Should I Acknowledge Social Media Compliments?

Narcissistic sure is a weird way to pronounce amazing. (Unknown)

Let’s keep this short, shall we? We’re going to talk social media for a quick minute. Now, for the most part, we know how to acknowledge compliments in real life, right? There are a number of ways to do this, but here are the most common two. Imagine this conversation between Gwen and Ralph:

Situation 1:

Gwen: Hey Ralph! Nice haircut; it really brings out your eyes.
Ralph: Thanks Gwen. I thought I would try something a little different.
Gwen: Cool. Do you–ahh–want to go out sometime?
Ralph: Oh…I appreciate you asking, but I don’t like you in that way…
Gwen: Oh. Kay, bye.

See how Ralph politely acknowledged Gwen’s compliment about his hair? That is one way we receive compliments in everyday conversations.

Situation 2:

Gwen: Hey Ralph! Your shirt is awesome! I, too, love World of Warcraft.
Ralph: Well, it’s an old shirt and I–uh–it was clean so…
Gwen: Well, I like it. 
Ralph: Um, thanks.

 While painfully awkward, this is a common way for people to answer compliments. It’s very self-deprecating and deflecting, but it is something that we do come across when offering up compliments.

Social media compliments are, on the other hand, a different beast. 

The easiest way to get my point across is to use a very common example: profile pictures. I think we can all relate to this. You put up a new profile picture on, say, Facebook and you get a bunch of likes (which you do not have to acknowledge) and a number of nice comments. Here is where the question of whether or not to thank your friends comes up.

My answer is that it depends on the number of comments you receive. Are you Beyonce? Did you get hundreds of compliments? No? Then thank your friends for taking the time to type out a few kind words. If you get a whole bunch of compliments you don’t even have to thank each person, but every three or four people say “thanks everybody” or “you’re all so great, thanks”. Something, anything to tell your friends that you saw their compliments and you appreciate them. That is, after all, why we typically share flattering pictures of ourselves. Let’s not lie about it.

Too often I see profile pictures where there are tons of sweet and thoughtful comments posted and the person whose picture it is does not even acknowledge that they have seen them (which we totally know they have).

Of course this differs depending on if you’re on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, but I think that saying “thank you” is always the classy thing to do. Put yourself in the shoes of your admirers. Wouldn’t you like your kind words to at least be acknowledged? Otherwise, why say anything?

Stay classy, friends,

Kassieboo

Facebook Faux Pas

If you can’t stop thinking about someone’s update, that’s called ‘status cling’. (Jessica Park)

I would like to start by apologizing for going months without updating this blog at all! The class for which I was writing this blog ended so it moved down my list of priorities. That was quite unclassy of me. I will endeavor to do better.

Okay, moving on. From now on, I’m going to work on posting more. How? Well, I’ll be doing much shorter posts. Hopefully, these will be good quality and will happen more often. I ask that you are patient with me while I get into the swing of things.

Enough discussion! Let’s talk about a few Facebook Faux pas. I’ve compiled a list of the 5 least-classy/rude things I have seen my “friends” do on the popular social media site.

5. Not acknowledging compliments on pictures.
Here’s the thing, we’re all busy. We go on the computer to check email, do work, update social media, etc.. These tasks are in addition to the rest of our lives. So when someone takes the time to compliment someone’s picture, be it profile or otherwise, it means that that person took time from his or her busy life to say a nice thing. Is it really so hard to say “thanks”? I don’t think so. Even if that thank you applies to more than one compliment on a picture, it still acknowledges that the kind comments were read and appreciated.

4. Cryptic status updates.
These mysterious messages are both self-indulgent and attention-seeking. Statuses like “I am so done with this” are just annoying. Either the writer has an issue and doesn’t want to share it (in which case he or she shouldn’t make it a status) or has a minor issue and wants to be asked about it and fawned over. When writing these silly statuses, the intention is to force readers to be curious and ask about it. It’s like me wanting to pretend I want privacy, but giving you hundreds of ways to know about me and my life.

3. Knowingly posting offensive/controversial statuses or comments.
We get it. You have controversial opinions. You’re so urban and politically interesting. You enjoy heated political debates and morality discussions that use buzzwords that no layperson could hope to be able to grapple with. I, too, enjoy healthy debates that open up my mind and the minds of others to new perspectives and ideas. I have to ask, though, is Facebook the place for these discussions? I don’t think so. Facebook is supposed to be a way to network and connect with friends, new and old. I don’t know that it is the best forum for debates and discussions that are best suited to round tables or respectfully-moderated areas of discourse. When overly-controversial posts appear on Facebook, it just looks like the poster is trying to insite arguments and anger.

2. Posting pictures or videos that should be accompanied with a warning.
We all have friends who do this. They post pictures of gruesomely-abused animals, huge spiders, post-op knee surgery pics, etc.. Now I’m not saying that these things don’t belong on Facebook. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying that I would appreciate posters having the courtesy to include a warning about the content or just posting a link to the content (with a warning). If I’m eating and see swollen and bloody stitched skin after my friend’s knee surgery, I might throw up on my keyboard. If I just lost my dog of fifteen years and am scrolling through my newsfeed, I might be extremely upset to see a viral video of a dog being thrown off a building (true story). This just comes down to respecting your Facebook friends and being aware of what is being shared and posted.

1. Posting passive-aggressive statuses.
These are so obvious. “I never thought that my friend could finish my Toblerone bar without even asking. Friendship terminated. You know who you are.” These are the most annoying posts on Facebook. Instead of dealing with their issues in the non-digital world, there are those Facebook users who chose to write statuses about their anger which they clearly want their offender to read. Come on! This isn’t Gossip Girl! Let’s deal with our problems directly instead of these immature posts. Don’t make your Facebook friends watch as you and your now-enemy post thinly-veiled statuses/insults about one another all over the newsfeed!

In general, these 5 faux pas come down to common courtesy and respecting your social media contacts and their time.

Thanks for reading and, as usual, feel free to comment below with your Facebook faux pas or pet peeves!

Stay classy,
Kassieboo

Talking on Your Phone

Most passengers on Japanese trains are either reading, sleeping or using their mobile phones for sending messages, browsing the web or playing games. Talking on mobile phones inside trains, however, is forbidden… (“Taking the Train”, japan-guide.com)

Okay, I feel like I’m having a cranky day, but I’m going to try very hard not to let that take over this post.

Do you know what makes me cranky, though?

Other than lack of sleep, getting soaked in the rain, having a bad hair day, and forgetting to eat breakfast…?

Listening to somebody’s entire phone conversation while riding on the train. 

If you’ve ever been to British Columbia and used one of the Lower Mainland’s Translink services (bus, Skytrain, sea bus, WCE, train bus, etc.), then I’m quite sure that you have seen the signs around stations and on the transportation itself that remind riders of common etiquette. These are all pretty innocuous things, like being careful not to wear too much perfume or cologne (so many people are allergic); giving up your seat for seniors, disabled people, and pregnant women; not littering, etc.. One of these little pieces of etiquette is to refrain from using your cellphone (at least loudly) while in transport. This suggestion is not because Translink is Big Brother and wants to tell riders what to do. No, this suggestion is stated because NOBODY WANTS TO LISTEN TO YOUR PHONE CONVERSATION!

cellphone on train etiquette

from studentbeans.com

Sorry. Did I sound a little chippy?

But seriously. Do you have to talk on your phone for the entire thirty minute bus ride? Is that really necessary?

Today’s culprit of this bad behavior was a woman who I often see on the train as she tends to get onto the same car as me in the afternoons. I’ve noticed her before because of her phone use.

A few weeks ago, in fact, I was quickly calling my mom (before I left the downtown station) to let her know what time my train would be arriving to the station in my suburb when this same woman sits down across from me and proceeds to have a loud phone conversation. While I was just trying to make sure that my mom knew what time to pick me up, this woman was in it for the long haul. And did she have to sit directly across from me to start her conversation when she saw that I was still finishing mine quietly?

I digress.

Today, this talkative woman was already on the phone when she sat across the aisle from me (not facing me, but to my left). She was speaking loudly into her phone, switching between English and a language which I think might have been Arabic or Persian (my linguistic studies were mostly around Latin- and Germanic-based languages so I’m not totally sure). I don’t really care what language she was speaking,though ; it could have been English, Mandarin, French, Yiddish, Gaelic, or Pig Latin and it still would have been annoying because it was unnecessarily loud!

And I brought up the languages she was speaking for two reasons:

1. When one older woman gave this woman a look which seemed to say, “Your behavior is inappropriate”, the phone woman glared and said something to the person on the phone which sounded kind of hostile. It may have had nothing to do with the other woman, but because it was said in a different language and with a harsh tone and while looking angrily at the other woman, we have no way of knowing.

2. I’m guessing that the woman might have been discussing something personal or private because I know, for a fact, that she speaks fluent English as I had heard her speak it before. So maybe she chose to speak in a less common language in order to keep others from listening in. Is a full train the right place to be discussing something so private that you have to switch languages? I don’t think so.

I’m not saying that you have to sit silently while riding transit, but there should be a certain level of respect for your fellow riders. This is not the Skytrain home from a drunken Friday evening downtown; this is an early (somewhat expensive) train for commuters. Having woken up at 6 am (not even as early as others on the train, I’m sure), I, for one, had no interest in listening to this woman’s conversation. It would not have been a big deal if she was speaking at a reasonable volume, but she was using her outside voice inside.

Am I the only one who is bothered by this? I know that it was an extreme situation, but it represents this idea that what you have to say is so important that you don’t have to follow the rules. Pretty selfish, if you ask me.

Do you have any horror stories from transit? Have you heard things from other people’s phone conversations that you wish you didn’t? Drop a comment and let me know about it!

Thanks for reading!

Stay classy,

Kassieboo

 

Words

I think that this applies to living a life that is classy and true, too. Be aware of the words you use and what they really mean.

And yes. This is shameless self-promotion. Try not to hate me!

Thanks for reading!

Kassieboo

Life is What You Do

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. (Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride)

Speaking means using words. We use words for communication, expression, and so on. Sometimes though, I don’t think that people make the best choices. I’m not talking about stylistically; I’m talking about inappropriate uses of meaningful words.

Let me explain:

Imagine that you’re scrolling down your newsfeed on Facebook and you see the word “holocaust” or “rape” or “cowardice” in a status. You stop because the word is an extreme one which you would expect to find in extreme cases. But no. The word is being used as a buzzword to talk about gas prices, hockey players, or the choice to consume eggs and dairy or the difficulty of a midterm or even the fact that the liquor store was out of…

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ANSWER YOUR EMAIL!

I’ve  given up email. Well, almost. At the weekend I set up one of those auto-reply  messages, informing my correspondents that I would no longer be checking my  emails, and that instead they might like to call or write, as we used to in the  olden days. (Tom Hodgkinson)

I hope that this title speaks for itself, but just in case it doesn’t: this post is about the most important etiquette involved in emails–ANSWERING THEM!

We’re busy; we have so many accounts and alerts; we’re always plugged in. I understand this. I’m busy, too. I have memorized a plethora of passwords for social media accounts as well as three different email addresses.

email rant pic

This is no excuse for not answering emails from friends, family, and colleagues. You don’t have to answer them right away (although, within 24 hours is polite), but you should at least acknowledge them. Even just quick reply stating you received the email and will take the time to reply when it is convenient. I also know a few people who list the times of day they are likely to reply to emails in their signatures. Any kind of acknowledgement is acceptable.

This seems more like a rant than a real post, but I do think that this is really important for keeping your email relationships healthy. I always wonder if people receive my emails and, after a day, I usually send a follow-up. I’m not trying to be annoying, but I do need a response. At the very least I need to know that my email was received by the right person. I don’t want to bug the people I’m emailing, I don’t, but when I email a teacher or colleague, there is usually an important reason. Otherwise, I would wait and talk to them the next time I see him or her.

My mom always says (I sound like Forest Gump, right?) that you wouldn’t leave your snail mail unopened so why would you leave you email unopened (or unanswered)? The comparison is pretty eye-opening. Email is communication. Communication is not a one-way street. Don’t disrespect your emailers (not a word, I know) by leaving them to communicate by themselves; that’s just rude.

Sorry to be disjointed, but this is a real pet peeve of mine.

As always, I encourage you to comment with your pet peeves–I’ll even blog about it!

Stay classy (and answer your emails),

Kassieboo

Works Cited:

Picture from inchoo.net. (I came across it in a Google search)

“Please”

“Which way did they go, Peeves?” Filch was saying. “Quick, tell me.”
“Say ‘please.'”
“Don’t mess with me, Peeves, now where did they go?”
“Shan’t say nothing if you don’t say please,” said Peeves in his annoying singsong voice.
“All right- PLEASE.”
“NOTHING! Ha haaa! Told you I wouldn’t say nothing if you didn’t say please! Ha ha! Haaaaaa!” And they heard the sound of Peeves whooshing away and Filch cursing in rage.”  (JK Rowling, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone)

“Please”

I’d like to keep this short because it should be just a refresher for everybody.

When you ask somebody to do something for you (whether he or she is paid to do that thing or not), you say “please”.

End of story.

That’s all, folks.

Image

But really, this is supposed to be a natural inclination. I was raised to say please when I asked for things or ordered food or needed something done for me. In fact, if I didn’t say it, my family (including my older brothers) would tell me I needed to say “the magic words” or they just wouldn’t do it until I remembered to say please. It wasn’t a matter of only doing this in public. I had to do it at home, too. Saying please, for me, is a natural part of asking a question or ordering foods or services. I’m not suggesting that I’m perfect, but I certainly know that you say please!

I find it incredibly rude when I am out with a few friends who don’t say please and thank you to their servers in restaurants or even the person from whom they are buying pants!

To me, not saying please suggests that it is your right to expect something to be done; that you believe you are better than the person serving you. And that is never true. Every single person is equal, from the Queen of England to your server at McDonalds. And each person deserves the same level of respect. That level of respect includes saying please.

You’ll notice that I didn’t include much about “thank you” in this post, but that is because I reblogged this post by Greg Morton in the last month and I think that he does a good job of explaining its use.

Stay tuned for more!

Stay classy,

Kassieboo

Work Cited

The image is 100% my own (shotty) work.

The Harry Potter quotation was taken from this site because I didn’t think to look for it in my own copy of the novel. The passage belongs to JK Rowling, I am just quoting it.

Changing the World with a Simple “Thank You”

I have yet to write about the use of “Thank You”, but this post from a fellow blogger sums it up perfectly!

Morton Design Works

thank you

I’m a big believer in good manners.

I’m not sure who invented the concept, though I can say with some certainty it probably wasn’t cave men, whacking each other over the head with the bones of a snaggletoothed lizard or something like that.  No, I’m not sure who invented the concept, but that person is a silent genius.  The amount of expression and respect one can give in the smallest of gestures is nearly unfathomable.  Some of greatest hits of good manners include;

Holding the door

Saying “God bless you” to a sneeze

Picking up a dropped item for someone

Walking diligently across the street when a car allows you to cross

These are some of my favorites, anyway.  But the mother of all good manners is an adjunct reaction to all of these already good deeds, and it almost serves as an after-thought.  It is the pinnacle of politeness…

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