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Book Review: Manners in Emily Post’s Digital World: Living Well Online

The Emily Post Institute, the authority on all things etiquette, has just published an up-to-the-minute guide called Manners in Emily Post’s Digital World: Living Well Online. In keeping with the times, it’s the first-ever e-book to come out of the organization. The book’s author, Daniel Post Senning, has been at the helm of technology at the Emily Post Institute for years, building their first website, figuring out analytics and e-newsletters, and a WordPress blog to answer etiquette questions from the general public, among other things.

In a relatively short book, Senning covers a lot of ground. The book effectively targets the social media/mobile device novice as well as the more experienced user. It suggests the right way to coexist with technology as well as the people you interact with offline: family, friends, coworkers and even store clerks. It discusses in-depth the circumstances under which it’s acceptable to play a game on your mobile phone in public (sometimes OK), take a phone call in a public bathroom (never OK), friend an ex or a coworker online (sometimes OK), or stir up trouble in a chatroom or forum (never OK) .

The book outlines the wonderful advantages of touting your business on Facebook and other social media platforms. It gives advice on determining a website’s credibility. It suggests ways you and your family members can make rules about turning off mobile devices in favor of quality time together.

Perhaps the most power takeaway from the book appears in Chapter 4: Facebook: “You can always delete something you decide you don’t want on your wall [or on Twitter, in an email, on a dating profile, etc.], but you can’t take back the impression it made while it was visible.”

You can follow the Emily Post Institute on Twitter @EmilyPostInst and see what others are tweeting about with the #etiquette hashtag.

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