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

Wrong-Side Syndrome

I’m cranky. (Larry David)

Is there anything better than waking up after a great night of sleep? You’re warm and comfortable in your bed. Birds are chirping lightly in the tree outside your bedroom window, the sun is shining brightly (though not in your eyes), and all is right in this crazy world. You get up; get ready for the day with a long, luxurious shower; enjoy a fragrant, cheesy omelet and a steaming cup of artisan coffee; and you leave for the day. Your day is just going so well. Few days are as lovely as this one.

And then I come along. I didn’t sleep well because I was up late working on a project. I slept in, didn’t have time for breakfast or a shower, and stepped in my neighbor’s dog’s poop as I walked to my car only to realize that I would need to stop for gas. My day sucks. It’s just not going to be a good one.

You run into me at school/work and I scowl at your chipper attitude and sunny outlook. I snap at your small talk and will provide no more than single-syllable answers for all of your questions. I make you feel uncomfortable. You feel bad for feeling good. Slowly, you feel like maybe you are tired; maybe you didn’t sleep quite so well. Maybe that omelet wasn’t quite so good. Maybe you realize you missed a spot while shaving.

The scenario you have just witnessed is an example of what I like to call “Wrong-Side Syndrome”.

Instead of a long lecture, I have this to say. Don’t let your crappy day ruin someone else’s good one.

Stay classy,

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

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.

A Random Act of Kindness

A Random Act of Kindness

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. (Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert comic strip)

While riding on the WCEx (a commuter train which delivers people from suburbs of Vancouver to the downtown area) this morning, I witnessed a random act of kindness. A middle-aged woman had dropped her phone on the platform while she was waiting for the train and the the screen was completely smashed; she literally cut her finger on it when she tried to unlock it. After she got onto the train and found a seat beside one of her work colleagues, she explained the story to her co-worker. This woman was pretty upset about her phone and was speaking a little louder than what is usual on an early(ish)-morning train.

A young man across the aisle evidently was listening. When the woman had finished explaining to her co-worker what had happened, he leaned toward her and gave her the name of a really good iPhone repair place. The business, he explained, was in the train station where we were heading and would be able to have her phone fixed in couple hours. He also explained that all of the IT guys with whom he worked absolutely raved about how the work at this repair shop was such high-quality and somewhat inexpensive. But the young man was not done with just suggesting the place to go. He had also written down the number, hours, and cost of fixing the woman’s phone and then passed the piece of paper with the information to the woman.

The woman, who I assume was incredibly surprised by the man’s thoughtfulness, didn’t really reply. She took the paper and put it in her purse. The young man still had a smile on his face when he hopped off the train.

 

Some people are just nice. When they see a problem which they are able to fix, they jump into action. That is what the young man did today. It didn’t appear to matter to him that the woman showed little gratitude for his kindness; he was just please to have been able to help. I think that this is pretty beautiful.

Random acts of kindness are always great to witness and they’re even better to take part in. There is something really cool about being able to help someone or brighten his or her day. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment that is different from what you get when you finish an essay or finally get around to cleaning out the back of the fridge. It is (hopefully) completely outside of yourself.

I was lucky enough to participate in a few different groups which had a few days/weeks every year when the goal was to perform random acts of kindness. In one group, we walked around our high school on Valentine’s day and gave flowers to people who were eating lunch alone. With another group, we brought a keyboard, a guitar, and a few drums to a seniors’ home and instead of just singing to them, we learned a number of classics and standards and encouraged them to sing with us.

My own experiences were more organized than the act I was privileged enough to see this morning, but there are so many ways in which we can be kind to one another. My sister-in-law works as a care aid in a facility which looks after seniors who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s and the like. She does a lot of things that she doesn’t have to, just to brighten the days of her patients. When she married my brother this past August, she took a few extra minutes before going to the ceremony to stop at her work and celebrate the wedding with the people she looks after–they were ecstatic to see her dressed in her wedding gown. She also does things day-to-day, like helping some of the women put on a little lipstick or perfume in the morning. I doubt that these things are in her job description, but she does them anyways. They are no longer random (because she has been doing them for a few years), but they are certainly kind.

Not every act has to be huge and public. Sharing a smile with a sad-looking stranger on the street is enough. Holding the door is enough. Whatever you can do is enough.

If you’re interested in learning more about random acts of kindness, there is actually a foundation. You can check it out here.

If you have any stories about your own experiences with random acts of kindness, I encourage you to share them in the comments. Remember: part of what inspires random acts is seeing others perform them first. This is a fad that I hope you will follow!

Stay classy,

Kassieboo

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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