Modern etiquette tips for nice people who sometimes swear




"Advice goddess" Amy Alkon is no Emily Post. From Facebook walls and camera phones to pizza delivery and sharing Netflix with the neighbours, Alkon believes that the world has changed - and it is okay that our manners have evolved along with it. These are new social norms that demand new rules of etiquette, she says, and we shouldn't hold ourselves to a bygone era of etiquette, because our lives have changed too too much.

She outlines the new rules for modern manners in a new book, Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck, and shared her tips on spreading civility and quashing 'social thuggary' in the 21st century with CBC Radio's Day 6. You can listen to that conversation in the audio player:

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Alkon discussed a few modern trends with Day 6 host Brent Bambury - and either gave them a polite thumbs up or thumbs down. You can see for yourself which are faux pas and which are a-okay.


Alkon says: Yay, but follow local standards. If you are traveling, "you are responsible for finding out what the tipping standard is" and following through, even if you find the standards to be outrageous or the service to be lacking. "We have to see tipping as part of the true cost of going out."

Kid-free weddings?

Alkon says: Yay. Those getting married should be allowed to throw the party they feel is an appropriate celebration of their relationship, and that their friends and family should respect that - even if it means no kids allowed. "It's so awful that people feel they must impose on other people," she said. "Adult parties should be thought about like R-rated movies: an environment inappropriate for young children and livestock."

Discussing politics on social media?

Alkon says: Nay. She sees sharing political opinions on Facebook walls akin to "spray painting your feelings on their garage door." If you simply must have that conversation online, ask your friend first if having that kind of conversation online is okay with them.

Bring real-life etiquette to the internet?

Alkon says: Yay. It's common sense, but Alkon says don't say or do anything online you wouldn't say or do in public. "If you wouldn't go up to someone at a grocery store and say 'you might re-think that dress with those shoes,' don't do it on the Internet.

When in doubt of what to do in a certain situation, Alkon has this advice: "be compassionate, be kind, and do kind things for strangers." That's the best etiquette of all.