I recently wrote a post about how we need to be reminded to have manners in a world of technology. I got feedback about how difficult it is to follow through with some of the tips, so I’ve devised another list to show us how technology can help us have manners.
1. Order Ahead. One of the biggest points that I heard is that it takes a lot of energy just to GET to the event/dinner/playdate, that there is generally no time to stop and pick up flowers or bake cookies! I am one of those moms, too. Between getting myself ready, then the three kids, and nagging my husband to change (t-shirts he wore in college are not ok, and no, he is not a hipster), we barely make it before the party is over. Enter my knight in shining armor: Amazon Prime. Find two or three gifts that you love, and buy a few of each. That way, you always have something in the closet to grab and go. Here are some ideas to get you started:
2. Set Reminders. Everybody has a cell phone these days, even some second graders at the elementary school. Enter in all your events (Tempo calendar will even sync with other members of your family on a shared calendar), and use the reminder function! I generally use two: one for an hour before, and another for fifteen minutes before, so I know when to leave the house. Set yours to fit your schedule, and watch your stress from being chronically late melt away…Not quite like Calgon, but every bit helps! This action is also really helpful to remember birthdays, anniversaries, or other events. Just a while ago, I entered in the surgery of the mother of a friend, and gave her a quick call to check in.
3. Do Not Disturb. I am a loyal Apple user, so I can only speak of the iPhone feature here, but the DND function is a life, friend and marriage saver. Just swipe up, tap on the crescent moon, and all calls and texts will be silenced. You can change settings, so that if your spouse or babysitter calls, those come through –under favorites. If someone calls three times, it will come through as well, so you can relax, knowing that if a tsunami has hit Aruba where your in-laws are vacationing, you’ll be first to party. I mean, know about it.
My DND goes on automatically at 9 pm every night, so that I have undisturbed time with my husband, and he knows that I’ll be totally focused on him for that hour before bed.
4. Apps That Help
As you know, I’m a fan of snail mail invitations and thank you cards, but I’ve been hearing that some people just feel way too overwhelmed at the thought. I think it’s safe to say, we’ve all been there and have experienced that at one time or another…or all the time! Instead of getting so overwhelmed that you don’t do anything, check out Paperless Post for beautiful invitations, cards, even baby announcements –it’s how I introduced my family and friends to my third! Another app to use is Red Stamp, and they have other options, including decor. The idea here is to still show your gratitude/sympathy/caring, in a more genuine way than with a quick text or email.
5. Let It Go
Enough with the Frozen! I can’t listen to the soundtrack or watch the movie anymore! My daughter even has me sing it to her as a lullaby when I say good night! I have to admit though, the message is true. If you forget to send a thank you card or bring a hostess gift, it’s ok. If you never reciprocate the invitation because you feel like feeding your own family is already too many dishes, that’s ok too. Let it go. Everyone has times when it’s hard to make it through the day, without the added tasks on the to do list. Just make sure that when things settle down, your friends and family know that you think about them and appreciate having them in your life!
Tell me how you use technology to help you mind your manners!