In the invariably invasive era of cell phones and other digital paraphernalia, how does one master good manners?
Marian McEvoy, hostess and etiquette writer, suggests a few guidelines for keeping the peace between cell phones and friends ("Tech Etiquette," Domino, November 2007):
• When visiting friends, don't greet your host while on the phone, never answer a call at the dining table and leave your cell phone in another room during the meal to avert the temptation to answer.
• Avoid chronic texting because the reason for accepting an invitation is to spend time with one's friends—hard to do if host or guest is constantly tapping texts. McEvoy suggests asking texting guests to do their typing in another part of the house since they are not inclined to mingle.
• Finally, in the case of thank-you notes, love letters, apologies, invitations, congratulations and condolences, opt for a written missive that includes a salutation and a signature. To those born before the digitized age, text messaging shorthand and emoticons are confusing. So make use of the beauty and delights of longhand language and practice your penmanship!