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Hand writing inscription Etiquette with marker, concept

Myka Meier: Tech Manners & Etiquette

Should mobile devices be allowed at the dinner table at home or at a restaurant?

I advise people put their phones on silent or vibrate and put them away during a meal. Unless it’s a working lunch over business, it can be seen as rude to be taking calls or checking your phone while someone else is dining across from you. If you are expecting an important call that may come through during the meal, I advise telling the person you are dining with at the beginning of the meal that it may come during your time together, and if it does, that you will only be a minute. Then, if the call comes through, you would excuse yourself and take the call away from the table.

Is it proper for someone to answer their cell phone and engage in conversation in front of other people?

Etiquette is simply about showing respect to those around you. I think it can be dependent on the situation, but in a social setting I think it’s best to put phones away or on silent and focus on your company. I think being on your phone or taking calls while others are waiting for you can come off as disrespectful to those waiting on you.

Is an email thank you note ever appropriate, or is it better to just stick with the traditional handwritten thank you note?

Nowadays with modern etiquette, there are times when an email is an appropriate thank you. I always say to determine if an email or hand written thank you card is in order, try matching the formality of the thank you with what you are thanking someone for. For instance, if you are thanking someone for having you over for a special dinner, then I still recommend a hand written thank you note. If someone helped bring your mail in one weekend when you were away, I think an email may be perfectly appropriate.