Saturday, July 25, 2009

Post 22The New Civil Society - Etiquette

Credit: Learner's Dictionary

A while ago, I was watching a documentary on Doc zone and it was on manners and etiquette. The documentary was basically about our attitude and behaviour toward one another in an age that is becoming increasingly digitized.

Text messaging and IM'ing have made it easy for us to leave the niceties at the door, according to the documentary and we've turned what once was a matter of courtesy into short and sometimes brash behaviour towards one another. Table manners have gone away with the advent of pocket pizzas and TV dinners and "please" and "thank you" are about as buzzworded as we can get nowadays.

I do agree with the fact that what the digitized age has done to us is make us less aware of our surroundings. It's really hard to move out of the way when you're walking and checking texts at the same time. Ironically, we're more connected than we've ever been but we have no physical awareness of the people walking past us or sitting beside us.

I think it helps to keep in mind that others in the world exist. If a senior citizen or a pregnant woman gets on the bus, give up the priority seats. Lift your umbrella up when you're approaching someone with an umbrella coming toward you. Open a door once in a while. They're nice things that don't take much effort. Etiquette isn't for Stodgy Victorians of bygone days.


Anonymous said...

Je suis d'accord!
We are entering into this strange sort of solipsism or narcissism. With everyone always on his or her cellphone or iPod, or whatever, what was once public space is being transformed into this ubiquitous private space. We are getting lost in our own heads, and you are right, we are forgetting how to treat and receive other people. Judith Butler says that " At this point, when I near the prospect of intellectual self-sufficiency in the presence of the other, nearly excluding him or her from my horizon, the thread of my story unravels. If I achieve that self-sufficiency, my relation to the other is lost." I think that the same sort of thing is happening with all of this plugging in that people are doing--they are losing their relation to other people. We are forgetting that there are other people in the world who have their own minds and private spaces.

Mehnaz said...

so true. I love that you use the word "solipsism". You just made me ever so much happier!