A common understanding of etiquette has been drastically morphed over the years.   It seems as though today’s younger generation is characterized by rudeness, compared to traditional standards of etiquette. Many people believe that technology plays a central role in the decline of good manners and the media agrees.

Talkin on the Phone During Dinner

The integration of technology and social media into nearly each and every act of interpersonal communication, particularly among young people, is changing the common understanding of what is considerate behavior and what is inappropriate. The less face-time people have with others, the less accountable they are for their behavior.  If someone is rude or inappropriate online, they may never have to answer for their behavior in-person.  It is difficult to understand the virtual implications of inconsiderate treatment.

With mobile technology, people can expand their social circles and connect instantaneously with anyone.  While the number of friends we have may be increasing, often the quality of those friendships, particularly with those people we actually do see face-to-face, is declining. The more time people spend expanding their circle of friends online, the less time they spend cultivating healthy and satisfying relationships in person.

Mobile communications and social media have re-shaped the understanding and awareness of etiquette both virtually and in-person.  Have you ever been invited to spend time with someone, then been ignored by that person because they were texting or calling others?  If so you have witnessed the effects of technology on interpersonal communication. The Internet, mobile devices, and social media are critical to us and for businesses.

Don’t ever forget that face to face interactions are just as important.  Make the goal of your day focus on kindness, courtesy and consideration for everyone you meet – virtually and in-person.