Modern Etiquette: A bit of netiquette will keep Christmas real

Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:04am EST
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By Jo Bryant

LONDON (Reuters) - Christmas is a convivial time of year when people get together for celebrations and conversation. It's all about human contact so it's important that you're discriminating about how you use your digital devices.

It's fine if they're used to facilitate get-togethers and spread seasonal cheer. But Christmas is a real, not a virtual event, so it's important to discard the phones, tablets and computers and enjoy festive celebrations in the real world.

Christmas cards are still an invaluable and personal way of keeping in touch with far-flung friends and relations.

In these straitened times, however, you might want to cut down the number of cards you send, so it's fine to explain to your nearest and dearest that you won't be sending them cards - a personalized seasonal message by text, phone call or email, sent out to individuals, is quite acceptable.

Avoid sending out generic e-cards. They're lazy and impersonal, and many people will find them lacking in Christmas spirit or just baffling.

If you're emailing instead of sending a Christmas card, make sure that you send out unique - and individual - messages to each of your recipients. Group emails, like round robins, are to be avoided.

It's fine to put general seasonal messages on social networking sites, but avoid posting compromising photos.

This is the time of year when we all let our hair down, but not everyone will appreciate the evidence being posted for all to see in cyberspace.   Continued...