DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am developing a presentation on social media to inform students of proper content in regards to the work world and future employers.
Currently, the most widely used standard is, “If you wouldn’t want your mom (grandmother, or other family member) to see it, don’t post it.” However, I do not think this is adequate. Most families have similar moral and ethical backgrounds, and thus may be more lenient with content than the hiring manager of an international company.
What would you tell students to use as their guide?
GENTLE READER: Is there something wrong with saying, “If you don’t want a job interviewer or your boss to see it, don’t post it”?
An impeccable alternative would be, “Would Miss Manners approve?” You will note that she has phrased it in the conditional so as not to encourage those who think it would be delightful to try to shock her.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is a proper birthday toast for someone who is terminally ill?
GENTLE READER: If your concern is that it would be dishonest or disingenuous not to mention the illness, please stop. The purpose of the party, Miss Manners assures you, is to celebrate the birthday and express heartfelt appreciation for the celebrant, and that is what the toast should do.
But under the circumstances, perhaps levity should be avoided. Only on the stage is the toast from Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” amusing: “As one month you have to live/As fellow-citizen/This toast with three times three we’ll give:/Long life to you, long life to you, long life to you ’til then!”