Etiquette is a tricky realm in which to maneuver. Often, it varies from place to place and country to country. What's polite in one area of the world (slurping your noodles in Japan = 🖒) could be considered unfathomably rude elsewhere. So, let's approach this from a modern, millennial etiquette perspective, shall we?
Five Etiquette Rules I (Personally) Find Pointless
1.) Handwritten Thank You Notes-I try to be an environmentally friendly and conscious individual, truly I do. And I think that is perhaps why I have such a beef with "thank you" cards. Actually, any cards. Holiday cards, birthday cards, get-well-soon cards....it's all just paper. And it's all going to end up in the trash or recycling.
That tree died for something I glanced at for 30 seconds. If you truly want to thank me for something or wish me well, just email or text. Let me know in person next time you see me. If we are bosom buddies, you may even have permission to call and tell me.
2.) A Gift for the Host or Hostess-Here's the thing: I'm cheap. And I'm cheap by necessity - I don't make much money, traveling any amount of distance is also often mentally and financially taxing for me and truly, I'm doing you a solid by showing up to your party/dinner/cocktail experiment session.
Know that I would be 1,000% more comfortable staying home and looking after my mental health, but I came out to see you anyways. Now I need to bring you flowers or wine?!
3.) Buying a Wedding Gift (even if you don't attend!)-I hate weddings. I hate getting wedding invitations in the mail. I will probably not go, not just because of the fact that I don't want to but also...weddings are expensive! See above: I'm cheap.
If I show up, you're getting a card with $50, tops. I can't afford anything else. I probably had to buy a dress and heels to attend this shindig and then I'm going to stand around uncomfortably with a glass of awful prosecco until it's socially acceptable to skip out.
Why am I expected to send you a gift if I don't even go? That makes no sense to me.
4.) It's Apparently Rude to Place Handbags on Chair or Lap-This one I discovered only recently, when I was at a nice event and I had my cute clutch sitting in my lap. I guess it was better manners to set my bag on the floor or hang it off the back of my chair. Do you want to know what the floor is? Dirty, usually. I'm not placing my bag there. Do you want to know what backs of chairs are? Easy for swiping things off and I don't want to lose my phone, passport, credit card and lip balm in one night because of your so-called etiquette.
No, it's going on my lap where it's safe.
5.) Following Back (on social media)-Within the blogosphere - and mostly on Instagram and Twitter - people offer to follow you if you follow them back. Here's the thing - I'm not going to follow you unless you have content I actually want to engage with and see on my social accounts. I would expect you to do the same - if you're not interested in what I'm putting down, I will not be offended if you don't follow me.
This seems less like etiquette and more like an obsession with the numbers game. Check yourself?
Other notable mentions that I find kind of silly, but not enough to rant about: Which hand you hold your fork with. How to hold a wine glass. Whether or not hats are acceptable inside. Wearing sunglasses indoors or when having a conversation with someone....
But I was really curious about what other rules of etiquette people found kind of pointless so I took to Twitter and Facebook to ask. Here's what you had to say:"No elbows on table. Like why? Why does it matter it matter where I put my elbows?"
"Using Ladies and Gentlemen or Men and Women when addressing a broad group of people. It may be a habit, but it's an easy habit to break. Just use gender-neutral terms, you know?"
"Men pulling out chairs for women. If it is meant as a gesture of kindness, we should do it for people regardless of gender."
"Two words: silverware placement."
"Please be advised or Per my last email in online work email etiquette. So passive aggressive!"
Which rules of etiquette do you find to be outdated and pointless?