I think the most devalued word in the past decade was the word, “friend.”
I’m just another geek living in this world so I have no business enforcing my thoughts on Etiquette but since I think I was raised well (I’d like to think) and I’d like my son to be raised well, I’ll publicly share my thoughts. Note, since I work in New York City and specialize in digital media, my thoughts are skewed towards the early adopter technologies, but over time, the rest of America/world will catch up.
With email, text messages, and DM’s, it’s extremely simple to make fast introductions now. Please do whomever you are introducing a favor and ASK the receiving party whether or not they would like to be introduced. Just because Person A is friends with Person B (who is friends with Person C), does not mean that Person C will want to meet Person A. Not only does this save Person C from being in an awkward position, but it makes the introduction much stronger if it should go through.
Meetings (including around a conference room table)
If I said “turn off” your electronics, about zero percent of the readers would actually do that. So, put them on mute/vibrate and pay attention to the people in the meeting. My guess is that meetings will go much faster and become more productive if everyone is paying attention instead of typing emails or texting on their iPhone or Nexus One that’s sitting in their laps. You are guilty of this, admit it (we all are).
Location Based Check-Ins
I had breakfast this past week with some of the investors in the company Foursquare and they mentioned that they have began checking in about 3-5 minutes away from the venue that they are checking into. Why? It’s rude to have everyone check in at the table and waste the first few minutes of the meeting telling the world where they are. The issue with checking in to a venue when you are enroute is that the venue may be closed or have no available seating, and I do not have an answer on how to deal with this.
If you are checking into a restaurant on Foursquare and in the comments section include the name of someone you are meeting (e.g. meeting @dherman76 for lunch), think twice. What if the person that you are meeting didn’t want this particular lunch publicized for whatever reason?
Getting People’s Attention by Tagging Them in a Picture
If you have a Facebook account, I will wager that this has happened to you. If you do this, then please stop. How many times have you been alerted by Fb that you are tagged in a picture and when you go check out the picture, you are not present (and it may not even be a picture)? This is just annoying.
Are You Really My Friend?
I think the most devalued word in the past decade was “friend.” My friends are all people I’d grab a bite to eat with on the weekends, invite over for Saturday football, hangout with my wife/child with, and even get a little crazy with. Inviting anyone/everyone to be your friend on Facebook devalues the word “friend” to many levels. I turn down probably 10 friend requests for every one friend confirmation and I’m sure I still have not stuck to even my own guidelines.
BECAUSE YOUR KEYBOARD HAS CAPS, DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD USE THEM ALL THE TIME
Just because your shiny Macbook has a “Caps Lock” key, does not mean that you should type emails or tweets in capital letters. As a reminder (as if you live under a rock), CAPITALIZED words are used for emphasis and in quite a few occasions, they are mean to be “yelling.” Do yourself a favor and pretend that the “Caps Lock” key does not exist.
I’m not perfect and have broken many of the above etiquette rules.
I had some fun writing this and I’m sure I forgot quite a few. Please write your comments/thoughts into the comments area.
You can follow me on twitter at @dherman76