I don’t know how it happened but, we seemed to have lost our way when it comes to modern technology. When did we become so rude.
Don’t get me wrong, I can be rude. I love foul language and dirty jokes. I can complain about work and critique TV shows pretty well. I have been known to drop the F-bomb in front of the wrong people, and my kids are not allowed in the same room with me, when the guys come over for game night. There’s a 4th level thief and a few fellow adventurers that use some colorful language.
However, when I was young, my parents and grandparents taught me etiquette. You know, “If you can’t say anything nice….”, “respect your elders”, “please and thank-you”, etc. We learned how we should or should not act in certain social situations. I don’t tell dirty jokes in line at the store or ask my friend about the uncomfortable rash when riding in an elevator.
We have been teaching manners since the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs. The French perfected it in the 1600’s. America was given Rules of Civility by our first president. Showing respect is not only something that makes us civilized it also pays to be respectful.
When I was briefly in the S.C.A. we always left the halls we rented in better condition than it was when we arrived. Considering many people may be wary of a large group of weirdos dressed in medieval <a title="YEScustomes, wearing swords, this insured the opportunity for using that location again. “Sure they looked goofy but man this place looks great!”
It also paid well when I worked at a gas station years ago. I always asked people if they wanted the oil checked and washed their windows. Sure you can say what you want but, I made at least an extra $10 a day in tips and always got the monthly bonus for selling oil at the station. Not to mention the Christmas bonuses I got from a couple of wealthy customers.
So why are we throwing these common sense rules of social interaction out the window with our technology? Where did we go wrong?
I grew up in a small town. When I was a young geek, somewhere between Star Wars and Empire, my grandmother told me, “Don’t talk about other people. Either you’re related to them or the person you are talking to is.” That’s a good rule. If you have played Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon, you realize that that rule is always good. People on the internet seem to loose any concept of common decency when they are posting comments. From cyberbullying to insulting the dead in remarks to a news article, I have seen it all. People have no clue how foolish they are. More importantly, they don’t realize that they are only interacting in a very small area on the World Wide Web. Odds are that is the same area that their friends, neighbors, and others are using as well.
Now don’t get me wrong, f you want to ruin your job prospects by bitching about work on Facebook or worse, posting pictures of you burning your face off doing a flaming shot, that is certainly your choice, but man is it foolish.
We have all become critics as well. Why give an insulting review of someones Youtube tutorial on painting? Did you get pleasure in insulting someone who shared a free video?
Is it the pseudo anonymity of it all?
There is one benefit to all this ignorance. You can see what your friends are really like. Who knew that Pam was actually a closet racist? She says some amazingly insulting things on her posts!
But as offensive as the internet can get, it is not the piece or pieces of technology that burn me up. That rage is reserved for something much more invasive.
Cell phone users drive me bats*#t crazy. As I have said before, I am addicted to my phone. It travels by my side at all times. It’s so bad that to make it a special occasion with my wife, I need to prove I love her more by leaving it at home. But even with my obsession, I do have some personal rules.
- I always turn it off when I go to a movie!
- I try my best to turn it to vibrate when in any public buildings. The Doctor Who theme freaks people out anyway.
- I put it away when I go in a store unless it’s helping me shop, which it usually is. Seriously, keychain app, shopping list apps, scanner… Did you know ShopRite has an app!
- I never text and talk and whenever possible, I will talk on the phone outside or away from other people.
There is nothing more aggravating than cell phones lighting up in a dark theater, or someone taking a call in the middle of a class when you are trying to pay attention. OK, there IS something more aggravating. The guy who gets pissed off at the cashier. Who does she think she is, interrupting their phone conversation, so they can tell them the total cost of the products and ask for payment! The nerve!
Yes, I could go on for hours but, I will wrap it up here. I was going to give some tips on what to do but found other people have done a better job than I could. Here are a few videos and websites I found while writing this. Feel free to check them out and learn a few etiquette tips.
P.S. As another point of proper etiquette, if you want to use someones artwork online, always give them the courtesy of asking. You would be surprised at how many will say YES! And if they do, show them you appreciate it by posting a link or giving them props! Thanks Jud!