How many times have we complained about how rude people are for texting while having a conversation?
They try to maintain eye contact and nod yet keep darting back to their cell phone screens.

What goes through your mind, “how rude, has she no manners at all!”

We read about social network etiquette. It’s rude to use this lingo in text, or we must be careful of what we say on twitter or Facebook, we spend so much time debating the dos and don’ts of technological etiquette.

Have we forgotten some of the old school manners that our parents, grandparents, and teachers taught us—manners that have nothing to do with a mobile device or laptop or Ipad, but everything to do with long-forgotten Golden Rules we were raised with.

Recently, manners and etiquette were discussed on 5fm, Gareth Cliff and his breakfast team, talking about how people spit when the chat to you, or sneeze without covering their nose and mouth.

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, there was etiquette to sneezing or coughing. We had to sneeze in a “dignified” manner, and not spray everyone around us. Coughing as well, we were told to turn our head away and block off our mouth.

This might sound laughable to many. But if we didn't follow these etiquette's, we would get a swift reminder to the back of our head.

When we were given something, and forgot to say thank you, elders would sternly remind us, “aren’t you forgetting to say something”, which was promptly followed by a “thank you”.

Maybe technology has eroded our brains so much that we can never go back to those golden days. Seems as if we have thrown out manners and etiquette with the bathwater.

Basic etiquette
is missing in society. Please and thank-you are simple words YET have such a powerful impact. RSVP to an invitation, or a thank you note for a gift you have received all fall into the same box of manners.  

People are just indifferent these days. We live in a world in a frantic hurry. If we pause for a breath we will get trampled in the dust. Hesitate in a queue and someone is ready to take your spot.

In the work environment have your ever come across people who just leave their coffee mugs on the counter, or make a cuppa but never replace the coffee or sugar from where they took it. Makes you want to put up a sign: “Your mother doesn’t work here, clean up after yourself”?

We find signs in rest rooms almost “screaming out” for people to keep it tidy and clean. A sign reminding us that someone has to use a place or something after us.

Why do we need signs, where have our manners gone?

We often hear people say, the younger generation have no manners. I think people in general irrespective of age have lost their manners. We have allowed bad manners to go unchecked. We simply tolerate bad behaviour, there is lack of respect for each other and we as adults are displaying what the younger generation is acting out.

 “Hold the door for someone and someone else will hold it for you later.”

Anyone who has the strength to open the door for themselves surely has the strength to hold it for someone who is a step away from them.

Holding door shows that we’re paying attention to what’s going on around us and that we care about others even if they’re a complete stranger.

 “Giving up your seat to someone is so easy”

Even if the person does not accept your offer.The elderly, a pregnant woman or a physically challenged person are all candidates for you to offer your seat too.

 “Elevator Etiquette”

Most annoying habit,the elevator doors open and people waiting to get on block your exit from the elevator, and you end up doing that awkward dance side to side.

The etiquette falls on those waiting for an elevator, wait for people to get out, unless you in the mood to tango.

 “My Pet Peeve”

We attended an open day on Saturday at a tertiary institute. During the principals welcome note; a parent decided to take a call. Apart from the obnoxious ring tone, he thought we needed to hear his discussion as well; after a minute or two, his daughter nudged him and indicated to leave the lecture room.

Picking up calls in a public place which clearly states “no cell phones” or “switch off all mobile devices”, clearly indicates you are an idiot, with no manners.

Our “manners” problems have spiraled out of control. The pendulum has swung too far from the good old fashioned manners TO rude and indifferent behaviour.

A world where we display good manners, less closing of doors in our faces, more space given, and more thank you’s or please exchanged; our younger generation will have an improved quality of life.
"I probably sound really old-fashioned but I do believe manners make'th the man..."

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