Written by Colleen Brosnahan Art by Cory Michael Skaaren
Welcome to Earth.
We’re a planet of over-stressed workaholics constantly capturing and cataloging memories from our mobile devices to enjoy…well, later. We’re busy. Our world is instantaneous, mass-produced, pre-packaged, under-read, over-confident and 24/7.
We’re unequivocally over-stimulated and it’s had a profound effect on the way we treat one another. The privacy and anonymity of a username, avatar, and computer screen seemingly soften the consequences of our actions. Friendships form and dissolve, founded not on years of personal interaction, trust, and respect, but with the click of a mouse. Human decency, courtesy, social graces – once cornerstones of our social culture – are now rare commodities.
Consider current usage of The Magic Word. Please, right? The mental association is so unconsciously immediate that we take its ubiquity for granted. Most of us remember a time when using “please” and its sidekick phrases “thank you”, “excuse me”, and “you’re welcome” was an indication of good breeding, good manners, and attentiveness. These used to be highly-valued social traits. Unfortunately, these phrases are quickly disappearing from our common vernacular. In this episode of Men + Etiquette, we take an educated look at the why and how of this social erosion. We begin, as always, at the beginning.
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