Keep Summer Fun: Practice proper tech etiquette to help reconnect with friends and family

The Emily Post Institute has partnered with Bank of America to talk about all the ways good etiquette can work with new technology to improve relationships and help people reconnect this summer.

1364929_88397074June is here and the 4th of July is just around the corner. Summer is a great time to reconnect with the people who matter the most to us. It is a time for ‘making time’ to enjoy the company of old friends and treasured family. It is also a time of potential stress as friends gather, travel to visit, and open up homes to host others. With smart-phones, 4G, and social media everywhere; the office is never more than a ring, click, or like away. The generation that has grown up connected and wired-in may have a hard time unplugging long enough to get to know the cousins who came from so far away. Expenses pile up in the most unexpected as well as predictable of ways. And all this is supposed to be fun.

Good etiquette can make all the difference. Consideration, respect, and honesty are the pillars of strong relationships that survive any test and thrive in every environment. Try these simple tips to help everyone keep the focus on summer fun!

  1. Know your role in a given situation. Guests should show up with gift in hand, ready to chip in, and aware that it is up to them to keep their impact on the host minimal. That includes not hogging bandwidth or occupying the home computer that your host lets you use for too long. Hosts should plan ahead by preparing rooms, and staying aware of how their mood sets the tone for the visit. The considerate contemporary host might think to provide wireless passwords or even set up a temporary guest network or computer log-on for visitors.
  2. Establish Digital house rules that everyone can agree to live by ahead of time. Consider carving out a few ‘no digital’ spaces to allow time for important face-to-face human interactions. The dinner table, bedrooms after a certain hour, and even shared common rooms are all places that most families might agree to leave phones, tablets, and other devices behind for the duration of the visit.
  3. Set a budget ahead of time with everyone who is contributing and stick to it. Then pay people back on time. That means before you are asked by the person who has put up the money for tickets, rentals, even gas and food. The Bank of America Mobile Banking App allows you to securely send money using a mobile number or email address. The recipient does not need to be an account holder and you can do it anytime, from anywhere your phone gets a signal. No trip to the banking center needed means there is no excuse to put it off. No more checks. No IOUs. Settle up in this convenient manner and keep the focus on the fun where it belong.
  4. Traveling professionals should set expectation with those they work with as well. In today’s connected world, a vacation can turn into a working vacation very quickly and with little warning. Let those you work with know what are reasonable expectations for getting in touch with you and what your response times are likely to be. Outline what types of emergencies are serious enough to overstep these agreed to boundaries.
  5. Remind yourself that for any rude digital behavior that you have witnessed, someone may have been thinking something similar about you at some point. It is easier to see rudeness in other than in ourselves and mobile devices have the habit of jumping into hands and attaching to ears before the offender ever realizes what is happening. Consider starting a new summertime habit of leaving the smart-phone behind every once in while. The phone-less lazy day at the ball game, the beach, or spent with family might very well be a new standard for relaxation.

For more information on how to manage your finances using new technology in the best ways possible, visit

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