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liberty111's avatar

Do peoples manners seem different now than in the 80's?

Asked by liberty111 (21points) April 12th, 2008

My daughter is writing a paper and needs some input. Do you feel that you are treated with respect from others? Present and past.

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19 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I used to be called Mrs. X by nurses and doctors. Now it is Gail, which I hate. And I get very annoyed when the medicalniks call my 93 year old mother by her first name.

It was, in general, a more courteous era, altho I was somewhat protected from the then Zeitgeist by living and working in a Quaker school and community, where everone was always treated with respect.

sndfreQ's avatar

Thomas L. Friedman of the NYT wrote an interesting article related to kids:

One of my colleagues brought up this topic (I teach in higher ed.), and he coined the phrase “age of esteem”, referring to the manner in which kids of this current generation and the previous have been coddled and overly-insulated by their parents regarding the supposed ‘traumas’ of the outside world. In particular, I find that the generation of kids post-911 are particularly susceptible to these qualities.

I’d be interested to find out what you all think of this…it is on my mind quite frequently as these are the kids I encounter daily in my line of work.

Adina1968's avatar

I believe it all comes down to how you are raised and what you were taught. There has been a steady decline in manners. People are very self centered these days. Everyone is too busy to take 2 seconds out to say thank you. I am sure we can all relate to holding the door open for someone and the person walking right through & not saying thank you as if you are merely a doorstop. I do come across people in my travels both young and old who have amazing manners, it is always a pleasant surprise. It was funny ( & I have told this story to several people I know discussing this very same topic.) back when I was in middle school we had a principle who made the schools “motto” “Think Manners. Act Manners. Be Manners.” He was always stressing the importance of manners. We used to think the guy was such a major dufus. In hind sight though I now believe he was ahead of his time. A little consideration goes a long way and makes everyone’s day brighter & the world a far better place! THANK YOU!!!! :-)

figbash's avatar

Aside from general manners, the idea of respect appears to be totally absent.

babygalll's avatar

I am treated with respect, because I learned to respect myself first. In my opinion most people these days don’t have manners. In the 80’s children in my generations had very good manners and respected people. Children these days don’t have the manners or respect as those in the 80’s

scubydoo's avatar

I agre with baby, it seems now-a-days there is less and less manners. I have the unfortunate job of working retail and dealing with the public. hardly ever does anyone say excuse me when passing by and sometimes its hard to even get the person to speak to you. hardly ever do I see any kids answering ‘yes mam or yes sir’ as well as often I see parents yelling at their kids. its really sad that you’d have to yell when you’re standing next to the person. also I often have people stop far away from me and yell to me asking a question to where to find something. its crazy, they will be 20–30 feet away, with my back to them, and ask me a question, often looking at me crazy when I ask ‘excuse me?”

TheHaight's avatar

scubydoo I know exactly how you feel too.
I also am in retail, and have had the nastiest things said to me. The thing was, was that I wasn’t really born to experience the 80’s (1987) parents just brought me up with manners.

scubydoo's avatar

@haight. Im sure your parents didnt yell are you while in a public place like you were an idiot either. I’m not really convinced that its just because it was the 80’s. i often wonder if it is due to parents not spending time with their kids as much any more. I’m not sure what would be to blame or if blame should even be put somewhere. I know when I was a kid before my dad passed, he would sit down with me everynight and help me with my homework and my mom would fix dinner to which we’d all sit down together and eat. Im not to convinced that actions like these happen much today. today it just seems more convenient to not spend time with kids or to teach them better. I wonder if it is in a way ‘dumbing” down out society ? of course parents having to work alot, having a huge selection of video games for kids, or having kids are earlier ages and not being ready for parenthood probably doesn’t help either. I’m not saying everyone is like this, but it sure seems like alot of people are, esp if you have the opportunity to work with the public any at all.

TheHaight's avatar

no, I completely agree with you. 80s has nothing to really do with it, what about the 50s, or 60’s!? I’m sure it was pretty different back then too?? I totally think its the parents thing. I was at work the other day and a lady had her little girl on a leash? WTF? Life just seems so fast paced these days, parents need to work more because everything seems much more expensive, ... That means not much time for anything these days!

scubydoo's avatar

wow a leash? thats crazy. i’ve seen kids on leashes say at entertainment parks but not where I work at yet. thats crazy. it’s actually really really sad to see our society and the damage it’s doing to itself. maybe one day we will stop and think and see what we are doing and strive to make it better . we need to wake up and realize we are all one race- the human race, which needs to work together and make things better for our future children and future way of life.

TheHaight's avatar

scubydoo- I elect you to run for future president :)
people just need to really think before they talk these days.

scubydoo's avatar

Scubydoo, future president, .... yup that has a nice ring to it.. sweet I have 1 vote…. now to just work on the rest, not to mention campaign money, volunteers, etc….

liberty111's avatar

Wow!!! Thank you so much for all the input on this topic. I don’t feel alone on my feeling of respect and manners. And my daughter is very pleased with the responses. She also, would like to thank you.

CameraObscura's avatar

I can’t really answer the question because I was a kid throughout the 80’s but I will say this touches on an idea I try to keep in mind on a daily basis- living in the present. I feel like people are too quick to romanticize the past and complain about the present. If I were to ask any of my older relatives (and apparently everyone who’s interested on fluther), “it” was always better in the past. If you spend too much time reminiscing and longing for a time thats never coming back, you’re going to miss what’s happening in front of your eyes.

In other words, the past was always better than the present yet the present always becomes the past. I refuse to believe we as a people are on a decades or centuries-long downward slope of morality and ethics and 10–20 years from now, 2008’s going to become the “good old days”. It’s people just wallowing and complaining and people who wallow and complain get stuck and lose their ability to adapt.

Are people’s manners worse now than 20 years ago? Probably. I’m “aware” of the decline, I just don’t care anymore. I’ve so come to expect bad service and bad attitudes that I don’t expect anything from anyone unless they work for me or sleep in my bed.

So take the good with the bad. We may have lost some formality but we’ve gained so much more. If we had the same formality guidelines we did 20, 30, 40 years ago, the idea of websites like this one would be taboo because you weren’t supposed to be sharing opinions and personal information with complete strangers.

I apologize in advance for the poor structure of my post, it sucks editing on an iPhone LOL

scubydoo's avatar

@liberty…good luck to your daughter and her paper, may she pass with flying colors

liberty111's avatar

CameraObsrura. Thank you for the response too. It help to give us a different look on this matter as well.

scubydoo's avatar

@CamerObscura… just curious… how do you feel about this .. Do you feel that we as a society should just sit back and “expect bad service and bad attitudes” from most everything now-a-days? I too have become a victim of not really “caring as MUCH anymore” because it is often easier to look aside and ignore everything. But that is like most things that go on these days, it’s easier to look away from the harsh reality, than it is to try to do anything about it. and it my be hypocritical to say, being as I myself don’t try to encourage people to do better or to have better manners, but it often makes me wonder about society when I see so many without manners. I myself still try my best to put out the manners that I fell my parents instilled in me everyday even if I’m not showed respect back from others. Unfortunately, I have yet to find that special someone to be lucky enough to have a few kids with, but if I ever do, then be sure that I will try to instill manners in them as best as I can.

liberty111's avatar

Well put scubydoo. Do you think that if we continue to use those manner we were taught, it will make a diffenence? I sure hope so. I am tired of turning an eye and really wish people would start trying.

scubydoo's avatar

I agree liberty, I really wish people would start trying more than they do and like I stated before I try my best. however I’m not saying by any means that I’m perfect, I do however work with the general public and they can test you severely at times and at times , several times a day. but do you think that if we all do keep the same attitude and just come to expect bad attitudes and continue to teach our kids in that way, that one day the goodness of manners will be like ancient history? imagine that for a moment, if you will…...........

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