Burlington County Times: Manners and Social Media: Learn how the two go together

It’s never been easier to stay in touch with friends, relatives and former classmates.  It’s also never been more risky.

Social media, email and text messages have become indispensable to everyone from children to seniors. With a few clicks of a button, your thoughts on any number of subjects can be seen by friends from all corners of the world. But with these new modes of communication, come new rules of etiquette.

Minding your manners on social media platforms can be trickier than it seems. In a world where simply using the wrong emoticon can result in hurt feelings and baseless bashing, how can you be sure that you’re playing within the rules?

Apparently, with Facebook comes great responsibility. While your postings can be deleted, they can never be truly erased from people’s memories — or screenshot folders. With that in mind, typing a “quick” email or Facebook comment can take hours, as each word is analyzed, and reanalyzed, with a finger hovering fearfully over the send button.

While it’s enough to make anyone feel like logging off-permanently, a few rules and guidelines should help you navigate the dangerous waters of social media.

Debra Nussbaum is a modern day version of Miss Manners. Instead of advising readers on which forks to use and when to use them, Nussbaum educates on etiquette in the electronic age. As the former ‘Manners Matters’ columnist, Nussbaum answered some of today’s most troubling questions.

Wondering if an email is an inappropriate substitution for a handwritten thank-you note? Or when you should refrain from posting your opinion on a highly controversial topic (hint: most of the time)?

Discover the keys to “Minding Manners in the Age of Social Media” Monday at Medford Leas. Nussbaum’s presentation will discuss the pitfalls of electronic communication, and how to avoid making a social blunder.

The lecture will begin at 10 a.m. in the Medford Leas Campus Theater, at 1 Medford Leas Way. The event is part of the “Pathways to Learning” series, which brings a variety of speakers and presenters to the theater, for events open to the public as well as members of the retirement community. There is no fee to attend, though registration is requested by Friday, May 19. To register, call 609-654-3588 or email For more information, visit


published by Melissa Hanejko, correspondent on May 17, 2017

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