The digital world is ruining the real world, part four hundred and ninety two

Found both of these yesterday:
Disruptions: Digital Era Redefining Etiquette
The first thing that caught my eye was the author’s statement that sending messages that say “Thank you” is rude. I guess that’s because the fact that you bothered someone to say something interrupted his/her precious life. See also: leaving voice mails — the rationale is a text message does just fine and doesn’t demand that they spend the time to listen to someone’s voice. I got pretty bent out of shape and so did a lot of NYT readers. I got this link from the Twitter account of PostSecret, and I actually tweeted a reply (which I never do, especially to famous people) saying what about “thank you” as an acknowledgment of receipt? But my anger is more than that. Part of the problem with this article is a total lack of acknowledgment of the context, and of the difficulty of trying to figure out does Person X like phone calls but Person Y likes emails while Person Z does texting. But mostly, it was just some tyro spouting off about what he was never trained to do or willingly accepted.

You Say “Best.” I Say No: It’s time to kill the email signoff.
Yet another relic from the past consigned to oblivion. Well, I’ve been intentionally eliminating things like salutations and closings in emails in the last day, and they’re right. I now have so much more time in my day to devote to thoughts such as how horrible the world will be when children and computer programmers have completely removed all customs older than 3 minutes from the social fabric of the world and I’m left wondering what the hell is anyone saying or doing.

Sorry, I’ll go back in from my front porch and stop shaking my cane at the kids in my front yard now.


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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3 Responses to The digital world is ruining the real world, part four hundred and ninety two

  1. songdogmi says:

    “You still use a device? How lame,” their kids will ‘say’ through the chip embedded in their scalps. Only then will they truly know how it feels.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Have you read Lynne Truss’ “Talk to the Hand?” She makes some interesting observations about the pervasive rudeness in today’s society. Her case: manners went out in the ’60’s and ’70’s because they were associated with snobbiness. The downside of it is that it lead to a breakdown in societal norms and made the world a little less nice of a place.

    If you’ll excuse me, I must turn on the sprinklers now. 😉

    • songdogmi says:

      The sprinklers are a nice touch.

      I haven’t seen Talk to the Hand yet. Sounds very relevant.

      I guess it’s fair to say that a lot of these points of polite communication whose passing we now lament didn’t always exist. I still say there are reasons why they evolved, and those reasons are not necessarily invalid now. But maybe that battle is already lost.

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