In a world of takeout, cellphones, and more relaxed manners all around, it’s safe to say many of the rules Emily Post wrote about in her book Etiquette in 1922 don’t hold up in today’s world. However, that doesn’t mean that good manners have fallen by the wayside altogether.
In fact, one article from The New York Times discussed how many blogs, books, and even YouTube channels have popped up in recent years, driven by society’s desire to conduct themselves in polite ways. We’ll still keep our cellphones, Instagram posts, and ready-to-eat meals, thank you very much, but there’s clearly a need for revamping traditional table manners to account for the changes in eating habits and technology.
Still, despite some of our best intentions, we could all use a little Post-like instruction every now and then. As one columnist laments in The Telegraph, there are times when we forget utensils are still handy for making a good impression at the dinner table — as opposed to picking food up with our fingers. “A finger buffet used to be something you found at weddings; now all of life is one long finger buffet,” author Allison Pearson writes.
So in today’s world, which traditional rules of etiquette still apply? Which ones have changed? And what new rules have been set to account for the most polite way to take a selfie at a restaurant? Here are a few of the basics.