuggie for Christmas. Will an email thank-you note suffice?
A: "Email cannot compete with the elegance of a card or note. A thank-you note should be written as promptly as possible, and even if you don’t like the gift, you should express your gratitude for the gesture."
From The Butler Speaks: A Return to Proper Etiquette, Stylish Entertaining and the Art of Good Housekeeping by Charles MacPherson
How does one politely turn down an online suitor? Can you de-friend a Facebook contact without appearing rude? What’s the deal with WRITING IN ALL CAPS?
The quandaries of modern life are as plentiful as your LinkedIn status updates.
Luckily, a handful of new etiquette books--penned by everyone from a professional butler to Liv Tyler to Jane Austen’s ghost--are helping to solve your burning questions about manners.
Check out the slideshow for some particularly useful tips, then nab the books for old-school instructions to newfangled conundrums.
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