Debrett’s, a publisher of a famous handbook on social skills and manners, has recently released a new guide in relation to modern-day etiquette. Dating back to 1769, it began to advise Britain’s working class. Mentioned in works by Oscar Wilde and George Orwell, it has long been established as the final word in etiquette.
For the first time in its 245 year history, Debrett’s has shared the most frequently asked questions submitted by the public and published some pointers in response.
With over 10,000 enquiries a year it demonstrates that despite our more liberal, modern lifestyles, the increased use of technology has provided us with new social dilemmas. Examples range from public phone-use, E-cigarettes in the workplace and seating arrangements on public transport.
Below are a few of their top tips for 21st Century social survival;
With most enquiries it seems mobile phones are the hottest topic.Debrett’s insists your phone must be switched off in cinemas, theatres and art galleries. Mobile phones must also be put away when you are paying for something in a shop.
If all else fails and you do not know what to do Debrett’s explains that you should always give the other person more attention than technology; it is incredibly rude to prioritise your phone over the person you are dealing with.
While some workers seem to enjoy CC’ing half the office in their emails, Debrett’s considers this ‘deceptive’ and believes blind copying should be used discerningly. Instead Debrett’s suggests that the email in question should be forwarded on to the third party instead.
As far as Debrett’s is concerned, the rules concerning E-cigarettes are simple; Overall vaping shows that you are not focused on your work and may also be a distraction to your colleagues.
We all know to vacate our seat for the elderly and the pregnant, however some tips are more open to debate. Eating full-stop, for example, is often considered a no-no by some however Debrett’s only finds it inconsiderate to eat smelly food in confined spaces. They also consider applying make-up on the way to work may make you appear disorganised.
Is Debrett’s new handbook a vital tool to survive the 21st Century or unnecessary new rules to apply to our everyday lives as opposed to following our own common sense?