Live the real Facebook

A social skills workshop designed for urban teens tells them what to do when they meet someone face-to-face instead of on Facebook

While your teen may be social media-savvy (read: know all emojis on WhatsApp and how to post videos on Snapchat), does s/he know what to say while meeting your friend for the first time? That’s where Zohra Chitalwala comes to the rescue. The city-based certified image consultant, who has been conducting social skills programme for the past six years, has organised an eight-session workshop for 11 to 20-year-olds. Using videos, quizzes and role-play, Chitalwala will teach teens, how to talk to adults, make the right first impression, telephone etiquette, dressing for occasions, personal hygiene, and how to play host too.

Zohra Chitalwala at a dining etiquette workshop for kids
Zohra Chitalwala at a dining etiquette workshop for kids

“With the rise of technology, face-to-face interaction seems less important, especially for the younger generation. So, it’s crucial to teach good social interaction and life skills to kids at an early age. When instruction is accompanied by repetition and practice, they can become a part of a child’s life,” says Chitalwala, adding that parents can introduce the skills to a child as young as six years. Here are six simple tips for young adults to trump in a social setting.

1. Offer a firm handshake: When you meet someone, a good first impression is important. The handshake is a sign of greeting and agreement. So, always offer a confident and firm handshake.

2. Make eye contact: It shows that you are paying attention to what the other person is saying. Smiling is also important.

3. Don’t slouch: Standing up straight and walking purposefully can give even the smallest person presence and energy. Conversely, a slumped posture suggests low spirits and disinterest in the conversation or situation.

4. Show manners as a host: Most times when parents call their friends or relatives, kids are disinterested and don’t bother stepping out of their rooms. That’s impolite. You should sit down with them, indulge in small talk and then, excuse yourself. While inviting someone for dinner, help your parents lay the table and allow guests to serve themselves before filling up your own plate.

5. Attend calls softly: While kids may be tech-savvy, they may often pick up a landline call and scream out to their parents to take it. That’s not the right approach. Use a softer tone, greet the person at the other end and then, request them to hold while you give the handset to your parent.

6. Don’t make noise at a restaurant: Nowadays, kids travel a lot with parents, and dining etiquette is vital. For instance, never shout out to the waiter at a restaurant but draw their attention quietly.

Till: May 4, 12 noon 
At: Studio Balance, Krishna Kunj, KM Munshi Marg, behind Wilson College. Till May 6, 3.30 pm At: The Integral Space, 14, Janata, first floor, opposite Palladium Mall. 
Cost: Rs 5,000
Call: 9322219284

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