Weekly Vexation: Etiquette
February 19, 2016
Manners. They’ve been around for hundreds of years, and we all use them (or at least we should) and they vary from culture to culture.
The necessity of manners has always been emphasized to me, and for good reason. However, I feel social etiquette has taken a back seat when it comes to our generation’s fast paced lives. I’m often surprised when I hear someone give a simple “thank you” for holding the door open or say “bless you” after a sneeze.
Junior Alec Graybill noted how he has seen manners decline.
“I believe that they’ve definitely become less important,” he said. “[Without manners] students won’t be as engaging in the working world and won’t be seen as professional.”
Although some may argue these things are trivial, I believe they are necessary social tools. They are signs of respect to your peers, and without them where would our society be?
Manners, although they have evolved, are still employed to ensure fairness and kindness to members of society. Although many teens see their age as free pass from manners, adults understand the implications of not displaying basic social protocol in the working world.
English teacher Jennell Peteranecz offered some advice for students wishing to act well-mannered in class.
“Don’t just walk in, and expect someone to drop everything just for you,” she said. “I think that it [teen’s use of technology] creates a sense of immediacy and causes us to be less thoughtful.”
Our generation’s obsession with social media and lack of mental presence only perpetuates this lack of manners. “Thank you” texts have replaced the traditional handwritten notes and most every teenager’s colloquial language consists of a plethora of “like’s”, “um’s” and “you know’s”, rather than I don’t know like any other like words.
When students are presenting an assignment to the class, there is a sense of seriousness that needs to be implemented in their speech. Using conversational language takes away from this and the overall polished tone of the presentation.
Our language has evolved greatly, and for the worse in my opinion. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting Shakespearean language to be spoken effortlessly, but I do think more emphasis needs to be placed on the formality of language during presentations or when speaking to authoritative figures.
Manners are not optional and need to be emphasized more in our every day lives.
After all, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Life is short, but there is always enough time for courtesy.”
Morgan Felt is a senior and a blogger. Felt enjoys writing about all things trendy in and out of the Robinson campus.