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Manners for the Modern World

Manners for the Modern World

In a world with endless technology, we can text and email with a device literally at our fingertips. There are a plethora of applications that promote connectivity. Even with such connectedness, there’s a misunderstanding that being connected means we don’t have to follow basic etiquette and have good manners. Spoiler alert: Manners matter! Here’s a list of simple things you can do to be kind, considerate, and respectful.

To RSVP or Not?

Whether online, via text, email, or on paper you should RSVP. And not 24 hours before the event. The host needs a head-count for food and drinks, chairs, plates, etc. It’s always been considered rude not to RSVP, and it always will be.

Please and Thank You

Those little words don’t take much time to say, but it seems as though people are in a rush to not say it. It takes five seconds to be courteous — so do it. Please. Your kids are probably watching and will repeat it too. Remember how good it feels when the staff at Chick-fil-A say, “My pleasure”? Pay-it-forward!

Sir and Ma’am

This isn’t just a southern or military thing, it’s a respect thing. If you don’t know someone or their age, you can still use “sir” and “ma’am” when speaking to him/her in conversation. You may get a laugh when they say they aren’t old enough for you to call them that, but at least your intention is respectful.


In this new age world that Emily Post wouldn’t even recognize, there is a protocol for texting. When getting a text, it is appropriate to respond. But let’s be real: life happens. You have kids jumping on the sofa, you’re running out the door for carpool (DO NOT text and drive), and preventing dinner from burning on the stove. It’s understandable you’d forget to respond to a text. If that’s the case, be honest and apologize for the delay.

Say ‘No’ to The Polite Yes

In other words, mean what you say. If you can’t make a meeting or aren’t up for coffee, be honest. Don’t say, “let’s get together” and then not follow through with plans. Not only is it not polite, but it’s also misleading.

Alisha Ramos, founder, and CEO of Girls’ Night In has a golden rule when it comes to saying no: “…be as graciously honest as possible, and propose other solutions when appropriate. First, just because you say no doesn’t mean you’re a bad person! It means you’re being transparent about what and how much you’re able to give to someone. As long as you express gratitude … and stay true to yourself and this person, you’re good.”


Oh, email. This is a tough one. Open the email when you receive it to scan and decide whether it’s necessary to respond in a timely fashion. If the email requires an RSVP, do so ASAP. If a response to an email requires more thought and you cannot respond right away, consider replying with a statement such as, “I’ve read your email and will send you my response as soon as I’m able to.”

Pick Up The Phone

Don’t forget — your phone is not just a computer, it’s also a phone. You can use the phone for… a phone call. Shocking, huh?! Reach out to your friends (and sister-wives!) and talk to them over the phone. We get it — as military moms, we live all over the world and in different time zones, so schedule a time to talk.

Manners and etiquette in a technology-filled world are different than what most of us grew up in. A world where Oregon Trail was trailblazing, and owning a personal computer was a big deal. Technology can connect us with one another, so let’s use it for the greater good. Bring etiquette back! Now go find that invitation on your fridge and RSVP! Please and thank you.

Check out this article on 8 Ways to Recover From Your Phone Addiction



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Heather Walsh is a mom, Marine wife, Navy child, blogger and lover of all things crafty and Disney. Professionally, she is a Physician Assistant and has a passion for helping others to stay positive and supported. She has been writing since KidPix had the ability to write stories on floppy disk. The military lifestyle is something she has always known, so traveling and capturing those moments and sharing what she learns with her community is important to her. Recently, she has written for NextGen MilSpouse. She is one of three women who share travel tips for the military family at www.milmomadventures.com. They are currently sharing exploration of Southern California, Virginia and New Orleans with tips for the military family on how to enjoy the adventure with every PCS and save money while doing it!


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