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

SheSpeaksTeam By SheSpeaksTeam 07.10.19
Modern Etiquette: What Rules Still Exist? Tell us your thoughts to win a $75 Amazon gift card
Share Tweet

"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

Comment  *
  • stylinstar53 By stylinstar53

    A thank you is surely necessary. It may not have to be a handwritten note, but a simple text, email, or verbal acknowledgment would suffice. It's the thought that counts, not necessarily how it is delivered.

  • divadurga By divadurga

    I agree with all of these except the leftovers. Depending on the container you bring it in it may have to go home with you. Don't want to burden the host/hostess with trash. People bring their crock pots to potlucks a lot of times. I would tell the hostess they could keep the leftovers of course. Drinks, wine, cookies, sweets, or finger foods in disposable containers I would just leave behind. I ask everyone if they want to take a plate home for someone.

  • Nellygirl07 By Nellygirl07

    I agree with these! Even when I go to dinner without my kids I keep my phone in my pocket or purse.

  • laurenjc By laurenjc

    I cannot stand when people are constantly on their phone, so having it out on the dinner table is a personal annoyance, as well as rude! I get that there are emergencies with families, so it?s ok to look of/when it rings, but otherwise, keep it away!

  • gail04 By gail04

    I agree with all! I think it?s so sad how things have changed re hand written thank you notes. The last 5 gifts I?ve given for baby/bridal showers I have not received a thank you.

  • QueenDigger By QueenDigger

    I agree with these, except the group chat one. Why involve your kids (or another lie) just because you're annoyed. Just be honest and tell them you want to be removed from the chat since it no longer interests you. Anyone can always DM you if something comes up.

  • pookiepura By pookiepura

    I leave my phone in my purse. There is no reason whatsoever to have it out on the table, kids with you or not. Leaving it on the table just leaves the temptation there for you to look at it and mess with it every chance you get. I never get involved in group texts so I don't have to worry about that one in the first place!

  • ABAKER845 By ABAKER845

    I am old fashioned and I think we should all stick to these rules!

  • DeeAtGrammysGrid By DeeAtGrammysGrid

    Definitely yes! Thank you acknowledgements seem to be going by the wayside with the younger generation these days.

  • bambilefleur By bambilefleur

    I actually agree with all the above . Especially the cell phone - if you are waiting on a call - child, appt, important communication, please tell the people you are with . Be present, and put the phone away .

  • alibop By alibop

    yes.i agree.i'm huge into giving people thank you cards and for the holiday's.

  • DewGirl By DewGirl

    I agree with all of these! More people need to get away from those phones when out with family and friends, Thank You cards need to be sent (NO me that is just rude and lazy)!

  • judifer By judifer

    I have generally found that taking home leftovers from a gathering is usually encouraged by the host! Maybe offering to help pack up the leftovers in baggies or cheap takeout containers first for other guests before taking them back yourself would be better than just packing for yourself haha

  • Msbrat By Msbrat

    I agree with almost all of these QnAs.


    Yes to all!

More stories like this