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What are bad manners these days?

   In this digital age, I'm really starting to wonder what constitutes bad manners. Is texting in the presence of others bad manners? To me, texting is like having a private conversation in which the person you are with isn't a participant. Is that rude? I'm not sure anymore. Everyone around me these days is texting while I'm talking to them.

What is modern-day etiquette for business and social situations? Is it rude not to look a co-worker in the eye and say hello on the elevator if he is pressing buttons on his iPhone? I would imagine Ms. Manners would say yes. But the majority of the people I rode the elevator with recently were doing it.

   Yesterday, I spoke to the Women's Executive Club, Fort Lauderdale. The topic was balancing work life and the digital age. One woman asked me if its rude not to answer her client's phone calls late at night when that's the time most of them need to reach her. Clearly, no one should have to be available 24/7 but if that's when her client's need her, maybe it is rude not to answer their calls.

 I think in today's hyper-connected world, we need to set some rules upfront in the workplace to avoid coming off as rude: On her Works blog, Nicole Williams says: Before a big meeting, meet with your co-workers to review important points, including etiquette: “Remember, this is a big presentation—let’s have cell phones off” or “I know we’ve all seen this PowerPoint a million times, but the Miller Technology folks haven’t, so act interested and engaged during the entire presentation.” By reminding co-workers that good etiquette is expected, they just might do it. (Check out Nicole's quiz; How Well-Mannered are You?)

A seniors blogI read really made me think about my tech etiquette.  Cookie Curci writes about a friend who came to visit. "Instead of a friendly hug, I was given a dispassionate nod, and I had to wait while she continued a conversation on her cell phone. My friend continued her robust dialog a good 5 minutes before finally removing the uninvited, cellular intruder from her ear. I realize that my friend is a busy career woman and business must be conducted regularly on her cell phone. But it's just plain good manners to finish her phone conversations while in her car and turn off her cell-phone long enough to greet me properly."  

   Clearly, new technology brings a need for a whole new set of rituals, customs and, above all else, good manners. All this new technology in the world comes down to one thing -  human need to connect. But maybe, how we do this and where we do this may need to be reexamined.

What do you consider bad manners? Have you changed your mind lately about what you consider good and bad etiquette at work and home?




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John Calia

The rules haven't changed. I don't answer my cell phone when I am talking with someone else. I don't respond to email or msgs on my BlackBerry during meetings. And, I think that anyone who doesn't behave in the same manner is rude. So, rude in fact that they don't even know they are being rude.

Cindy Goodman


I with you on this.



Not only is texting rude when you are speaking to someone, it shows that that person could care less about your words. Most of the time you have to repeat yourself when they are done. I don`t talk to people texting or on phones.

The rudest is when a person has a head set on and they are walking around the showroom or a room waving their hands and holding a loud conversation. They have no idea how loud they are talking.

The cell phone is the worst invention in the history of the world. I think a business, a home or any institution would be right if they put in cell phone zappers to disable cell phones in their establishment. Zappers should be mandatory inside cars except for 911 traffic.


It is definitely bad manners not to listen to the person with whom you are talking because you are distracted by texting.

Unless we are brain surgeons or stockbrokers we do not need to be contacted immediately.

We need to stop blaming technology for our bad manners. Switch off you device if you are in Church, in a meeting, or an interview. Twiddling cellphones has become a new affliction. Technology has killed the art of conversation.

We are bringing up a generation of dysfunctional children, they are incapable of making a decision without calling Mommy (or is Mommy is a control freak?).

Let's use technology to improve our day, not destroy it.

Technology has enabled us to re-establish contact with old friends and family. Phone calls around the World are cheaper (Free if you both subscribe to Skype). We can call for help from remote locations.

Cindy Goodman

There certainly are huge pros and cons of technology. It just makes me crazy when someone texts while I'm talking to them, especially when my kids do it to me. I am trying to teach them that it's very bad manners.

Juicy Couture Bags

where did u find the bird, does it not on the tree?

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