Win Friends and Influence People Online

Win Friends and Influence People Online

Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and Emily Post’s “Etiquette” are now digitally overhauled, reflecting technology’s influence on human connections.

A new edition of Carnegie’s famous book, first published in 1936, was released this week and contains advice on how to form friendships and make businesses connections via social media and other online tools.

Peter Handal, chief executive at Dale Carnegie & Associates, explained Carnegie’s core advice remains relevant but needed to be refreshed for the 21st century.

“With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging, our workplace is forever changed,” Handal said. “Gone are the days of building a friendship through face-to-face communications; instead we resort to email, texting, phone calls and video sessions for meetings.”

Meanwhile, a renewed edition of Emily Post’s 1992 treatise called “Etiquette” bears the new subtitle “Manners for a New World.” It now covers such topics as proper email, Twitter and Facebook decorum.

Addendums to the 18th edition of Post’s book, written by her great-granddaughter-in-law Peggy Post, include warnings against texting in theatres, misusing corporate email accounts and stealing friends’ thunder on Facebook and Twitter.

Both renewed editions underscore technology’s occasionally confounding influence on human relationships.

The Internet, mobile and social media can sometimes discourage people from forming meaningful connections and at other times amplify rude behavior. Plugged-in people who find themselves lonely may benefit from Carnegie’s advice on how best to listen and connect with others, while those who abuse mobile devices may do well to take a page from Post’s book.

For example, Bruno Gonclaves at Indiana University studied 380 million tweets and discovered Twitter users could only manage to maintain 150 strong connections at a time.

Gonclaves’ research, taken with an Australian study’s findings that one-third of Facebook addicts are lonely, suggests people are not always choosing quality over quantity when it comes to online relationships.

Also, a woman was recently kicked off an Amtrack train after carrying on a 16-hour long conversation in a “quiet” car, highlighting how digital devices can enable impolite behavior. Her actions bear truth to Genevieve Bell’s survey, which found 90 percent of those asked witnessed rude mobile behavior on a daily basis.

Carnegie and Post wrote their books nearly one century ago, but even in the digital world the gist of their advice on making connections and avoiding social faux pas continues to remain pertinent.

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