Open Thread

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This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.


  1. Sherri

    Is there a general timeframe that is considered appropriate for sending a sympathy card? Would a few days past one month be too long after the fact?

    • Elizabeth

      No, I don’t think it is. It is never too late to reach out to someone, but a month after the death is not very long at all.

  2. Is there a polite way to ask guests at a party not to post photos to social media of the event?

    I am throwing a get together at my home this weekend for a small group of friends. We all belong to the same social circle. In order to keep the party more intimate, I’ve invited most, but not all of this extended social group (those of the circle that I am closest to, but there are many friends of friends that we all see regularly).

    Is this even polite to do? Would it be best to speak to everyone privately, or send everyone a message and/or place sign at the event saying “Have fun, put those phones away, and please, no photos!”?

    I would hate for feelings of those who were not invited to be hurt when they see other friends having a good time together. I know, as adults, ideally we wouldn’t expect to be invited to everything and that some people are bound to be closer than others, but I know in reality, this is sticky business.

    The next time, should I look for a larger venue and make sure to invite everyone? Is it proper etiquette to invite most, but not all, of the friends in a group?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Are you asking because you have had fallout from this type of thing before? It is rude to show off one’s social life on social media. Perhaps you can trust that your friends will exercise discretion? If not, I think speaking to people privately might be the way to go. No photos seems like an extreme requirement since you don’t know that the photos will be posted on social media. If there’s a specfic reason why you’re worried you can say it (nicely) like “by the way, Jane’s feelings were hurt the last time we got together without her, but I couldn’t invite her due to space constraints. Could you do me a favor and try to not post on Facebook about this? I don’t want her to feel bad.”

      I don’t think you need to include everyone every time. I live in a small apartment where I can’t fit too many people at once, especially if I want to serve dinner. I end up basically rotating whom to invite as a result, and I hope if people found out they weren’t invited one time they would understand. I don’t get offended personally if I wasn’t invited one time.

      • Thank you for your thoughts, Winifred. No, I have not encountered this before, but this is a fairly new social group for me, in the past year or so. This is the first event I’ve hosted in my home, as opposed to a more casual, spontaneous get-togethers out.

        I certainly don’t think anyone who would be posting photos would be deliberately trying to hurt the feelings of those not invited, but I know it’s natural to post photos on Facebook of good memories.

        I would certainly hope that people understand that not everyone can be invited to every event, but I’m not in a position where I’m rotating through friends in this case. I’ve just chosen to have those who I know best at this point, but I’m worried about alienating those who I do not know well yet to the point where a future relationship would be tarnished.

        I think my understanding is that that’s not my place to worry.

        • Elizabeth

          I agree, I would not bring it up. Frankly, if someone did say something to me about not posting photos, I’d worry they were being a bit paranoid, or they were overestimating how much someone that wasn’t invited would care. Have fun and put it out of your mind.

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