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Netiquette: Saying farewell

Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich are wrapping up their
Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich are wrapping up their "Netiquette" column for CNN Tech after a 2 1/2-year run.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Netiquette columnists sign off with digital farewell tips
  • Don't start posting about new jobs until old one's done
  • Mass e-mails are good when you're moving out of town
  • When wrapping a netiquette column, take a bow and move on

Editor's note: Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz have been the sarcastic brains behind the blog and book "Stuff Hipsters Hate." Got a question about etiquette in the digital world? Contact them at netiquette@cnn.com.

(CNN) -- In the wise words of Joshua Ferris, "Then We Came to the End."

We're rapidly approaching the close of 2012 and the technical end of autumn. And of course, according to (pseudo-scholars of) the Mayan calendar, we're a mere week away from The End of the World.

All that finality got us thinking about how folks really manage to lose their netiquette heads when they scramble, legs flailing and akimbo, toward the denouement of events and life chapters. So here is the ultimate (get it?) guide to a polite big finish.

If you're leaving your job ...

Generally, it's wise to wait until your last day or so to let the LOLcat out of the bag (which is to say, to tweet or blog or otherwise post about your new gig).

Why? Because until the ink has dried on your contract, you don't want to run your mouth and risk sharing an update your new company wanted to announce itself. Plus, your current employer might not want to be hit with a torrent of resumes. Remember to give your professional contacts your new e-mail address before your account is shut down.

Then social-media up a storm on your first day or after your first week gushing about how much you love your new gig. Just don't do it during business hours. Obviously.

If you're leaving a city ...

The most heartfelt farewells will happen in person, but you do need to let your more casual acquaintances know about the relocation.

A mass e-mail is wise, as are a few Paul Revere-esque "Moving day is coming! Moving day is coming!" updates on your social networking site of choice.

But brace yourself: You'll likely continue to receive mass digital invites to events and debauchery in your former city from well-meaning but clueless contacts. Calmly write back to the inviter, explain that you won't be attending because you're flipping 2,000 miles away, and ask to be taken off the attendant chain of e-mails/texts/Facebook messages.

If your company goes kaput ...

The unemployment rate may have ticked down, but bankruptcies and shut-downs are still rampant (co-columnist Andi's magazine, "Martha Stewart's Whole Living," was shuttered on Friday, in fact).

Stay classy to aid your job search and keep the bridges behind you unburned. Wait until the employer has made official statements to the press (don't blow the lid off the thing sooner), and then use whatever outlets you have to spread the word that you're back on the market. (Hi there!)

(Hey, we couldn't very well call ourselves Netiquette experts if we weren't big on the Art of Self-Promotion, right?)

If you're leaving your wife ...

Digital missives should not, we repeat, should not be involved in the actual dumping. It's an obvious warning that more than a third of adults bewilderingly ignore.

Suck it up and place a phone call or discuss it in person. Then let your close friends or parents or whomever know about the break-up (we recommend using e-mail or the phone) before you go switching up your relationship status on Facebook (or worse, creating an online dating profile).

You don't want your loved ones to call you in alarm after a stalk-y friend alerts them to your new Single status, do you?

If you're hanging up your hat as Netiquette columnists ...

You take a bow and move on.

These last 2.5+ years (and 130+ columns) have been real, and we're legit grateful to the readers and fans who responded with balanced criticism, intelligent questions and positive feedback.

We've enjoyed mouthing off and calling out netiquette breaches as we saw 'em, and hope you've picked up a pointer or two. But we're moving on with our writing lives -- Brenna with a YA novel, Andi with a screenplay -- and we thought it wise to tap out before the world comes to a smoldering end.

And to all the haters: Good luck with your lives as well as basic motor tasks. You desperately need it.

-- Andi & Brenna

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