DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper response to people who own lots of electronic gadgets, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, etc., and participate in every social media platform and software program, and who insist -- not in a polite way -- that I also be similarly hooked up, expose my life to the world and be available to them every second?
It is fine with me if they want to do this, but I DO NOT wish to. Ideas?
GENTLE READER: Assure them that you are old-fashioned in valuing your privacy and the company of real friends?
Perhaps not. Miss Manners rules that option out on the grounds of tact, but realizes that it could equally well be eliminated because it will only arouse scorn.
When she admits her own technological ineptitude, she has perfected a tone which, while the words may be self-deprecating (“I’m so sorry, that’s quite beyond me”), makes clear to anyone paying attention that offers to instruct her would not be greeted with enthusiasm. She has quite a different and humbler tone for those whose aid she might require to get her out of technological trouble.