When being rude is fashionable: manners in the age of texting

May 27, 2011

We’ve all either done it or been a victim of it: having a conversation with a person who is fully engaged with their phone, whether they are texting or checking sports scores on the web. People walk with their heads down, staring at their phones; parents talk to their kids while answering emails; much more dangerously, motorists drive with one eye on the road and the other on their phones. Whipping out one’s phone to check for texts or emails, whether it’s in the middle of an intimate conversation, in the middle of a business meeting or the in the middle of the family dinner, has become not only common but acceptable behavior. Have manners completely evaporated or have they merely adjusted to the realities of the digital age, when nobody feels that they can ever miss any piece of new information? Is it tacky to live-Tweet or update your Facebook account after every seemingly minor interaction? Is the familiar glow of your smart phone simply too strong to resist? We ask whether texting and manners have to be mutually exclusive.

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