An innocent email or Facebook post can end up being read by one person…or a plethora of persons. As soon as you hit “post” or “send” or “tweet,” you are giving your words up to the universe. Here are a few tips to make sure the words that define you are good ones.
- Don’t make up words like “netiquette.” It’s so super cutesy…but really not that funny. Use your extensive vocabulary to use actual real words to say what you mean.
- Be very, very parsimonious (side note: see all the fun real words there are out there? I also could have used: tight, close, miserly, illiberal, mean, penurious, avaricious, or covetous. Aren’t real words fun?) with emoticons. Use your words to let people know whether you’re feeling funny, happy, sarcastic, or sad. I wish I were brave enough to ban the use of them outright, but I can’t. Sometimes even I worry people might not know that I’m feeling smiley :).
- Never text anything to anyone that you do not want your whole contact list to see, because you will at some point text something embarrassing to all of them. It’s inevitable.
- Your spell checker is not there to help you; it’s there to make fun of you.
- If you have nothing to say, don’t say it. “I just brushed my teeth,” “It’s sunny outside,” and “Gee, I sure enjoyed my breakfast,” are not weighty enough statements that you need to share them with the world.
- If an ex-boyfriend that you haven’t seen in 15 years messages you at 2 a.m. and uses the word “friend” a lot, he doesn’t just want to be your friend.
- Addendum to number 6: If you are in a relationship, never text, message, or email anything to anyone that you wouldn’t want your partner to read. Especially at 2 a.m.
- Never ever ever again use the term LOL. Most of the time it’s not even true. You are NOT LOLing because you “just dropped the kids at school and are getting coffee” or “found keys at the bottom of purse.” You are not Laughing Out Loud. You are Lying Out Loud. That and, up until about a month ago, I thought it meant Lots of Love, and I found it kind of inappropriate that so many near strangers felt so strongly about me.
About Peryl Manning
Peryl Manning is somewhat (and pleasantly) surprised to find herself the mother of two almost freakishly dimpled little boys. She isn’t sure she should be the one in charge though; at thirty-something she still manages to somehow end up sitting in her own gum, and last week she found her credit card in the fridge with the leftover pizza. She loves mellow moms and Ayelet Waldman; she hates judgy moms and truffle oil. She juggles kids, contributing to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Momtastic and Mamazina Magazines, and other parenting publications, with whatever grace she can summon.