Put your best (digital) foot forward with these guidelines from lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann, author of the manners handbook Let Crazy Be Crazy. Using a core foundation of respect, honesty and consideration, Swann helps you navigate the tech territory.
Texting during a face-to-face conversation with someone is, of course, a real no-no. “You can’t have two separate conversations,” Swann says.
It can be difficult to convey your tone through words—and without relying on emoticons, which shouldn’t be used in business communications. If you find yourself struggling, that’s a good indicator you should deliver the message via telephone or in person, Swann says.
“If you won’t do it or say it in public, then don’t do it online” on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms, Swann says. That includes what you “like” and share—which can be visible to those outside your circle depending on your privacy settings. Also, make sure people know if you are using social media to promote your business so they don’t feel overwhelmed. And give folks a heads up if social media isn’t a good way to reach you.
Tip: Carve out “tech-free” moments for your family at the dinner table, or for the kids in the car after school, Swann suggests. That sends the message that using technology is only appropriate at certain times.