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Emily Post's Manners in a Digital World: Living Well Online Paperback – April 16, 2013
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No one man can say everything for another whole person but most important to me was the importance of passing on
your passwords in case of death. The sad truth is no one really cares. Still, you never know:)!
Unfortunately, most of this book comes off as a primer for people who have never used Facebook, Twitter, email, or cell phones. I was really expecting some of the deeper etiquette tips that you wouldn't naturally think of. Instead, the authors wasted so much time talking about the basics of what a Facebook friend is, or what liking something on Facebook entails, and other exceptionally mundane basics, that they never got around to actually sharing anything useful. I mean, maybe tips such as "friend people you have some reasonable connection to" and "nothing embarrassing, inappropriate, revealing, or even unflattering should be tagged publicly" would be helpful to a brand-new Facebook user, but anyone who's used these types of digital service for more than a year would've already figured this stuff out.
It seems to me that the audience of this book is probably 50 or older, uncomfortable with digital technology, and pretty unfamiliar with how to actually use any of these services. Taking the Facebook section as an example again, there are 20 pages of information in that section. The only potentially useful and nonobvious tips in there that actually pertain to etiquette was in the apps section, where they advise users not to invite everyone you know to play, to turn off notifications that send status updates, and otherwise avoid cluttering everybody else's feed with these idiotic games.
The vast majority of the information shared were basic tips about setting up your profile, explaining what a Facebook friend, like, or friend request is, and reminding you that you're free to delete things that you put on your wall and should remain friendly and positive when posting on Facebook. I don't know about you, but that's not the type of thing I purchase an etiquette book for. I want to know all the myriad ways in which I could offend somebody unknowingly. I don't need a basic Facebook 101 tutorial mixed in with a bunch of bland and useless tips.
While I've primarily focused on the Facebook section, the other sections are pretty much the same. The author runs through a mind numbingly basic set of instructions and tutorials for actually using the service or technology, and then gives trite, obvious, and boring etiquette tips that you should've figured out already if you spend even the smallest amount of time thinking about other people's feelings.
Are there a few good tips in here? Sure! Will the average reader have the patience to wade through all of this nonsense to find one or two tips that we all hope others will have the good grace to put into play? Probably not. The writing is so boring and lacking in character, and the vast majority of the information has nothing to do with etiquette, that I really feel this book was poorly conceived from the start. It reads as though somebody who doesn't use this technology wanted to help others who don't feel comfortable using this technology get a grounding in the basics so they feel empowered to step onto Facebook and click like on their friend's posts without making a major faux pas.
There was certainly nothing in here for me, a savvy user of tech and someone who's been using these services and devices for years. Which is incredibly disappointing because I can think of a number of non-obvious etiquette tips that could have been shared in each of these cases, and I actually have some specific questions about how one might handle X or Y situation. Unfortunately, the writing here was so generic and lacking in personality that by the time I got halfway through the book, I certainly didn't trust their opinion on much of anything.
Overall, this 233 page book is a complete waste of time unless you fit the demographic of never having used these services, and are wanting a brief overview on how to use them as well as a few tips on how to avoid REALLY stepping in it. Of course, the tips shared are so obvious that you'll figure them out yourself within a couple of months if you look to see what other people are doing and monitor your own reactions to other people's behavior. This book is certainly not meant for anybody already familiar with the digital world.
There are 14 chapters in the book including chapters on specific social media tools like Facebook and Twitter as well as chapters on more general topics like dating and gaming. There is also a chapter on safety, though the issue of safety, whether protecting ones privacy, protecting ones computer from a virus or protecting oneself if you use social media to meet someone, seems to be part of all the chapters.
The general themes are how to remain safe while using social media, how not to accidently offend someone using social media and how to get the most out of social media. The book does not go into detail on how to use social media but gives a brief description and then focuses on the related interaction with others.
The chapter of Facebook, for example, has three paragraphs on "Your Profile." It does not go into detail on how to create a profile but rather mentions how you should be comfortable putting things in your profile you want to share with others, it says what you put down should be truthful because falsehoods are easily discovered and it looks at the line between sharing and narcissism. There are also two paragraphs on avoiding the "Facebook Scoop" which talks about not sharing friends' news before they want to share it with others and how to protect yourself from friends doing the same to you.
There is a nice chapter on "The Work World" where there are some helpful topics like "Ten Tips For Professional Social Media Posts"and "Your Company's On Line Image." There is a chapter on "Tough Times" which looks at how to let people on social media know about someone's death.
This book is perfect for someone who uses social media occasionally but does not use it enough to know all the etiquette. Much of the stuff seemed pretty obvious to me yet it was good to see if I could be offending people without realizing it or giving out too much information about myself. Sadly the news is full of stories about people who share personal information on social media and offend others, get embarrassed and even lose their jobs.
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-Covers many "common sense" aspects of etiquette in different scenarios, online and offline.Read more