Digital Etiquette: Did You Ask, Do You Care?

By Toni Birdsong


Shhhh! Did you hear that? It’s the sound of a social collision caused by a slow but subtle dismantling of the new normal pushing out the old. With everyone between the ages of eight and 80 now possessing a mobile phone, we’ve become a culture of 24/7 publishers. With that unbridled activity comes an eerie climate of both freedom and infringement.

Think about it. When was the last time you attended an event—or even a casual lunch—when you weren’t asked to pose for a photo? When was the last time you mechanically gave your “like” to a photo posted by another parent that included, say, several of your kids at a band concert, a football game, or a neighborhood barbeque?

Here’s a question for you: Did anyone ask your permission before posting said photo? Did they care? Do you?

Let’s face it basic manners are casualties of the digital world. I wish the conversation ended there but it goes far deeper. At the core of exercising conventional etiquette is the also fading assumption of safety and personal privacy.

According to a recent study by The Pew Institute, while some of your friends may not speak up about your (or others’) digital behavior, it …read more

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