Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Feb 12th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

WTF: Text Etiquette Arrives!

ae_wtfThere’s a proper way to text. Local Shelly Seeger shows people how
LOL. OMG. WTF? Gd 2 C U! OMG is right. These dreadful ways of texting have become the norm for many respectable adults who   have taken on teenager slang in their texting relationships. It’s embarrassing. And not just hideous text language, but unreturned texts, eating with your mouth open, not offering guests first dibs on the bread basket, business meeting snafus, taking cell phone calls in restaurants … the list goes on and on in terms of bad etiquette. And in a society where etiquette seems to have been displaced at the same time the Internet took over the world, it might be time for Americans to re-learn “modern etiquette.” These aren’t old-fashioned behaviors, but polite and considerate things to do when you’re eating, hosting, traveling, texting and so forth. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Making these simple lifestyle changes can feel empowering, give people a new sense of confidence and be fundamentally thoughtful gestures offered to other people.

That’s where local etiquette maestro, Shelly Seeger, of Modern Etiquette, comes in. The company, which she recently established with her husband, offers genuine etiquette lessons to people of all ages. It certainly arrives at the perfect time. When was the last time you saw children running around in a restaurant, a teenager licking his plate, your uncle eating and talking at the same time, a friend sawing away at their steak like the cow was still alive, a mother leaving her child’s food all over the floor at a guest’s house because she’s “just too busy,” to pick up the kid’s mess, or your BFF who never ever texts you back, or when she does, it’s with a caveman grunt, “yes.”

These are just a few of the samplings that the Seegers—and all of us—have seen over the years, and such behavior would be considered by most to be rude, and yet people get away with these social disorders because Americans are moving at a break-neck speed, making plans on their cell phones, working two jobs and so on. We’re busy people, so we don’t always think about the simple act of how we behave around others, how such actions can benefit ourselves, and how these gestures of courtesy can make a difference.

These are just some of the reasons why Seeger recently attended a bona fide etiquette school, the Etiquette Institute of Saint Louis, Mo., where she learned a wealth of knowledge and became a certified Etiquette Consultant. Some of the additional reasons why she does this work include, as mentioned in her press materials: “Feel comfortable and relaxed in any social situation; put others at ease through your thoughtful, gracious actions; gain the respect of your colleagues.”

Now, she’s offering a handful of enlightening classes that include: “Refined Diner,” a three-hour workshop, which includes an hour of instruction and a two-hour, five-course dinner at Shadowbrook. In this class, participants learn copious amounts of tips and techniques for imparting consideration to others while dining, and, at the same time, following etiquette. Some of the topics include use of the napkin; salt and pepper; conversation when you have food in your mouth; protocols for passing dishes; table manners; how to split a bill; what to do when some diners did not consume alcohol, and more.

Other classes include “Polite Child” which touches on topics including social skills, dining and entertaining; “Confident Teen,” which deals with subjects such as conversing and sending thank you notes; and, finally, “Astute Professional,” which deals with etiquette issues surrounding business people.

So, how about some tips from Ms. Manners herself, particularly on texting etiquette, which certainly needs attention these days. “Do keep it light and simple,” Seeger says. “No one wants to read long messages on a text device. No one wants to have an entire conversation with you by texting when you could just call him or her instead. The medium is meant for short and sweet, so keep it that way. Verizon Wireless states that anything over 160 characters should be an email or a call.”

She adds that regardless of whether you feel like it or not, respond to all text messages in a timely manner, and be aware of your tone. She also suggests, “Do spell correctly. Texting allows for some great cheat words, but overdoing it can lead to confusion and extreme annoyance.”

As for some don’ts: Don’t send a text when you are with someone else, Seeger says. She adds that you shouldn’t rely on text messaging to sustain a relationship. And finally, “don’t text message anything confidential, private, or potentially embarrassing.”

So what’s a person to do to become savvy with texting and etiquette in general? Of course, take a class in such things, but if that’s not an option, at the very least read up a little bit on the subject matter. There is a wealth of resources in books and online that can offer simple techniques to help you boost your confidence level. Or, simply, have a cup of tea with Seeger, and you’ll find that you’ll walk out of a meeting with her with better posture, a greater stride, and you might even offer some polite gestures to a passerby. And, of course, you’ll return your text messages and not sound like a teenager. Sounds GR8.


For more information about Modern Etiquette and Shelly Seeger, visit modern-etiquette.com or call 295-1192.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster