21 Modern Etiquette Rules You Should Be Following

It can be tempting to think “outdated” or “old-fashioned,” or maybe even “stuffy” when we hear the word etiquette, but in the end, niceties are what keep the cogs of the world running smoothly.

There are all kinds of rules we should try to follow that coincide with technology and modern life, so take a look through these 21 to make sure you’re not making any accidental mistakes.

21. Don’t mass email.

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If you’re sending thank-yous, putting out an invitation, or otherwise sending personal thoughts, make them personal. 

You cannot make others feel appreciated when they’re part of a group.

20. Respect your fellow passengers.

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If you have to get up during a flight, apologize to your seat mates and avoid pulling on the seat in front of you as your stand or shimmy.

Also, you should never recline your chair unless you have some kind of medical reason to do so.

19. Don’t Facebook-friend colleagues.

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Some social media platforms, like Twitter, are better for connecting professionally.

Facebook “friends” should be limited to exactly that.

18. Ensure your guests get home safely.

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Whether you’re hosting a party for friends and family or you own a restaurant where liquor is served, it’s your responsibility to make sure no one gets behind the wheel drunk.

Ask if they’d like to lie down, offer a ride, tell them they can spend the night or get a friend on the phone – but don’t let them drive.

17. Never show up empty handed.

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Whether you bring wine or flowers, dessert or something else, it’s important to offer something to your host.

16. Read the wedding invitation.

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You’ll need to know the attire, whether or not you can invite a guest, and whether or not children are welcome, to name a few considerations.

15. Keep your outgoing voicemail message professional.

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We all like to let our individuality shine, but if you’re job hunting, a professional, or expecting calls from say, your kid’s school, your voicemail isn’t the place to do it.

14. You can’t just ask for money.

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It might be ok when you’re a kid, but not as an adult.

Whether it’s your birthday or a wedding, you can’t just ask for money (and everyone knows what you mean when you say “no wrapped gifts).

13. Don’t assume people have time.

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Before diving into a long conversation or broaching a work topic over text or in person, ask whether or not it’s a good time.

If it’s not, you can always schedule something that works for you both.

12. Keep it moving.

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If you’re on a public sidewalk, don’t stop in the middle or without warning.

No, not even if you need to check a text or other type of message.

11. Clean up after your dog.

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No, it’s not an option.

Also, with everyone’s Ring doorbell cams, I promise your neighbors know who is picking it up and who is not.

10. Use headphones.

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If you’re in public and you’re watching a video or listening to music, you need to wear your headphones.

Also, keep the volume down, because if you’re in a crowded space people can still overhear.

9. Be careful where you change your baby.

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Don’t do it around other people, and don’t use a shared surface like a table where people might want to eat.

If you’re at someone’s house, it’s always best to ask where they would like you to change the diaper.

8. Remove your sunglasses and headphones for a conversation.

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People want to know they have your attention if they’re talking to you. Leaving sunglasses or headphones on indicates you’re not interested in what they have to say.

7. Re-read your social media posts.

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Don’t post sensitive personal information or, if you’re in certain industries or positions of power, controversial political opinions online.

Trust me, someone you work with is watching.

6. Don’t “borrow” wifi.

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It’s not cool to use the neighbor’s wifi, and it’s extra not cool to use the neighbor’s wifi all the time to the point where they have no bandwidth of their own.

5. Don’t yell into your phone.

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No one wants to hear your conversation (or both sides, if you’re on speakerphone).

If the person on the other end of the line can’t hear you, don’t up the volume, just call them back.

4. Avoid public phone conversations.

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In general, if you need to make a call you shouldn’t do it in public at all.

Not in a restaurant, waiting room, supermarket, etc etc etc. Everyone hates it.

3. Don’t bring your pet without asking.

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Your dog may be awesome and well-behaved, but that doesn’t mean they’re welcome everywhere.

There are a host of reasons a friend or a business would prefer pets be left at home.

2. RSVP’s should be made promptly.

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Whether the invitation is electronic or on paper, it’s best to respond as soon as you can.

Ideally, as soon as you open the invitation you should decide whether or not you’re going and reply back to give the hosts plenty of time to prepare.

This also applies to online meeting requests.

1. Be on time.

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It might sound corny, but being on time (or a bit early) really shows the other person that you respect their time.

It’s nice to let people know you’re running late, but it doesn’t make up for anything, so try your best not to let it happen regularly.

Yep, I hope these are common practice for everyone!

What other modern etiquette rules would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!