Modern Etiquette: What Rules Still Exist? Tell us your thoughts to win a $75 Amazon gift card

    by   SheSpeaksTeam   

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Jul 10, 2019

"Dear Abby" was one of the original syndicated advice columns, appearing in over 1,200 newspapers and read by over 95 million people. Times have certainly changed since "Dear Abby" launched in 1956, but we are curious: are there still rules for common etiquette? And if so, what are they?

In the past few weeks, 5 burning questions have come up within the SheSpeaks Team. After much discussion, here are our best answers. Do you agree? Tell us what you think and you'll be entered to win a $75 Amazon gift card!

Are there any questions you'd love the answers to? Submit them and we'll include some of our favorites as future polls on our website!

Q 1. If you bring a dish to a get-together, is it appropriate to bring home the leftovers?

Not usually. Leftovers should be left for the host to enjoy. However, if there are a ton of leftovers and the host is truly insisting you take it, then take it. It's certainly not worth fighting over.

2. Is it rude to leave your cell phone on the table when dining with friends?

Yes, it's rude, but sometimes it has to be done. For example, if you are out without your kids, then it's ok to keep the phone out in case there is any issue at home. But don't take any calls or texts unless they are truly important. It's not fun to be at dinner with someone who cares more about their device than you.

3. If a single person is going in on a present with a couple who is married or dating, does the single person pay 50% and the couple pay 50% or does each individual person pay one-third?

If everyone knows the recipient equally, than everyone pays equally. But if the partner in the couple doesn't know the recipient and is really just a guest, then 50-50 might be ok. Make sure to talk about it with each other before assuming the amount.

4. How do you get out of an annoying group text conversation without insulting everyone in it?

No one wants to hear constant phone beeping when they're not interested in the chat. If there's a chance that the discussion will end soon, then just silence your phone and ignore it. But if it looks like this chain might be permanent, then it's ok to beg out. Best to send a light-hearted text, something like, "Hey all, love this group but need to get away from the phone and actually pay attention to my children! Can you remove me from the chat? Thx!"

5. Are thank you notes necessary? Do they always have to be hand-written?

Everyone appreciates a thank-you but there are varying degrees of how it needs to be said. If your friend buys you a drink for your bithday, sending a thank-you text afterwards is perfect. But if you receive more meaningful gifts, like at your wedding, graduation party or baby shower, than, yes, we still believe that hand-written notes are ideal. Email is ok for informal events if it is truly personalized. If someone spent time picking out a thoughtful (or expensive) gift for your new baby, they deserve something more than a group email saying, "Thanks for coming to my shower! Loved your gift!" 

What do you think? What questions do you have? Enter for the chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card!

#SheSpeaksEtiquette Giveaway

*One lucky contestant will be chosen at random to receive a $75 Amazon gift card. Giveaway is open through July 28th, 2019 to U.S. residents at least 18 years of age. Entrants must be a member of SheSpeaks. If you are not a member, click here to join. Winner will be notified by email.

Update: Thanks to all who entered! Congrats to our winner, SheSpeaks member beaniebaby70.

Make a Comment

by sandikaye | LAKE CITY, FL
Aug 28, 2019

Is it still proper etiquette to place your left hand in your lap while you are using your right hand to eat, unless you are cutting meat, etc. (right hand in lap for lefties)? I suppose I'm talking about nicer restaurants, not fast food places, maybe, or maybe you need to do this in fast food restaurants, too. I feel I should still do this but I rarely ever see anyone else doing this.

Aug 22, 2019

I can agree with these answers.

by ebtjm70 | Kissimmee, FL
Aug 06, 2019

1. I always leave the left overs for the host. 2. I think it is rude also, it makes me feel like they're waiting on a call or text and can not be more than a foot from their phone. I always leave mine in my bedroom on silence, when I have company over, if I'm visiting someone, I leave my phone in my purse, or in my car (hidden). 3. I definitely think they should split the bill 50/50 also. Makes everyone more comfortable, and yes talk about it first to make sure everyone is comfortable with it. 4. I totally agree with this one. If I'm in a group text and it doesn't pertain to me, or I'm busy and can't talk, my phone will go on MUTE. If the conversation is still going on hours later I'd sent a sweet message & excuse myself from the group. 5. I totally agree with this one also. depending on the type of situation/ event, there's a different way of sending a "thank you" out, whether text, email, or a nice thank you card via USPS (old school).

by Lhall1216 | LEXINGTON, KY
Aug 02, 2019

I totally agree! These things are common courtesy and people don't do then often enough.

by motherng | san leandro, CA
Jul 28, 2019

I agree with the answers given above. Although I would also add to the hand written note that the note should be written within a reasonable amount of time.

by herbalkate | LOUISVILLE, KY
Jul 28, 2019

It's not always rude to leave your phone on the table while out with friends but it should be left face down and the volume of alerts should be lowered as to not annoy other diners. It would be best to have all alerts except for extremely important ones, such as from your children, from your parents, or your work if you are on call, turned off.

by Meemster | EDWARDSBURG, MI
Jul 28, 2019

I would say I generally agree with the answers to all five questions. I do generally leave my cell phone out on the table when dining with friends though, and so do they. If it was a fancy meal, I would keep it put away, but just a quick lunch with friends, it's ok to have it out.

by mallgirl | Monrovia, CA
Jul 28, 2019

I agree with all of these, and I wish more people would write thank you notes. It's a lost art.

by spyralwomyn | COLORADO SPGS, CO
Jul 28, 2019

It feels like there is a loss of gratitude and common decency that has increased over the years. I would have never questioned sending a thank you card for a gift, or excusing myself politely from a conversation that made me uncomfortable. Manners are manners. They show respect for yourself and others. It also demonstrates self-confidence and appropriate social cues. Be present for others. Be courteous. It's like it's a lost art to remember to say please and thank you, let alone to leave one's cellphone in a purse during a meeting or meal. Youth don't know how to have face to face conversations anymore. Basic communication skills have been lost and given way to instant gratification, comparison to everyone else, and an urgency to do better, have more, and prove oneself. This has affected the social emotional development of children and young people. As a school counselor, I deal with the outcomes everyday and it's very scary.

by Fred1950 | BUCKEYE, AZ
Jul 28, 2019

I feel that it is rude to be using your phone while you are out. If it is really a serious issue, like kids left with babysitter, or ill child at home, then I would leave my phone out, with it silenced, and only respond to it if it is truly an emergency. At my age (70) I don't have kids at home, so I silence my phone and leave it in my purse while I am out. I want to give my full attention to the people I am with.

by Fred1950 | BUCKEYE, AZ
Jul 28, 2019

Whenever I bring a dish to someone, I ask for a container so I can leave the leftovers. Only if the hostess insists do I take the leftovers home. I also always make sure my serving dish is labeled if I want to see my container again. By putting the leftovers in the hostess? container, I can take my serving dish home and make one less item for the hostess to clean, and return.

by pixistyx | SUNNYVALE, CA
Jul 28, 2019

1. If the host urges you to take some home, then go ahead and take a plate home. But for sure I'd want to pack up leftovers for the host to keep if only to get my plate/dish back. LOL 2. I think you can leave it out as long as you aren't looking at it every five minutes. 3. I think if you know each other well enough, then it's fine to split the bill equally. 4. Group texting can be annoying for sure! I just turn my phone volume down. 5. I think hand written notes aren't expected as they were years ago but if you are going to send them, for sure send them for the big occasions like weddings and baby showers.

by Jjswildcat5 | NICHOLASVILLE, KY
Jul 28, 2019

I think everyone has their own etiquette! Depends where u are at!

by kimberleeteach45 | Middletown, OH
Jul 28, 2019

All of these are completely accurate. In today's world, we have become so device focused that most people have no idea what the rules of etiquette are. And although the letter writing is a lost art, sending a thank-you note after receiving a gift should be mandatory for All Humans!

Jul 28, 2019

Taking home leftovers is perfectly fine if the host offers.