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Digital age etiquette tips for Facebook faux pas and texting trip ups

Some survival tips for this digital age of social media and new technology.

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This is part of the cover story package on civil discourse in the Mar. 5 weekly edition of The Christian Science Monitor.

Joanne Ciccarello/Staff

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Cellphone Usage

Do: Keep your phone on vibrate or silent mode in public or the workplace – no one needs to hear your cool, new "Star Wars" ring tone.

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Don't: Keep your Bluetooth, oh so useful while driving, on and in your ear when not on the phone.

Social Networking Sites

Do: Use your "friending" power– and privacy settings – wisely. Be aware of who can see what. Your "sick day" will be less believable if co-workers know your status is "party's in Vegas!"

Don't: Post important information – deaths, weddings, pregnancies – instead of calling friends and family individually. This goes for breakups, too! Don't be that ex.

Text Messaging

Do: Make sure you're texting the right number. It's an easy mistake, with uncomfortable consequences.

Do: Respond to texts as you would in a face-to-face conversation; the same rules apply.

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Don't: Send a text when engaged face to face with someone else. Feel free to excuse yourself if it's important – but we can totally tell you're texting behind that menu!

Don't: Use obnoxious, unclear abbreviations in work-related messages. Your co-workers are not cryptologists and will not be amused.

Sources:,,, Robert Half