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Is technology making me rude?

By jasonhiner Moderator ·
I have to admit that I was a little disturbed by a USA Today article (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-10-14-rude-amercians-poll_x.htm) from this morning that shows nearly 70% of Americans questioned in an AP-Ipsos poll said people are ruder than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Oh yeah, and 93% of those polled blamed the problem on parents.

The poll itself did not directly link the problem to technology. However, the lead for the story in the USA Today stated, "Americans' fast-paced, high-tech existence has taken a toll on the civil in society."

I don't know if it's fair to directly blame technology. Althought technology is certainly helping the world move much faster, it is still just a tool and is only used based on the values of the people using it. What do you think? Is technology the root of new kinds of rudeness? Or is it just a tool for people who would otherwise be rude in different ways?

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No.

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Is technology making me r ...

I'm a grade A propeller head. I still say good morning to my colleagues, thank them when they take their turn at brewing up, never call them cunts even when they cause me extra work. It's that way I was schooled.

It's not so much that we don't have time to be polite, but we definitely haven't had time to teach our kids to be polite. Probably get sued by them if we tried!

Think it was Robert Heinlein again, but someone described good manners as the lubricant of a society, so maybe their lack explains the amount of friction.
Lack of manners in our kids is our fault, blaming anyone or anything else would be a cowardly abdication of our own responsibility.

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Permissive society

by ozi Eagle In reply to No.

I'm with you Tony.
It was Heinlein, in Stranger in a Strange World.

We try to instill manners in our kids. Then they go to school and come home with big ATTITUDE. Sometimes feel like kicking them out.

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Well,as a UK resident

by Neil Higgins In reply to Is technology making me r ...

I have to say that the "pace" of life has changed,from what it was.Rudeness can't be back-tracked to only parenting,and to argue that one parent kids are more prone to say,behaviour problems,is rubbish.I blame "E" numbers in the food,plus artificial crap that goes with it,to make a product look good,and prolong it's sell by date.Then of course,there's the consumer society,which basically lives in a "must have" state.Playstation,i-Pod,XBox,you get the idea.As technology work places are the norm,using a keyboard all day,is bound to lead to "home friction" and squables.I'm not suggesting for one minute to return to a "luddite" society,but IT has a lot to blame for an ever evolving problem of the must have,can't stop to talk/debate /paranoid world we all live in.Agreed,some folks are downright rude,and you'l probably never change the way they interact,but even the 95% of folks who are easy-going,also adopt the "nobody at home sign",every once in a while.That's my pennies worth anyway.

*Tony,just read your post,after I'd posted this one,if you,er,see what I mean.My son is five,and he's brought up "normally" to the best of my abilities,and my wife.I still stand by the "E" numbers theory though.

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People would be just as rude without technology

by AV . In reply to Is technology making me r ...

Life today is just too fast and stressful. Use of technology in public unfortunately isolates us from having in-person human interaction. Its just plain rude. Cellphones, IPODS, headsets, whatever. I think people should be more discreet out of common courtesy.

People walking or running with their IPODs or something like them, are totally oblivious to anything or anyone around them, not a good thing to do nowadays.

We have a real problem as a society if we don't even have common courtesy. We have no manners. We are not polite or helpful because we are always in a hurry.

Technology is part of the problem but not the cause.

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Technology is not the root of new kinds of rudeness. . . . .

by maxwell edison In reply to Is technology making me r ...

.
.....it is only a facilitator.

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Manners

by Choppit In reply to Is technology making me r ...

In my opinion, people are becoming politer. With a two year old son I'm now more aware than ever of the younger generation(s) and am frequently surprised at how well mannered kids (in the UK) are today. In contrast, I'm frequently shocked at how bad mannered todays senior citizens are.

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Rude ...

by CuteElf In reply to Manners

I think in the USA, we're ruder than normal....It's changed since the 80's and 70's...

I have manners, and I use them.

I DO NOT have a cell phone (have no use atm) and its one of my MOST HATED things.

For years i was a cashier at a gas station/retail person, and I hated those things with a passion.
Our society has changed enough to a Gimme Gimme Entitlement Attitude where I want to put my boot between their 4$$ cheeks......and shove hard.

People will order coffee as I'm making it and be yabbering on the phone. They'll be whining to their friend with them in person and ignore my questions DIRECTLY related to the serivce I'm trying to do.

Americans tho.

Immigrants seem to have manners better - even when from a country that has a denser pop/ smaller "me" space. My Chinese neighbor has great manners. He's 54 and been in AK for 4 years...and he does much better than some of the USA born people.

I dont want to blame technology. I want to blame ourselves. My generation (born in 75) has grown to be short tempered, gimmeish and very greedy. Part to do with tech..but more that our parents had money and that we got things w/o working..and realizing that it takes time to get from X to Y.
And plus, being isolated by money or technology lets a human not practice the manners needed in society.

So, if I have kids, they'll learn. If I teach kids, they'll learn. And I try to use my manners. I still forget. :) (blame age).

Cute

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Technology isn't making you rude

by amcol In reply to Is technology making me r ...

I agree with Max, technology is simply enabling you to be rude.

What makes you rude is the fact that when you were a child your parents never taught you proper manners, your teachers never reinforced respect and etiquette, and society bombarded you with messages that it's OK, in fact it's cool, to be rude. What makes you rude is the fact that as an adult you live in a fast paced society getting faster all the time in which common courtesy and politeness is not expected and even viewed as weakness, and you're still being bombarded by messages from the media reinforcing the fact that the ruder you are the cooler you are. Exacerbating the whole situation are all the wonderful toys technology provides us with that enable us to completely ignore each other, which is something we'd do whether we had the toys or not.

Don't blame technology.

Does this bother you enough? Then regardless of what everyone else is doing, you do the right thing. Set an example. Be a leader. Hold the door open for a lady and chew with your mouth closed, and maybe someone else will copy YOU and not the jerks we all see on TV and in the movies. Who knows, you might start a movement.

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There's rude and there's "rude."

by jardinier In reply to Is technology making me r ...

The posts to date focus largely on rudeness in the sense of isolating oneself with technical gadgets or just because of the fast pace of life.

And then there's "rude" in the sense of bad manners.

In my neck of the woods I encounter especially the first of these types of rudeness. In the block of condos in which I live, with one exception the young couples are rude in the sense that they are so focused on their own lives that it seems a burden on them just to say "hello" to the other tenants.

And then there are mobile phones. So many people go through the day with these devices seemingly grafted onto the sides of their faces. They are oblivious to everything around them. They walk across busy highways without noticing the traffic.

But now to manners. While high school kids still do, as they did in my day, ignore the comfort of other passengers on public transport, in other contexts they are quite polite.

And everybody, but EVERYBODY who serves you in a shop, gas station or takeaway says: "Have a great day."

I can't remember what they said when I was young, but it certainly wasn't this positive affirmation which I receive many times a day. And it is quite infectious. It gives me a little lift, and so I usually reciprocate.

So in parallel with the isolationism caused by electronic "toys," there is an openness, frankness and friendliness which seems to be a big improvement from what I remember in times of yore, when people generally were much more reserved and therefore aloof.

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Technology is not to blame

by Surflover In reply to Is technology making me r ...

the high tech toys you refer to are facilitators of isolationism, not the cause... cell phones, PDAs, notebooks, gaming devices, etc. all require your undivided attention while in use... If you have the "BAD MANNERS" to use them around other people, you definately are being RUDE, and I have to push most of the blame on your upbringing...

But notice I did NOT say your parents... While they definately share in the blame, your environment has as much impact on who you become as they do... school, what you read, TV, radio, church, social events, local culture, clubs, athletics, etc. all contribute to who you are.

I don't believe I have ever experienced one of those devices telling me how to act toward others... :^O

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