Columnist claims as a society ‘we’ve misplaced our manners’

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Small gestures, such as birthday cards and flowers, aren't as common as they once were. Source: Getty

It’s no secret we live in a more informal age compared to the baby boomer generation, however, an Australian columnist has claimed “we’ve misplaced some of our manners”.

According to Katy Hall, while most people were raised to say ‘the magic word’ whenever someone did something nice or considerate for them, more advanced versions of these formalities, such as birthday cards and house warming gifts, “seem to have died a slow and silent death”.

Writing for The Daily Telegraph, she claimed: “Birthday cards have been replaced with text messages; house warming gifts fail to make it out of the homewares stores in which they are so impeccably displayed; flowers and wine aren’t in hand when people come around for dinner, and tupperware containers filled with something freshly baked are no longer tucked under an arm when we go to visit someone.”

So what happened to our manners? As our lives have gotten busier, we’ve declared ourselves in too much of a rush to take a few seconds or minutes out to do something kind. Perhaps it’s that technology has in fact become our primary mode of communication and the human interaction – which manners are a large part of – has become redundant and therefore so have our manners.

Or perhaps it comes down to education and society as a whole; we’re focussed on casual lifestyles with less formal occasions. We’re focused on teaching our children how to be smart and intelligent but not the great pillars of society as we once focussed on with equal importance.

Meanwhile, it comes after a recent poll carried out by Starts at 60 revealed most over-60s no longer send or expect to receive any form of handwritten thank you note from their relatives. In fact, many now choose to phone or send a message instead as modern technologies continue to make it quick and easy to speak to people around the world.

The survey found 78 per cent of those asked don’t send or expect to receive letters, while 15 per cent admitted they still send them – but would no longer expect their loved ones to return the favour.

This could be due to a number of factors, but it’s most likely down to technologies allowing people to send an email, text or online instant message to their relatives instead of sitting down to write a note and paying to post it.

What are your thoughts on this? Have we lost our manners? Do you still send friends birthday cards or bring a plate of food?

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