Social Question

Pandora's avatar

Am I the only person left on the planet who believes in manners?

Asked by Pandora (30347points) March 25th, 2012

I’ve noticed people seem to use their lap tops, or nook, or cell phones, everywhere they go these days. Whether they are visiting or being visited.
I remember when it was considered rude to pick up you home phone and hold a long conversation when you had visitors. Now, everyone seems to do that or worse. Text, call on their cells, use their tablets to see movies or shows, or to read, or play games. What is the point in visiting people if you go there to ignore them? Or go on vacations. The best vacations I ever have had was when I was disconnected from phones and televisions. Actually spending quality time with the people I was with.
I don’t understand how a person plans to make memories if they are involved in things that distract from the moment.
So am I all alone in believing these things are rude?

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45 Answers

filmfann's avatar

I totally agree. I occasionally get a phone call while standing in line at the bank, or a fast food place, and feel like an ass talking to someone on the phone while surrounded by others.

Blackberry's avatar

I forgot the saying, but it essentially said if humans have an abundance of something, they’ll abuse it, lol.

Being on electronics is just the “thing” now. I’ve seen people eating out, all of them on their cell phones (although temporarily). It’s a great awkward moment fixer as well.

But also don’t forget there are billions of other people with manners.

cheebdragon's avatar

Some people like to multi-task.

linguaphile's avatar

I completely agree. Not just manners with phones, but overall courtesy and civility seems to have fizzled as well.

holding back an anti-Disney Channel rant

bkcunningham's avatar

Our Blimpy’s subs where I live has a sign at the check-out that says something along the lines of: If we see that you are on your phone, we will be polite and not interrupt your conversation. Please move aside so we can take the next person’s order.

My brother and his family just left after a week-long visit with us here in Florida. He doesn’t text or use his phone for Internet. His wife and 13 year old daughter both text and surf the web on their phones. It was a running joke with us that we weren’t as cool as the two of them for not sitting with our phones upto our faces while doing nearly everything.

If we get company, we turn off the television if it is on, and we don’t take calls. I’m like you. I try to have manners.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I sincerely hope not. Manners are an outward manifestation of respect for others & losing respect for others would signal a truly giant step in a direction that I would not want to see for society as a whole.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I hate it when people give whoever is on their cell (whether call or text) priority over the person they’re with. Be with the person you’re with! That person took time out of their day to spend with you, not watch you talk to someone who isn’t even there.

Coloma's avatar

No. Good manners never go out of style. I too dislike people who are attached to their phones every second of their waking life. I do not carry a cell phone, don’t need one, don’t want one and don’t get any reception in my canyon even if I did want one. lol
Actually one of the rudest things I have experienced is when my boss came to dinner last summer and brought his DOG with him!


Didn’t even ask, and while she was a good dog, still, I spent the whole evening keeping her on my deck while she wanted to wander around, my cats and geese were beside themselves and at one point, after I had told him she had to stay outside he let her in my house, did nothing, and I was the one that put her back outside!

Unbelieveable, and yep, you’ve guessed it, I will never invite him over again. haha

Keep_on_running's avatar

Consumerism has created this “me” culture, everything is about you and how to make yourself look better, feel better etc. Look how many products have “i” in front of it now :p. I don’t want to say we’re more selfish, but it does seem that way.


Makes you wonder what people did before phones and technology. How did they deal with those awkward moments? rofl

Coloma's avatar

@Keep_on_running I agree 100% as a 52 yr. old now, I absolutely SEE the increase in gross narcissism. It’s my number one pet peeve, so many people are so freakin’ self absorbed, it’s all about them, all of the time. Gah!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m with you a hundred percent. I finally got it through to my daughter that it’s rude to be texting your fingers off when you’re visiting here. I finally got it through to my husband that it’s rude to take a phone in the living room when others are trying to watch a show.

I have a feeling, though, that many people think they look “cool,” doing those things. I have a feeling that some people really think you’re actually interested in the one side of the the conversation they’re having about Aunt Ems colonoscopy. I’m with @filmfann…I’d feel like a complete ass.

It seems to be happening less and less though. That’s a good thing.

Sunny2's avatar

To me, it isn’t just a matter of grammar. I worry about the fact that people can’t seem to function without being attached to another person via the ether. They lack the capacity to be alone and to make decisions by themselves. “Okay, I’m in the cereal aisle. Now what do you think about. . . ?” I fear for our society. When someone tells us what to do, we do it. Sitting ducks for an overbearing government, should we have one.

Pandora's avatar

I just got a nook, for my birthday. I had asked for one but I just wanted one for reading books. Simple. But they thought for a few more bucks I could get the works. Fine but I pointed out that I could do all the rest on the computer at home. When I’m out, I actually like to be engaged with the people I’m with or engaged in what I set out to do or see. So it really doesn’t seem its something I need to do. But it made me wonder as I scanned through it to see all the apps it had, what I can do with it. As I was doing that my family members were happily busy with thier electronics. Then it made me wonder if it was just there way of getting me on board with the electronic buzz. I mean I found that I can see movies with it but why would I not see movies on my tv. I get it can be useful on long trips. But I actually like engaging with people on long trips. Life is so busy for most, that long trips are the best time to reconnect. People seem to wait till they are away from you now to call or text, instead of doing it when they are in your presence. When they are with you, they are somewhere else. When they are somewhere else, they seem to want to be with you. It really makes no sense to me what so ever.
I love it when people visit and spend there time on electronics and then say. We had a great time and you wonder what great time they were talking about. They could’ve stayed home and text me and we would’ve interacted more that way.
I’m surprised sex toys haven’t completely taken over and everyone hasn’t found a reason to totally see sex as unnecessary. I’m sure that prospect isn’t too far off in the future. Realistic dolls are already being made.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think it’s all a matter of the right time and place for doing those things and sometimes it can be okay to do those things while at someone else’s house. For example, when my mother-in-law comes to stay with us for a weekend (usually to watch the boys so we can work), I don’t expect her to not talk on her phone or read a book if that’s what she wants to do. Short visits (like coming just for dinner) are different though. Those times should be spent with the people you are with.

I think the phone conversations really depend on whose on the phone. My husband gets calls from work that he has to take. He makes it as short as he can, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Generally, he tries not to answer during meals and will let them leave a message and then he’ll call them back, but sometimes he can’t do that if there is something important going on.

josie's avatar

Technology has moved faster than the social conventions that establish good manners and courtesy. They will eventually catch up.

Coloma's avatar

@josie Agreed.

Brings to mind the Sam Clemens Mark Twain quote I love….

“Progress was once a fine thing but it has gone on far too long” This was written in the 1880’s or something? Whew, poor M.T. he’d be blown away by the “progress” of this last, short century. ;-)

JustPlainBarb's avatar

Everything is just so impersonal now .. manners aren’t even a part of the “mix” anymore. People spend their entire lives texting or emailing or on websites (like this one). They forget that there are actual human beings on the other end. It’s really very scary to me .. people are losing their personal interaction skills.

Since I grew up in the 60’s, this technology is just an extra in my life .. not my entire life. I have a cell phone that I seldom use and still speak to people in person…

We flew out to the East Coast to visit my son last week. I continue to be amazed how the majority of people in the airport are either on their phones, or on some version of a computer. I even saw a woman with her laptop open on the counter where she was waiting for her fast food order! Sheesh, she couldn’t be off it for 5 minutes!! lol

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @JustPlainBarb being a person who grew up in the 60’s as well. I LOVE my computer, email, all the info. available on the web and, obviously, I enjoy fluther, but, I also prefer to talk on the phone, visit in person and spend most of my time in reality based interaction. As always a mixed bag, the dichotomy of everything. Admittedly I’d feel a great loss if I no longer had a computer, but I’d adjust. Adapt or die. haha

tinyfaery's avatar

I think assuming someone isn’t engaging in an important conversation or doing work, or something else equally important shows that “bad manners” run both ways.

I don’t pretend to understand the new generation or people who feel they need to be doing something every second of the day, but I’m not here to judge. That’s much more rude than taking a call at the table.

marinelife's avatar

No, how rude of you to assume so.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Guys ^^^ She’s talking about the obviously rude people. In her details she specified that she was referring to people visiting in her home, making obviously trivial phone calls without any attempt to take it somewhere else besides the middle of the living room where people are talking.

Coloma's avatar

I was actually shocked the other day when my 24 yr. old daughter of which I have a really good relationship, was taken aback that I insisted she return a $100 to me that I lent her a week ago, by actually bringing it to me! haha
I told her that in case she didn’t know that this was one of my pet peeves, that whomever borrows something is responsible for returning it and not making the lender go to them.

She made an argument for ” BUT.. you are always over this way, I don’t see why you can’t just come by or meet me at my work!”
She dropped by and paid me back and was cheery and appreciative but I was really surprised, given my strong ideals about integrity that this was something she felt was rather petty of me! Funny, but now she knows! :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, and I have decided that I flat disagree with not “judging” people’s behavior. All societies have rules and expectations that help keep their society running smoothly.

Pandora's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thank you for actually reading my post.
Lol I just thought what society would be like if no one person ever judged another. THAT would be even eorse as you suggest.

As for some other responses. I’m not talking about important calls from work. I’m talking about people who have an obssesion with electronics.
Allthough as for work calls. It does make me wonder, how did anyone ever manage to go on a vacation without a cell phones and the internet. You would think whole businesses went on vacations at the time you go on vacation or maybe they all become lost without your constant guidance.

rojo's avatar

While not 100% by any means, I have noticed that the older a person is (and by that I mean my age) the more likely they are to turn the ringer off and not answer their cell phone when we are engaged in conversation and conversely the younger the person is the more likely they are to feel they have to answer it no matter what else is going on in their lives. Is this just maturity or what?

Dutchess_III's avatar

My husband’s daughter is especially bad. They were over for a visit a couple of weeks ago and she spent about an hour playing “Angry Birds” on her phone.
She’ll take phone calls in the middle of a movie and that girl is LOUD. Finally, one evening, I turned the TV off when she took a call. When she looked at me I said, “I don’t want to disturb your call, plus the noise is probably making it hard for the other person to hear you.” She started going in another room after that.

Pandora's avatar

oops typo above. Worse not eorse
@Dutchess_III My M-I-L did that when visiting once. My husband would put the volume way up on the program. She would then just leave the room. Never caught the hint though. Just left because she couldn’t hear the person on the phone.
When I go to peoples homes, I will only call people on my cell, away from others when everyone is busy running errands or doing personal business. Otherwise, I figure I can wait to make my calls later when I get home.
@rojo As people in my generation are catching on to the techy phase, they are sometimes the biggest offenders. I’ve seen some tell their kids to put games down or get off the phone, only to turn around and do exactly what they find rude behavior.

Trillian's avatar

Nope, I’m right there with you. I’ll walk away from someone who puts me on hold in real life to have a text conversation with someone. Meh…, obviously I’m not that important to that person. It’s actually only happened once.

coastiegirl96's avatar

No you aren’t. I’m almost sixteen, and I feel the same way. It’s like if I leave the door open for someone, they just walk in, they don’t say thank you or anything. It’s like “Wow, you’re welcome, your majesty.” No one really is polite anymore it’s all “Can I?” “Give it!” etc. I was raised to say please and thank you and may I, and my friends weren’t. They literally got annoyed that I am “too polite” or “too formal” Now, they’re over it. But what kind of a world will it be in thirty years if people are thinking like that? No. You aren’t alone.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, welcome to Fluther @coastiegirl96! Glad to have you. : )

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Pandora As for the work calls, I think it’s more of a changing trend for people to be more accessible for their employer in some professions. It seems like more and more people are bringing some aspects of their work home with them, from answering e-mails, to doing paperwork, and to making various phone calls to handle issues that come up after hours.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Seaofclouds that’s fine, but it’s NOT fine to disturb other people with your work. Take it to another room.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think it’s a double edged sword really. The person is considered rude for having a conversation in the room where others are, but then they are also considered rude for leaving the room completely and walking away from their guests.

Personally, I don’t find it rude either way when my husband has to take care of work items that come up. It’s life. We deal with it and move on. No reason to get mad about it either way in my opinion.

Mariah's avatar

Some good friends of mine seem to have their cell phones surgically attached to their hands. I agree, I don’t think a person is truly “present” with me if they’re spending our time together texting someone else. It’s bothersome.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Seaofclouds that is an entirely different situation. It is not rude to say, “I need to take this call. Please excuse me,” and leave the room until they are finished.
I certainly don’t have a problem with my husband taking business calls when we’re together either. I can’t imagine any one who would. I DO have a problem with someone taking a phone call while I’m trying to watch a movie, and yelling into the phone that so and so did this and “OMG! I can’t believe that!!”
Again, the OP is talking about people who are texting and talking for personal entertainment when they’re supposed to be visiting you.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Dutchess_III I understand what you are saying, I was just pointing out one side of things and there was a side discussion about work calls being increased over the years. When my husband gets a call from work, I usually don’t know it was his work until after the call is done, so it’s hard to say someone is being rude and ignoring you until you have all the facts.

I guess I also just don’t see the point in being upset by it. I mean, if a guest of mine gets a call, I’m not really going to expect them not to answer it just because they are at my house. I’m not the only person in their life. If they were disrupting things, that’s a bit different, but I don’t feel ignored by someone just because they are momentarily doing something else while in my company. Yes, the time they are at my house should be spent visiting if that’s why they came over, but if something else comes up, I’m not going to be upset by it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Again @Seaofclouds, no one is going to get upset if a visitor takes a momentary call. It’s when they’re texting and playing and ignoring their hosts that is unacceptable.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Dutchess_III That’s not how I’m taking some of the responses here, but once again, my point is that all of those things are dependent on the situation. The host may be feeling ignored, but the person may be doing something they absolutely have to take care of. Without prying into what they are doing, you may not know for sure. I wouldn’t just assume they are ignoring me because they seem to be texting or checking their e-mail on their phone. It all just depends on what the host sees as being ignored and how much it bothers them. It would take a lot for me to feel ignored. I’m not saying it’s okay to play games when you are visiting others, just that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge someone as ignoring us just because they are doing something on their phone. You and I just see things differently here, nothing wrong with that.

stardust's avatar

I find it exceptionally rude when I meet with a friend for a coffee, lunch, etc. and they sit there texting away or checking their facebook page. I think people are so caught up in the rat-race that they forget how to treat others with respect, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Seaofclouds Well, if you have a guest over you probably know them well enough to know whether or not they’re capable of rudeness. If you know them, you know that they wouldn’t take a trivial call.
I know my husband’s daughter and that’s all she does when she’s here, is text and play on the phone. And she’s in her late 30’s.

jca's avatar

I’m one of the rare people that prefer to have personal calls from my home phone, when possible. I like to give people my full attention. If I make a call when I’m out, it’s going to be to confirm getting together or to say I’m running late or something. When I’m in a store, shopping, paying, or at someone’s house, or in a restaurant, to me that’s not the time to talk on the phone and bullshit with people. I may answer the phone and keep it very brief and tell the person I will call them back later or tomorrow.

Plucky's avatar

No, you are not alone. I’m huge on manners. It bothers me when people don’t use/have even the basic manners.

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