Golden Rules of the Digital Age

Working outdoors. Beautiful young woman in funky hat working on laptop and smiling while sitting outdoors

Never end a relationship by text, never chat someone up via Linkedin – and always wish a friend happy birthday by text as well as Facebook – these are all among 17 golden rules of modern day communication.

The research, conducted by boffins at BT Mobile and Oxford University, took an in-depth look into the “dos and don’ts” of tech etiquette, and came up with a definitive modern day guide.

Among the list of advice for communicating in the online world included the obvious (but frequently ignored!) ‘don’t over share on social media’, and ‘always make sure you phone the boss rather than text or email if you’re taking the day off sick’. Putting kisses on emails to clients or colleagues is a definite no-no, as is sending a text or message in anger.

Other advice coming as a result of the survey included reminding people to be careful when pressing ‘reply all’ if gossiping about someone on the original message (and we’ve all done that one before!)- and never bitch about people on social media – you never know who will forward your messages or posts!

It also emerged the average Briton spends four hours and 12 minutes socialising online every day, has a circle of 178 friends on social media and sends 31 texts, 13 Facebook messages or comments, six tweets and 11 emails every day. That’s a lot of time taken up texting when we could be talking instead.

It was revealed that the average Brit sends their first message of the day at 9.04am and the final online exchange typically occurs at 9.29pm. Although we must admit this goes on a lot later on nights out with the girls when copious wine may have been consumed…

Psychologist Dr Peter Collett from Oxford University was involved in the  study of 2,000 adults. He told Belle: “People are increasingly moving away from the traditional ways of staying in touch, and so the psychology of friendship in the digital age has changed. By nature, humans are social animals.  Given that so much of our enjoyment is linked to other people, it’s hardly surprising that we invest so much time and effort into keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances.

“New digital communications have made it even easier for us to express our true nature, and the research that BT Mobile has conducted uncovers some really interesting new trends of the cyber friendship.”


•             Don’t “over share” on Facebook

•             Don’t chat someone up via LinkedIn or any professional platform

•             Don’t look through your partner’s phone

•             Don’t post to social media when emotional

•             Be careful when hitting “reply all” to a group message, if gossiping about someone

•             Never send a text or message in anger

•             Never send a text or message when drunk

•             Never post to social media when drunk

•             Don’t put kisses on texts or emails to clients or work colleagues

•             Don’t gossip about people on text or social media

•             Always text or message if you’re going to be late for a social arrangement

•             Always call work (the boss) rather than text if you are going to be off sick

•             If a friend is a good friend, wish them happy birthday by text as well as Facebook message

•             Never end a relationship by text or social media

•             Don’t ever text bad news, always call

  • The research of 2,000 Britons was conducted online via Ginger Research in Feb 2016
Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


Be the first to like.