Social Manners Vs. Social Media

Etiquette has played a huge part in society for years, dictating social graces and cultural standards. Back in the day manners were of the utmost importance. Even back in ancient Rome, a breach of etiquette could result in death. Nowadays things are a little less harsh, with manners and attention to position fallen a little to the wayside. And no, I don’t mean class-wise, I mean as in boss/employee, teacher/student, etc. The arrival of technology as a part of us has made things even worse. One can’t enter a restaurant, sit in a shop, or spend a few hours with a friend without some kind of social media entering the equation. Phones, MP3 devices, PSP’s; all contribute to different forms of entertainment and communication than previous generations were used to. However, does relying as heavily as we do on these devices impair our manners? It’s a question that would have Emily Post’s head spinning for sure.

Public Places

Try to remember the last time you walked into a public, inside place, and didn’t see someone standing around on the phone or texting? Chances are, you can’t. The ability to carry interactions around on phones have made people’s private lives public fodder. I especially love people who shout about their problems on the phone and coming in with helpful advice, “maybe if you be quiet he’ll stop cheating”. I strongly recommend that route, haha. Perhaps a bit immature, but teaches them a lesson. Also, people who walk slowly or don’t pay attention to their surroundings when texting. I know I’m probably guilty of this on some level, but cognizance of what’s going on in the real world is important too.

Out With Friends

Whenever I’m out with friends, I enjoy the conversation, have some drinks and fun, try to keep things rolling. And then suddenly everyone is on their phone. While it’s not technically rude in my book if it’s to invite others, it’s definitely rude to be randomly texting or Facebooking while spending time with others. It shows a lack of respect for others and the effort others made to spend time with them. Whenever this happens I tend to ask if the phone is more interesting myself, which mostly gets things back on track.

The Workplace

The workplace is a place where appropriateness and respect are key to success. Due to social media, the traditional line of boss and employee can become blurred. Facebooking and such can lead to overfamiliarity, which is sometimes a distraction from actual work. Another problem with social media at works? Simple manners. Calling co-workers and bosses by first names off the bat is a faux pas sometimes committed because one of the most common ways to meet people nowadays is over the Internet, which is extremely informal. Remembering to use respectful names for those around leads to mutual respect for both positions. And do I even need to ask about using “lol” and “btw” in work emails? Hopefully not, but just in case, it’s not grammatically correct and shows a lack of maturity about work.

In conclusion, remembering manners in the light of a less formal societal norm can make all the difference. Remembering to respect others before a social device and not letting your iPhone monopolize your time.