Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Aug 27th
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

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

His Dinner With David

Author + reporter = brainy talk in ‘End of the Tour’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual