New Age of Etiquette

I was looking through the NYT website when I stumbled upon this blog post.  Just reading the title of it, “Etiquette Redefined in the Digital Age” I thought I was about to read an article basically complaining about how the younger generations or us college kids don’t know how to write an email, etc.  But he really is talking about unnecessary uses of communication.  He talks about how he doesn’t find it necessary to send a “thank you” message or leave someone a voicemail when you call them.  Another point he is making that it’s so much easier to just ask google a question rather than a real person, like if you were asking for directions to a certain place.  This plays a lot into what we’ve talked about in class when it comes to the question.. are we relying too much on the internet?  It’s like when we go on break during class everyone’s first instinct is to grab for their phone and check it.  If you take a look outside on the streets, 95% of the people aren’t even paying attention to whats going on around them because their eyes are glued to their phones.

Full length of young men and women holding cellphone

He also interviewed quite a few people and one of them was quoted saying, “I have decreasing amounts of tolerance for unnecessary communication because it is a burden and a cost.”  The main point he makes is that you need to choose your audience carefully.  If I were emailing an adult counterpart I would definitely use a more formal approach whereas if I were conversing with a peer I would have a completely different one.  It reminded me of teachers I’ve who on the first day of class actually talk about email etiquette and say please do not email me and say “yo teacher i need help.”  I think there is definitely a certain etiquette amongst college students and their professors in order to be professional and courteous towards one another.  I guess I kind of see the author’s point, but I don’t think that there’s any harm in being polite and sending a quick “thank you.”


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