How to address work emails, Tinder cameos and Facebook flirting

Tell your friend her husband is on Tinder with a non-judgmental screen grab, etiquette expert says

Imet a cute guy at a bar. Will I come off as a stalker if I friend him on Facebook?

DREAMSTIME

Imet a cute guy at a bar. Will I come off as a stalker if I friend him on Facebook?

What’s the proper way to address an email to my staff? “Hi folks?” “Hey all?” “Colleagues?” Nothing seems quite right. I don’t want them to think we’re friends. I might have to fire them.

Well, big boss, you can take some liberties with how you address the staff. In fact, you don’t need a noun at all. Controversial, I know, but you can just start an email with “Hello” or “Good morning,” slap a comma beside it and get on with it. You’re right in not wanting to be too colloquial, as it is still a professional environment. That said, you can still address your colleagues, as well, people. You don’t need to address them with the formality that would have went out in a 1980s inter-office fax. Nor do you need to pretend to be chummier than you actual are. If you walk into the office and say, “Hey guys” because it feels natural for you, then you might feel comfortable using that language in an email. Exercise your good judgment, which as a boss, I’m sure you have in spades.

My friend’s husband is using Tinder. Should I swipe right as a match so he will know I saw him, or will he think I’m game for an affair?

Nooooooo do not swipe right! He might very well think you are game for an affair, and I’m going to assume that you are not keen to sleep with your friend’s husband. But do use your phone for something else. Take a screen grab of him and send it to your friend with a non-judgey comment, like, “Hey, is this your husband on Tinder?” For all you know, they have an open relationship and she’s also on Tinder, swiping her heart out. Or, you’ll have just given her a crucial piece of information that will prompt a very important conversation between them. Either way, don’t make any assumptions, but don’t hide your discovery. Honesty is, as they say, the best policy.

I met a cute guy at a bar. Will I come off as a stalker if I friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and add him on Instagram?

Yup, but you’ll do it anyways, won’t you? Because you’re human. And when we meet someone we’re into, we want to know everything about them as quickly as we can, so that we can text a friend and say, “I KNEW it! His profile picture is from the same part of Italy that I’ve been to, so we’re totally destined to be together!”

Try not to get too caught up in this. You will be looking for information that has no context. You might see something and give it too much weight, like photos of him with other women. And you’ll immediately want to know what their deal is. Nothing good can come from this. Give his social profile the requisite glance to make sure there is nothing alarming (you did say you met at a bar…) or off-putting, them move on. Assuming you exchanged contact information, save getting to know him for in real life.

Etiquette expert Karen Cleveland answers your questions about life online. Tweet her your questions: @SchoolFinishing

(Originally appeared in the Toronto Star, September 2015)

Manners 2.0: My mother-in-law wants help with her online dating profile

My mother-in-law wants my help writing an online dating profile for Match.com. Should I do it? What if she meets a cyclops on there?

Good on your mother in law for embracing new ways of dating! You must have a special relationship if she feels comfortable asking you for advice.

Before you whip out your iPad and start swiping right, take a step back and have a good chat, in real life. It’s good to recall that while the forums for dating have evolved, it is still plagued by its old analogue issues. People can be less than kind, truthful or responsive. Is your MIL aware that some people are truth-y about their profiles? Does she know that there are some serious creeps out there? Does the term “hook up culture” mean anything to her? Is she aware of how shallow and crass some sites are (swiping, like shopping for shoes, “looks good, I’ll try ’em out!”). If yes, great! She’s a grown woman and might be on the cusp of having a ball. She’ll likely meet lots and lots of cyclops, but she just might meet a gem, too.

The ratio of jerks to gems online is likely comparable to that of a cafe, anyways, it’s just a new medium for meeting them. Help manage her expectations that she’ll likely have to go on some snooze-worthy dates in addition to some fun ones. Such is dating. Help her pick out some photos for her profile and find a great date outfit or two. She’ll likely need a few in the rotation!

I saw a good guy friend on Tinder. I’m not interested in him romantically, but should I still swipe right?

If you saw that same platonic friend at a bar, would you flirt with him out of politesse? An excellent gauge of whether to do something online is to ask yourself if you’d do it offline. Don’t feel pressured into courtesy swiping. Sure, you might fluff his feathers, but what if he’s been in love with you for years, and your innocuous swipe is the sign he’s been waiting for? Or what if he has no feelings for you, and thinks you’re coming on to him? That would mess with a friendship.

Swipe left, then text him to tell him he has a huge booger in nose in his profile photo. That will instantly diffuse any awkwardness and put you firmly back into the friend camp.

Of course, if you’d like my opinion to swipe left or right, please send me his photo — strictly for my professional opinion, of course.

I only accept friend requests from true friends on Facebook. How do I tell my boss and everyone else who wants in to politely f— off?

Do you only go for coffee with “true” friends? I’m curious why you’ve drawn lines around acquaintances versus friends. Do you share extremely intimate content on Facebook? If you do, then I applaud you for being so fastidious with keeping your content congruous with your audience. It is when those things get funky that issues arise.

Don’t feel compelled to accept every friend request that you receive. In fact, you don’t need to accept or even decline them. You can leave them in request purgatory, if you’re worried about hurting feelings. If a colleague, not a “true friend” by your measures, sends you a Facebook friend request, hop on over to LinkedIn and add them there. Include a short message explaining that you’re awful at keeping up on Facebook, but that you look forward to keeping in touch on LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: if you’re taking this course of action, check that your profile privacy settings are such that no one can nose around your profile, to call your bluff on your alleged Facebook inactivity.

I was creeping my ex-boyfriend online and accidentally clicked on his LinkedIn profile. Can I somehow change my settings so he doesn’t find out?

Busted! Well, it happened and you’ve been caught clicking red handed. The bad news is that no, you can’t undo your snooping. But if you plan on future espionage, yes, you can make yourself anonymous on LinkedIn. Hover your cursor over your photo in the top right-hand corner, and the Account & Settings menu will drop down. Click on Privacy & Settings, then scroll to the bottom for Privacy Controls section. Click on the “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” to edit your settings. Le voila, you can make yourself virtually invisible.

Now that the tech support portion of this column is complete, can I ask, why the creeping? No one ever feels better after creeping their ex online, ever. So when the temptation to see what he’s up to strikes, channel it somewhere else. Update your own profile, make a new playlist, scheme an amazing vacation, enjoy some excellent cat videos, what have you. Instead of googling his name, Google “best hiit at home workout.” Much more cathartic than looking at his mug.

Each week, etiquette expert Karen Cleveland answers your questions about life online. Tweet her your questions: @SchoolFinishing

(Originally appeared in the Toronto Star, September 2015)

Valentine’s etiquette on CTV

It was great to be back at CTV. This time, we discussed “Dating in the Digital Age”. Clip below, or here.

CTV

Last Minute-ish ideas for Valentines Day

If you haven’t been hit over the head with onslaught of bad chocolate and tacky lingerie, count yourself lucky. Then come out from under the rock you’ve been living under, and concede that Valentine’s Day is here.

And if you hate on it, you can rest assured that you’re in good company, lots of people think Valentine’s Day is overblown and lame. But your honey might not give a hoot about how commercial or stupid you think February 14 is — they might still be hoping you do something, anything, to mark the occasion. You need not feel like a sell-out or go broke in the process.

Best bets for late (ish) Valentine’s Day gifts

Really, really good quality chocolate

  • Pro tip: if you can buy it alongside dish detergent and cat litter, you’re not buying good enough chocolate.


Something fun to do together

  • How do you want to spend an evening together? Getting rubbed down for a couples’ massage? Seeing a great band or comedian together? Taking a wine tasting class? No need to take one for the team, find something that you’re into, too.


A gift that gives all year long

  • Get pregnant! Kidding. Magazine subscriptions or loading up your lover’s e-reader with really great content will have them swooning all year long.

Get outta here

  • Go out of town and make out in a new, undiscovered territory. You need not go far to feel miles and miles away.

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day on The Morning Show

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A great start to my morning as a guest on The Morning Show — thanks for having me, Global!