First, as I was typing the title, I noticed that there were no red lines under the word etiquette. I can’t believe it spelled it right on the first try! Be proud of me.
Is it just me or has contacting another person become very complicated? But the truth is, if you don’t understand the social contact etiquette, you are doomed to offend everyone and no one so just hear me out.
Feel free to disagree with me if you want but I believe the lowest, most unobtrusive form of contact is the Facebook status. This can be equated with the Tweet or any other message board status. If you aren’t addressing any particular person, you are just throwing out words into space that can be ignored or addressed or whatever.
Now this goes to the next level when you tag someone in a post. Everyone can see that post and you are calling someone out by tagging them so you have to be way careful when you tag. This can be one of the trickiest forms of contact. Just don’t tag your mother in a picture of Miley Cyrus and caption it, “Next years Halloween Costume. You in?”
Then there is the Facebook/Twitter/Message Board PM. If you are PMing someone, you are essentially writing them a note but by doing it through a message board you are assuming that either they check that message board several times a day or knowing that they don’t, they may or may not ever recieve your message. Because of the iffy nature of message boards and people either being to busy to bother with them or not, this type of contact is less reliable and therefore less obtrusive than the –
TEXT MESSAGE – This is a great way to contact people when you aren’t in a hurry for a response. I remember thinking my boss was a very busy man and therefore texting him nearly everything as my issues were very minor. Knowing that texting can be seen or ignored at least for a while and answered in a very casual manner not interrupting meetings or church or whatever… as long as your text alert is on silent. Otherwise the speed at which I dash of multiple messages to someone could be way annoying. SORRY!
The next step is actually a phone call. It’s a quick form of contact and usually doesn’t mean anything to huge. Leaving a voicemail is becoming a thing of the past as it takes way to much time to check a voicemail. However, a phone call actually shows more urgency than any of the afore mentioned contact methods as you are actually expecting the person to speak with you right away.
The personal hand written letter – “Say what?!?” I know. We don’t even get our mail anymore unless we know a Netflix is in there. Getting a handwritten letter is VERY PERSONAL! You know if someone took the time to send you a card in the USPS, you are special. If someone actually penned you a letter John Adams style (and didn’t just pick up a Hallmark), you are either Abigail or IN TROUBLE!!!! This form of contact is usually reserved for bill collection, send-in ballots and jury duty. All I’m saying is, it’s way official.
Then there is the visit. Ok, I rarely get anyone coming to my house so when the doorbell rings, I’m like, “NO ONE OPEN THE DOOR UNTIL MOMMY IS DRESSED!” Usually it’s Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons. However, when someone comes to my home uninvited, my heart jumps into my mouth and I freak out. Part of that is the state of my house is rarely if ever in the condition to receive guests but worse than that, I assume they have something to announce… like a death. I mean, who visits anyone in person anymore?