Netiquette Rules for the Holidays

Rules of Netiquette for the Holidays

We’re in the middle of the holidays and whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, there are still some basic rules of netiquette to adhere to.

So without further digital adieu, let’s brush up on your digital manners with these 4 rules to remember.

1. e-invitations. Whether you’ve received an evite, email, or my latest favorite, PaperlessPost, remember the party invitation was sent to you, not to your extended friends list. Please don’t forward them to anyone. Your host won’t be happy with digital crashers knocking on their door.

2. Thank You Notes. Whether you received your party invitation via email or are in a rush to thank someone for a gift, it’s fine to thank them in an email. However, the added touch of personalizing a thank you note with a stamp sent via U.S. mail will never go out of style.

3. Table Netiquette.  As a child, you may remember the saying, ‘”MableMable, If You’re Able, Keep Your Elbows Off the Table.”  It’s time for a digital facelift on this famous game. Remember to keep your mobile phone off the table at a holiday party. Texting and tweeting is rude towards your host and the other guests. If you must text someone, walk into another room and do it in private.

4. Posting Party Photos. If you’ve been to a holiday luncheon or party and know that some of your BFFs were not invited, it’s best to post photos on Facebook or Twitter in a generic way. “December memories” or “Lunch with the girls” would be better than posting as “Nancy’s Christmas party.” Facebook isn’t the place to hurt someone’s digital feelings. If you still aren’t sure if you should post the photos, then you should trust your digital intuition and take a pass. Send them to your friends in a private email on Picasa or Flickr.

At the end of the digital day, remember to treat others the way you want to be treated, both online and offline. If you wouldn’t post it or say it in real life, adhere to the same rules of netiquette online.

Julie Spira is a netiquette expert and the author of The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web. Follow her @JulieSpira on Twitter and at

Are you a Kindle owner? You can now receive The Rules of Netiquette on Kindle at

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