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Old 10-14-2005, 02:31 PM   #1
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Are Manners Dead?

One thing that really bugs me about this article..the whole "harried single parent" thing, as if the "good old fashioned" family had the most polite, mannered parents and children- it didn't and it doesn't. I would think most people, single or otherwise, would take the time to teach their kids manners-shouldn't that be one of parents' most important jobs? And how much time does it really take?

And adults need to take responsibility for our own lack of manners, and not blame it on technology, harried lifestyle, or some other silly excuse. It takes a small effort to hold a door or carry out some other common courtesy.

People are afraid to speak up when they witness rudeness, I do sometimes but other times I don't. Honestly I am afraid of people sometimes, if they can be that rude what else are they capable of?

Yes we are all human and we get angry, emotional, frustrated., whatever..but manners still count for something, don't they?

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news...s=bos&psp=news
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:44 PM   #2
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A topic to my heart, Mrs. S. Are manners dead? Probably on life support. I think there is a sense of entitlement now that was less evident before. Parents encouraging kids to shriek in your ear at a baseball game and then when you politely ask the parents and when you ask the parents that they be a little more quiet, the parents encourage them to scream more. This has happened to me three separate times, with the kids actually quieting down and saying "it bothers them", but the parents then actually urging them to keep it up. I can even feel the kids' discomfort. There were times I was afraid for my physical safety just when I was asking for what I thought was common courtesy.

It's not just parents and kids. My friends and I were brought up well (not that I am immune from being insufferably rude on occasion) I don't know that there is much remedy for it but to play their game (and I do sometimes). But there is just no consideration anymore for anyone else outside of your immediate circle.
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:53 PM   #3
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I stopped sending birthday and Christmas money to both of my sisters' kids because neither they nor the kids ever acknowledged it. There was more to it than that but that was a big part of it. I really struggled with the decision because they are excellent parents and genuinely very busy but finally I stopped because it was bothering me too much.

I don't know if I fully agree that people in general are ruder, especially as compared with the 'nuclear family' of days past. I think people today are bolder and more confrontational which I see as generally a good thing if it's done appropriately. While those 20-30 years ago in some cases may have appeared to be more polite in the romanticized way we tend to look at the past I think the surface politeness oftentimes masked something more--anger, insecurity, passivity, etc. I don't think avoidance of confrontation necessarily equals harmony.

But certainly things like obnoxious use of cell phones and being too busy to write or call to say thank you for a gift is a reflection of our more complicated lives today. But if I still have time to write the check, buy the card and the stamp and put it in the mail, I'd settle for a thank you sent by email over nothing at all.
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:05 PM   #4
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I do agree w/ the "sense of entitlement " aspect of why teenagers (it's adults too though) are rude. The attitude seems to be "I deserve this, I want it now" and the heck w/ any consideration for others.

Thank you and you're welcome are tough enough to get to hear , never mind notes, etc.
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:07 PM   #5
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Manners are a simple way of (i) showing care for the people around you and/or (ii) trying to minimize the burdens of your own behavior (however minor) on other people. I see the apparent loss of manners is probably a symptom of a larger problem. We have grown into a far more selfish society than our prior generations, with consumption being a much higher priority than ever.

I was looking at some old pictures my dad had spread out on his coffee table (with his Alzheimer's, its his way of keeping in touch with his memory). There was one picture taken during the late 60's/early 70's by a color television set. I realized that purchasing the television was a big event - one that you waited to do until you saved (after meeting all your other financial obligations). Today, children almost expect televisions of their own. The point being, current generations want things far sooner in life than prior generations.

I also see the idea of community eroding in many places. Coming home from work use to mean visiting with neighbors. For today's generation, our homes are more like cocoons. When I bought my first house, my wife and I noticed that people would park their car in the garage and close the garage door, before getting out of their car.

Manners should count for something. But the notion of what our level of concern should be has changed.
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:16 PM   #6
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I think maybe it is a symptom of a lack of human contact and connection, it seems sometimes like people don't even want that anymore. Technology can be dehumanizing to a certain extent, and sometimes we want to block people out with it. Sometimes I do.

I try to force myself to make an effort to help people when I see they might need it. A few weeks ago I saw a guy was struggling to get his suitcases through the subway turnstile and I stopped and offered to help him. He kind of muttered a reply and kept struggling, maybe it was the issue of God forbid having a female help him

I live in a suburb and only occasionally get into the city, but people are just as rude in suburbs.
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:24 PM   #7
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Reminds me of when I used to live in New York when I went to college. Stopped into a deli while one man pulled a knife on the owner. I stepped out quickly--coward that I was and was waiting on the corner for the light to change. The man holding the knife was suddenly behind me and I froze. When the light changed, he very politely said "Excuse me" before he passed me and crossed the street. A well brought up criminal. His mother would have been proud.
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Old 10-14-2005, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen

I try to force myself to make an effort to help people when I see they might need it. A few weeks ago I saw a guy was struggling to get his suitcases through the subway turnstile and I stopped and offered to help him. He kind of muttered a reply and kept struggling, maybe it was the issue of God forbid having a female help him

I remember two incidents from my NYC days that made an impression on me. In the first, I was on a rush-hour subway train. People packed like sardines. I noticed a man who had to be well into his 80s struggling to stand up with nothing really to hold on to. I politely asked if anyone would give up their seat for him. I maintain that New Yorkers are generally quite helpful once you draw their attention to things. Indeed more than one person jumped up. But the man refused the offer, seemed insulted, and then I felt dumb for interfering.

The second incident happened crossing 14th street on a treacherous sheet of ice. Again, an elderly woman was making her way across and I offered her my arm. She was like the stereotypical angry old woman who probably would've hit me with her cane if she had one.

And then I thought of myself and all the times men tried to help me with my luggage in the overhead compartment on airplanes. I generally politely say "I've got it, thanks" because I really do have it--I work out, I have strong arms, sometimes I'm sure I'm stronger than they are, and as an independent woman I guess I take a little too much pride sometimes in my ability to take care of myself. On occasion I may have even given them a look (and regretted it) like, "what, do I look helpless to you?" if I'm in one of those moods but mostly I try to be polite.

So I've learned that generally when people need help they'll ask for it and if they don't, I don't usually offer anymore. Once in awhile I will and people seem thankful for it but I'm more discriminating about it.
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:15 PM   #9
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it's interesting ... with my friends and i, especially now that we are starting to do thing like gradute from law school and make passable salaries and get married, it's almost like a competition to see who can be more polite, more mannered, more socially adept.
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:26 PM   #10
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i make sure to say thank you whenever I can but it pisses me off because my mom assumes that I won't say "thank you" to someone and she still to this day says to me "what do you say?" before i even get the chance to say thank you

/endrant

Anyway, I don't believe manners are dead. People on my campus are generally very polite, hold doors open for people, say thank you when they do, etc.
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
I think maybe it is a symptom of a lack of human contact and connection, it seems sometimes like people don't even want that anymore. Technology can be dehumanizing to a certain extent, and sometimes we want to block people out with it. Sometimes I do.
Perhaps our fascination with technology results in a lack of human contact. In prior generations, high school students would hang out together for social time.

Now, kids race home and engage in IM conversations with their friends (even if they are neighbors). Conservation gets reduced to sentence fragments and non-verbal communication is completely lost.
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Old 10-14-2005, 04:59 PM   #12
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Speaking of technology and manners....

"Ur dumped" -- research shows text a popular way of ending romances

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Breaking up is supposed to be hard to do, but young Australian couples have found an easy solution - send a text message and move on.

Research shows young romantics are increasingly using SMS text messages to manage, and even end, their relationships.

Macquarie University researcher Natalie Robinson studied the texting habits of 100 young people aged 18-35 and found SMS messaging increased when relationships were beginning or going through a rocky period.
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Old 10-14-2005, 05:08 PM   #13
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I saw that article nbc and thought the exact same thing, that's a good example of technology and manners

For me communicating via e-mail or other online ways is much easier than it is in person, it eliminates certain self conscious aspects..and I don't feel as awkward or shy about communicating certain things.

But some things are always communicated much better face to face, aside from the obvious
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Old 10-14-2005, 05:13 PM   #14
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I think some here would behave differently if we were talking face to face. The anonymity of on-line discussions gives license for more outrageous behavior, testing the bounds of civility.

Excellent thread MrsSpringsteen.
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Old 10-14-2005, 05:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Manners are a simple way of (i) showing care for the people around you and/or (ii) trying to minimize the burdens of your own behavior (however minor) on other people. I see the apparent loss of manners is probably a symptom of a larger problem. We have grown into a far more selfish society than our prior generations, with consumption being a much higher priority than ever.

I also see the idea of community eroding in many places.
Very true.
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