New book of golden rules

The Sunday Telegraph - - News -

Eti­quette coach Wil­liam Han­son’s golden rules:

1 Be­fore post­ing or send­ing any­thing, think “would I be happy for my par­ents to see this?”

2 Your pro­file pic­ture should fea­ture only your face

3 Feel­ing blue? Pick up the phone and speak to a hu­man – don’t share your sor­row on­line 4 Don’t be­lieve ev­ery­thing you see on­line: re­mem­ber it is heav­ily fil­tered 5 So­cial me­dia and tech­nol­ogy are there to com­ple­ment our lives, not re­place them ing pho­to­graphs and say­ing things that some­times they ought not to.”

Mr Sykes, who said the so­cial me­dia eti­quette course had proven “very pop­u­lar”, be­lieves the mo­d­ule is im­por­tant to help chil­dren learn man­ners.

He said: “We ask them how they would feel if they saw that par­tic­u­lar pic­ture, or read a cer­tain com­ment, about them­selves that they could have posted about some­one else. How would that make them feel?

“Man­ners is about other peo­ple. It’s not about ‘me me me’ – we have a lot of that at­ti­tude in so­ci­ety. This is about think­ing about other peo­ple.”

Wil­liam Han­son, a lead­ing Bri­tish eti­quette coach who teaches all over the world, in­tro­duced a so­cial me­dia eti­quette course two years ago. His golden mantra is, “tweet oth­ers how you want to be tweeted”.

He said: “There’s all sorts of aw­ful things that have hap­pened be­cause of what is said on so­cial me­dia. Eti­quette coaches are just one of many peo­ple who play a part in teach­ing peo­ple how to be­have on it.

“Good man­ners are about treat­ing peo­ple with re­spect, but there are lots of peo­ple who don’t.

“Just like we judge peo­ple in real life by their clothes, hair­style and hand­shake, we can judge a lot about some­body by what they have put on their so­cial me­dia pro­file.”

Mr Han­son, 29, who charges £450 for half a day’s home tu­ition, spends the ses­sions go­ing through a child’s so­cial me­dia pro­file and telling them the do’s and don’ts of on­line be­hav­iour.

“Eti­quette has al­ways evolved over time to mod­ern con­di­tions. When the tele­phone came in at the turn of the 19th cen­tury, there was an eti­quette guide of how to talk on it,” he said.

“It’s no longer just about walk­ing with a book on your head, flower ar­rang­ing or how to get out of a car. It’s about how to present your­self cor­rectly on­line, es­pe­cially be­cause so much of our lives are on­line now.”

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