Introducing Daphne, The Kernel’s agony aunt

By Aunt Daphne on August 10th, 2013

Hello, dears! My name’s Daphne. You can call me Aunt Daphne. Some people say I look like the woman who established the BBC’s radiophonic workshop, but, as you’ll discover, that’s where the similarity ends.

The truth is, I was all set to retire and bask in the glory of being Britain’s pre-eminent “woman in tech” until that snotty bitch Ada Lovelace started getting all the credit in the late eighties – all because her dad was some famous poet. Lah-di-dah! Then again, my dad was an oil rigger from Dungeness, so it’s hardly surprising the invitation to Who’s Who got lost in the post.

Anyway, I’m back, here to solve the digital etiquette dilemmas brought on by email, Twitter, Facebook and all the other new-fangled technology filling our world. Because it seems to me that what you young people need is a crash course in old-fashioned manners.

Questions I’ve been asked recently include: is it wrong to propose via Twitter? What do you do about those awkward pending Facebook friend requests? And what about co-workers who bombard you with licentious emails all day?

Now, if you can’t answer two out of those three yourself, you’re probably what Ethel next door calls “one of them simples”, but, for everything else, I’ll guide you through the minefield of decorum, with one foot planted firmly in the good old days, when over-sharing was more likely to get you ostracised by the bridge club than immortalised by that nasty Nick Denton.

Don’t be afraid to ask me sensitive questions. I might be old, but there’s nothing I haven’t tried in my time, or caught my grandson Ian doing when he comes to stay. So it takes a lot shock this old bird and the worst you’ll get from me is what was once called an old-fashioned look.

Those nice boys at The Kernel have set me up with an email, so you can write to me with any question of propriety you’d like an answer to. All your enquiries are treated with the strictest confidence.

You’ll forgive me if, what with it being Christmas and all, and with the family coming over, you don’t hear from me for a few weeks. But don’t worry. Come January I’ll be all guns blazing. Although I’ll only post my favourite answers here on the website once a month, I’ll respond to every email I receive personally.

Can’t imagine that Ada doing the same, can you? Uppity cow.