Has Little Miss Manners Been Exiled From Social Media?
June 30, 2013
Yes, I drop an F bomb on Facebook from time to time - crass is different than rude.
My children will inevitably use expletives at a young age, but I can promise you that they will use those words correctly, in context.
I spent my childhood calling my friends' parents Mr. and Mrs. I kept my elbows off the table and my feet off the furniture. I expect (demand?) the same from my kids, which proves especially challenging when raising them in a culture where "Please" and "Thank you" are not standard. In Israeli culture, children are comfortable using familiar commands like "move" and "take" rather than "excuse me" and "here you go". It is acceptable here, but not in my home. I have often wondered if I'm perhaps doing them a disservice by insisting on these niceties, in a culture that finds them foreign and possibly - even a sign of weakness or vulnerability.
Recently, as I increase the percentage of time and effort I spend on social media (mostly professionally, but personally as well) I am finding that basic manners have taken a back seat, and I am taken aback. At the risk of being dramatic, I'm kinda horrified.
Granted, most people were not raised to apologize profusely to the haircut lady when arriving 5 minutes late to an appointment. I get that I'm brining a bit of emotional baggage to the Manners Table. That table I'm keeping my elbows off.
Really, though, we're all so busy and there is so much noise in the social media space that we cannot send a quick "thank you" when someone shouts to the world that they appreciate what we created? Don't talk to me about busy, sweetheart. I was up this morning at 5:30, knocked out 4 miles, got 3 kids dressed and fed, commuted, learned Google Analytics for 4 hours, and now I'm getting ready to receive all of them back so I can create a homemade, healthy lunch. OK, I'll probably feed them salami. But still. Round two this afternoon will include swimming lessons, a birthday party, another round of meals, baths, bedtime, then more work and recording a few podcasting tracks. And I said thank you to the 2 people who retweeted me this morning.
Let's look at this from another perspective, since being Sybil sometimes is fun. "Thank you" is, or should be, an actual expression of gratitude, rather than a route or kneejerk response. Honestly, you're not grateful that someone showed interest in, appreciation for or identified value within something you created? It doesn't make you happy? Validate you in some way? Then why are you sharing it in the first place?
Go ahead and accuse me of being whiney. Defensive, much? When I consistently promote/share/circulate your content over several months, because I genuinely appreciate it and see value in it, and believe that my audience will also.....I don't expect a quid pro quo kind of move. But let's be polite. Please.