Published on 24th December 2019

Messenger from Facebook has partnered with Debrett’s, the renowned authority on modern etiquette, to put together a go-to guide that helps people perfect their own digital communication and improve the way they communicate digitally with friends and family.

Leave ghosting in 2019

Out with old in with the new?

  • Messenger discovered a shocking 37% of Brits have ghosted someone…
  • Debrett’s suggest that if you are losing interest, “Don’t just cut off all contact without warning … ignoring someone’s messages constitutes ghosting and leads to anxiety and uncertainty”
  • Turn over a new leaf in 2020; if you want to end a conversation next year, Debrett’s recommend “Do so openly but gently, with a brief, polite explanation.” Leaving ghosting in 2019, will most certainly improve your digital communication

The dreaded ‘blue tick’

  • An easy way to illustrate a lack of digital communication etiquette is by leaving someone on a ‘blue tick’. Brits are not unfamiliar to the sinking feeling when the ‘blue tick’ appears, with 61% of us checking whether our messages have been read
  • If you can’t reply quick, avoid the blue tick: Debrett’s say, “It’s polite to reply promptly to messages, but if you’re busy and know that a message isn’t urgent, leave it unread until you have time to respond.”

Keep it concise … but not too concise

  • Considering the length of your messages and finding a happy medium, will definitely improve your digital communication
  • 64% of Brits believe just a few words is acceptable, while just 32% believe multiple paragraphs to be appropriate
  • Debrett’s advice: “Stick to a few sentences, especially when you are messaging someone you don’t know well. Long paragraphs of text are overwhelming … If you have a lot to say, suggest a video chat instead.”

Know your audience

  • Whether you’ve been added to a round robin group chat for NYE party planning or have started a friends chat for the coming year, it is best you gauge the tone before messaging
  • Sending GIFs in a corporate meeting group probably isn’t the best idea – “Be sure to check who else is involved before sending a message. Failing to familiarise yourself with your audience leaves you vulnerable to indiscretion.”
  • Debrett’s recommend to “Avoid sharing in-jokes or references that exclude others, and keep the conversation relevant to the majority. Start a separate message exchange if you need to make individual arrangements” – being mean is so 2019…

Sign 2019 off in style

  • Don’t under-estimate the value of saying good-bye. We might tease baby boomers for signing off messages, but it is polite practice which minimises confusion
  • Almost half of 45-64 year olds surveyed globally always sign off every messaging conversation, whereas only a third of 18-24 year olds feel a need to sign off
  • Debrett’s advise “If you’re switching gears to another activity, it’s best to let the other person know, even if it’s a simple, “be right back.” BRB messages, and actually getting back to the conversation when you have more time, will definitely improve your digital communication

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