Manners in a Digital World

Monday, April 22, 2013

Daniel Post Senning gives advice on how to behave in the digital world. His book Emily Post’s Manners in a Digital World explains how to appropriately handle a breakup announcement on social media, what makes for the best—and the worst—online comment, how to maintain privacy and security for online profiles and accounts, how parents and children can establish digital house rules, and the appropriate, low-maintenance ways to separate personal and professional selves online.


Daniel Post Senning

Comments [23]

The Internet is like the Wild, Wild West thus, some people on the Internet have an itchy trigger finger. Therefore, I suggest that you create a program to create Internet Witnesses and Internet Referees. This is part of how this program works; if you do not want someone to contact you, you should tell him/her so directly instead of having someone contact him/her on your behalf; it is extremely rude therefore, the Internet Witness and the Internet Referee work at least like this; Person A tells Person B that if Person B wants person A to stop sending Person B email or in any other way contact Person B, that person B must tell Person A so directly instead of having someone contact Person A on Person B's behalf, this message is automatically cc'd to the Internet Witness and the Internet Referee, if Person B responds to this message that is sent by Person A, this message is automatically cc'd to the Internet Witness and the Internet Referee thus, by having Internet Witnesses and
Internet Referees, it thus avoids misunderstandings and false accusations made between people who have communicated with each other through e-mail or any other part of the Internet. All Internet Witnesses and Internet Referees must refrain from embarrassing people who have embarrassing secrets like, for example, the fact that a 15 year old boy, a 15 year old girl, a 25 year old man, or a 25 year old woman goes to sleep with a teddy bear. Internet Witnesses and Internet Referees should be civilians and the Internet Witness and Internet Referee program should obtain authorization from all governments in the USA and all other countries who would like the adopt the program. Furthermore, all people who contact the Internet Witnesses and the Internet Referees and people who are contacted by someone who cc's the message to the Internet Witnesses and the Internet Referees should provide proof of identity and proof of age.
There is a great need to make peace between people who have been in contact with each other through e-mail and/or any other aspect of the Internet.

Apr. 24 2013 11:32 AM

First of all, not everyone wants to bother with "fb" (I gather that means facebook) And lately I notice people commenting on sites have begun using strange initials so I have no idea what they are saying. Second, my own pet peeve is people who have call waiting - I am speaking with them, sometimes something serious, and with that beep, they say "another call, hang on" and just interrupt and leave me hanging. I find that rude. I often tried to discuss this with them later. They say it might be important. My answer is - let them call back. Or leave a message. "Oh no, they say, it might be my son" I guess he's the prince of the world and you can't miss his call. Rude.

Apr. 24 2013 08:14 AM
Amelia from Soho

I'm listening to this as a podcast, so maybe you can answer this the next time the guest is on... My younger sister keeps posting photos of herself and friends drinking (they're underage) and doing other no-so-legal things on Instagram. How can convince her that this is a bad idea?

Apr. 23 2013 12:46 PM
Dianna M from Manhattan

Check out YouTube "Texting While Walking by Casey Neistat". Pretty much sums up that situation.

Apr. 22 2013 12:54 PM
Susan from Wyckoff

Responding to superf88's comment, susan -- you could always give the 5 seconds/5 words of background on fb (two spouses dead from alcoholism) that you gave us... Not sure what that means, please explain... Thanks

Apr. 22 2013 12:46 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

To the caller who was offended by the Boston Marathon survivor photo her friend post: this photo was all over the media, and presented in a rather hopeful context--not a titillating one. I suggest you look up the story to understand it.

You're probably in the minority of those who'd be offended by it, and that's just the point of social media--postings are, unless addressed to you personally, passive, and meant for general consumption. The better answer to you would be to say nothing and scroll further. If you're that bothered by such things, social media might not be for you, no matter how many filters you afford yourself.

Apr. 22 2013 12:37 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Remember folks, IGNORE, and let the MODERATORS handle it...

Apr. 22 2013 12:35 PM

That last caller reminded me of how another friend had to scold her FB feed for posting Kevin Ware photos.

Apr. 22 2013 12:33 PM
dg from ny

here's an example (NSFW)

Apr. 22 2013 12:31 PM
gene from NYC

What about people who call in and immediately waste all our time by asking the host, "How are you?"

DRIVES ME CRAZY. We know how he/she is, they've been talking for a half hour, they're not going to say anything of substance--that's not what the call is supposed to be about.

Apr. 22 2013 12:31 PM
Miriam from Manhattan

I once emailed humor to a list of people and was horrified when a friend replied with an intimate message to me sent to the whole list. Her email contained very personal and private information I did not want shared. When I gently pointed this out to her, I was offended by her caviler attitude in dismissing my concern. Our friendship has not been the same.

Apr. 22 2013 12:31 PM

What about "de-friending" a person? Shouldn't a person notify you before doing so?

Apr. 22 2013 12:30 PM
antonio from baySide

To add to what the caller just mentioned...
You really can find out peoples level of tolerance towards others..political perspective racial attitudes....
It's sad when someone has no clue how racist a post or email can be...But I can imagine people saying "get off your soapBox..."

Apr. 22 2013 12:28 PM
The Truth from Becky

Susan, in my opinion, you were not wrong, I agree with you. You have nothing to regret.

Apr. 22 2013 12:27 PM

susan -- you could always give the 5 seconds/5 words of background on fb (two spouses dead from alcoholism) that you gave us...

Apr. 22 2013 12:26 PM
Carol Davis

I frequently post photographs of my meals of Facebook. The reason is that I try to encourage others to eat compassionately. It's working!

Apr. 22 2013 12:25 PM
Jill from New Orleans

Keep it light if you can when trying to address oversharers, etc on social media platforms. The Social Media Citation Notepad by Knock Knock is a good place to start. It conveys with whimsy - you might want to dial it down a bit.

Apr. 22 2013 12:23 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

It has been my observation that manners in general have declined rapidly in the past few decades. Very few people say "excuse me" when they sneeze or "thank you" when someone holds a door for them or even write an opening or closing in addressing e-mail. I even heard a story on All Things Considered a few years ago that a woman had started a successful business selling "You're Welcome" cards for people whose wedding gifts had not been acknowledged by the happy couple. So whatever we experience now in terms of lack of manners in internet and tech circles comes as no surprise to me.

How do we correct this? We individually teach our children manners and hope they use them when appropriate and hope their less-well-mannered friends learn from them.

Apr. 22 2013 12:22 PM
Stuart from manhattan

Tourists that visit NYC do not realize that sidewalks are the highways of Manhattan. You would never stop your car in the middle of the highway to check your map - you would pull over. So why do tourists think it's ok to stop in the middle of the sidewalk to check their map? And why do tourists (and students visiting with their class) think it's ok to walk 4 or 5 across or take up half the width of the sidewalk? If Giuliani was stll mayor, I would hope he would have half of all tourists arrested for violating the unwritten rules of walking in Manhattan.

Apr. 22 2013 12:15 PM
Pat from NY

What about hosts' saying on this station, "Go ahead!" instead of, "Thanks for calling. What would you like to say?"

Apr. 22 2013 12:14 PM
John A

Use of the word 'Manners' only begins to describe the anticultural effects the Internet can have on people. We need more policing that the politeness police would offer. More responsibility has to go to the providers, to have responsible people on-staff at Facebook and YouTube for starters.

Apr. 22 2013 12:08 PM
antonio from baySide

BCC: has always gave me a feeling of guilt...

I use it but it drives me crazy.

Apr. 22 2013 12:04 PM
George from Brooklyn

What do you do with trolls and people who argue with you?

Apr. 22 2013 02:42 AM

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