I have become my mother… a 21st century version.  My mother is a stickler for both proper grammar and good manners.  Her proper grammar obsession is an article in progress. The bad manners in question were my friends’ telephone and one-on-one interactions with my mother when I was growing up, as well as thank-you notes.  You can imagine how horrified she is by ‘today’s youth’ and their lack of ‘netiquette’.

I have some sympathy with her criticisms. Many people have become rude, anti-social and annoying with their smart phones and iPads.  I admit that I am guilty of a few of the transgressions listed below and it’s always good to have a refresher in good manners.

  • We’re forgetting how to actually interact face to face so put your phone away when you’re with family and friends.
  • Don’t drunk tweet, text, Instagram or email.  In fact don’t drunk-anything. We won’t respect you in the morning.
  • If you take videos or pictures of your friends and post them without their permission they will get upset.
  • Don’t pick up your phone every time you have a spare second. Your Solitaire game can wait.  Daydreaming and unstructured time is good for us. (Oops, I’ve become addicted to my backgammon game).
  • Don’t have a ridiculous or cutesy ring tone.  It’s startling to have a dog bark in the middle of a meeting.
  • If you talk on your phone while paying for something or getting out of a cab, it’s confusing to the person doing business with you. In addition, the person you’re talking to doesn’t want to be told to ‘hang on a minute’ five times.
  • Here’s the one my family always takes me to task for – don’t shout into your phone.  Yes it’s a small thing and looks like it will never convey your message, but it does a very good job without the additional volume in your voice.
  • If you are in the checkout line at a store, glancing at your phone is fine, but be ready when it is your turn to pay.  We don’t want to wait for you to finish your tweet.
  • While this is more dangerous than rude, you are taking your life in your hands if you text while walking, crossing a street or driving.  Do we really need to be reminded of this?  Given current accident statistics, apparently so.
  • It’s not a good idea to use your phone in the bathroom.  Really?  You want to know why?