Rude Awakening

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This falls under the “is it just me?” category.  Is it just me or are other people annoyed, put off or offended by the lack of manners shown by those nearest and dearest when using social media? I am often surprised that people I consider close friends or family relinquish manners I know they once must have had. Surely I would have noticed before I allowed them into my virtual world via Facebook, Twitter, email and texts! I see this trend growing and need to address it…at once.

The bane of my existence is the ‘like’ button on Facebook. I know we are all busy people. But, if I take the time to read everyone’s posts and more time to respond by saying things like “Merry Christmas, hope you feel better, Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, congratulations on the promotion, hope you have a good day, have a great weekend, thank you….etc, I am quite affronted to receive a cursory ‘like’ in response! (In high pitched voice) I didn’t have to say anything at all, you know! The correct response for those who should know better is, in order: Merry Christmas, thank you, thank you, Happy New Year, thank you, thanks you too, thank you, hope you do as well and you’re welcome!

So, the question remains…how do people grab and go when a compliment or greeting is laid before them?  They don’t reciprocate but then don’t even thank the benefactor for their very thoughtful and caring greeting. How can this be?  Is it anonymity or laziness that leads people to slough off years of engrained manners in favor of a click of the mouse, risking loss of friendships, grudges and horror of horrors being unfriended? I think I should start a PSA declaring the dangers of the FB ‘like’ button!

It is as annoying to me as people who walk through a door when you are opening it for yourself without so much as a thank you and cashiers, waiters and any other person to whom I give money and my custom, hello, who do not thank me for doing so. And while we are on the subject, if I reach out and post that I’ve had one of the worst days of my life, ‘liking’ that cry for attention is like pouring salt in a wound. You’re killing me people! I’m sorry, that is blatant misuse of a Facebook widget and should be taken away to avoid future transgressions. Is it just me or have the “like” boundaries been blurred? Liking a video of a puppy that can’t roll over? Yes. Hitting the like button when someone says they just got laid off?  Not so much.

Etiquette and manners form a fragile thread that holds us together.  They force us to look beyond our self-absorption and egocentrism (default settings) to acknowledge others and encourage a baseline of compassion and connection. Those of us who were forced to practice good etiquette and manners (ie, say thank you, say I’m sorry, what do say when Grandma gives you a gift…) were instilled with this responsibility to fellow human beings for a reason.  Is it that young people are not being taught manners any more?  Are manner as outdated as a Walkmans, floppy disks or VCRs? I’d love to play the old lady card  (in my day people actually said “thank you and you’re welcome) but I’m noticing this trend with young and old alike!  The Facebook like button isn’t cool and it wasn’t meant to eschew being socially competent. If you can’t use it responsibly, please refrain.  Thank you.

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42 Comments

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42 responses to “Rude Awakening

  1. You will go crazy if you keep stressing over, “why people this, why people that…”.
    Just let it be and move along, is what I always say :(

    • It’s mock stress and slight exaggeration for the purposes of shining a light on something. If I just let everything be I’ll have nothing to write about lol!

  2. I try daily to live by the adage, “you never know what someone is going through…”, so don’t be too quick to judge when their response to something falls short of your expectation. As we all know, when we have expectations of how others ‘should’ react, we will always be disappointed.

    Keep writing! You are a good writer, and I enjoy reading – when I can – even if I don’t always respond! But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you or aren’t thinking of you :-)

  3. Dana, I think you’re lucky these days to get a ‘like’. ;) I understand totally your feelings about lack of common courtesy and the manners we were both apparently brought up with. Things have definitely changed and not for the better and yes, that thank you letter went out with the phonograph record…way before the VCR…in my experience! And what you say about courtesy being the thread…you are so very right and the lack of manners and consideration is isolating us from each other. The Like button is like texting. TX instead of thank you. You know I post a lot of free information and it always stuns me when someone says (like the aquaintance who works in a health food store who is a fb friend) “I love your posts on Astralessence and the great photos you share.” They never acknowledge even having read it with a ‘like’. So…I am trying to tell myself what the issue is for me is that I have an expectation of others now that I can’t hold and understand that appreciation is there, even if not expressed (I think they call these folks ‘lurkers’…makes them sound kind of sinister, doesn’t it?)
    Well…keep airing your views and telling it like it is…:) And I’ll keep on sharing because I simply can’t stop myself…it’s what I do!

  4. I can’t believe two people had the balls to “Like” your post. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to click it to see if one of your rubber band balls drops out of the sky on me! Ok hang on I’m scrolling up…….shoot nothing happened. Oh well, love your writing.

    • lol thanks for the comment and compliment! I meant the post to sound over-dramatic and over-exaggerated however if you have to explain it…..Maybe it’s still a work in progress! Thanks for checking it out : )

  5. hehe I’ve noticed a ton of likes but no comments too…I wasn’t sure why this is until I found myself just liking a couple of friends posts…it wasn’t that I had no thoughts on the post but that most of them were already said by others…it feels so much like copying to just say what the 5 people above already said…anyway fascinating little blog here…I look forward to more. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Cheers.

    • Thanks very much, it’s been really exciting to get all the feedback on my writing! I think there is a difference between liking a video or an observation and liking a heartfelt gesture or comment, that was the point that I attempted to exaggerate. To the likes but no comments thing-it is funny that we are left scratching our head thinking “well what did they actually think?” Right? I appreciate your comment and reading my post!

  6. (Do we dare hit the “like” button on this post?) :) Thanks for the honesty! You’re posts are a bundle of laughs, and we forget that even those who cause us to laugh the hardest also can hurt the most.

    • I think I’m scaring people with this one lol Wasn’t the intention : ) Was over the top….just a tad lol Thanks for your comment and glad you liked it!

  7. if there was a ‘LOVE’ button i would’ve hit that too! this was a great post.

  8. I will forever mind my “like” buttons from this day forth.

    • Noooo, feel free to like as you wish : ) I was being “over the top” with it, no worries!! Didn’t think I could be that scary lol

      • Haha don’t worry, I was just giving you a hard time. This was a great post, and you’re totally right. I’m sure there’s a “Carrots” page on Facebook with a million “likes”. It gets ridiculous. Carry on!

      • Oh I know, I appreciate the banter. I’ve had mixed reviews on this one, but you know, you put it out there and keep writing : ) Exactly re: the “carrots page, ” exactly!

  9. Rita

    I’ve had the same issue as yaykisspurr, who feels like it’s copying when the comment I’d like to post is the same as others have said. So if I really want you to know that I enjoyed your contribution, I wind up saying something that may sound insignificant or insincere because it’s not what I really wanted to say in the first place. That being said I do like the fact that you’e reminding me how my actions or non-actions may feel to others.
    THANK YOU!!!

  10. Guess, I can’t press like on this post.

    However, “THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH ALL OF US”

    Sincerely,
    Wise-Ass

  11. believe it or not – i am not FB user, but I looove WP and the whole “like” thing kind of just struck me one day – I couldn’t really understand – what was it all about?! and I still don’t ;) I mean – I still don’t see the point – comments are comments, but to get a “like”? – is it like counting how popular you are? like having hundreds of “friends” you have never met and will never meet on FB? stop with the irony – here is “like” from me ;) and confession that I created my own “likes” to attribute them to the books I have read

  12. Love your writing… The Like button doesn’t bother me. It’s usually the signs and sayings people like to post that annoy me. Wandered over from Freshly Pressed. Congratulations!

  13. The world is just too damn busy I guess and ‘like’ is the shortcut to having to make a real effort – or is that judgemental of me!? We do live in a world where we are all ‘armchair activists’ but how many of us really get off our asses and support a cause, or volunteer or take action rather than sit on our computers and click ‘Like’. I’m as guilty as the next person. Its nice that people take the trouble to ‘Like’ stuff but I’m acutely aware of how easy it is to support a cause online rather than get off our asses and actively make a difference. I’m with you on the manners thing. Courtesies and general good manners have pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur!

  14. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the “like” button, either. It’s great for a picture of someone’s kids, but for “I’m going through a rough time, please pray”? Seriously? You like that I’m going through a rough time? What type of frenemy are you? I also hate the “did you read my post?” “yes, I did” “then why didn’t you ‘like’ it?” exchange. I never know how to respond to that…….

    Anyway, thanks for the musings!

  15. purpleowltree1234

    The “Like” option is taking over the world! Having just had a quiet not-going-out-at-all restful weekend catching up on Facebook and blogging and surfing the ‘net, I’m finding I’m accidentally looking for the “Like” option everywhere! Notice I clicked it here on this post too! I get affronted when it’s there and someone DOESN’T click it. Didn’t they like that? Why didn’t they like it? And if I forget or overlook to “Like” their post (albeit only the positive ones- Definitely Not ones stating they are sick or fired!!), then I’M being the a-hole. So I’m looking for “Like” everywhere now. I’m seriously going crazy! It’s messed up!! ;)
    Rach

    • I think there is a big difference between liking something you actually, um, like and ignoring a gesture of thoughtfulness by liking someone’s communication on FB. Liking a blog is appropriate. I know I’ve enjoyed the interest in what I have to say. But if I say “hi, haven’t seen you in a while, hope all is well?” and you hit the like button, then that’s just rude! Also, why should you feel a slave to the like button lol Some widget that some pimply kid created somewhere? We should be polite yet authentic lol I feel like Ms Manners now.

  16. Sid

    Nice. Very true indeed. I have also felt the same way. These days, people just hit ‘Like’ on Facebook to an entire line of text that I put on their wall for their birthdays. It is not just annoying to the writer (me, in this case) but also disrespectful. I share your sentiments….
    Though I am still in my youth, I blame the youth for severe lack of manners and the most basic of etiquettes. Saddening indeed…

    • It doesn’t keep me up at night but I agree, as you know! Let’s have some semblance of civility, you know? I think the advent of computer games, texting and the like have lead to a lack of socialization that most of us had-looking into someone’s eyes when they speak, listening and responding…One needs human interaction to pick these things up whilst the synapses are firing. That’s how we evolved, how we learn language and social norms.

      • Sid

        “Semblance of civility” – absolutely. Yes I agree. The advancement in technology and the ease of access to resources have caused our generation to take things for granted; language, etiquettes and manners included. Well even I play computer games, but thankfully, I know for sure that there is no paucity in me of the basic aspects of social life.
        “One needs human interaction” – brilliant. This aspect of life seems to be diminishing rapidly these days with the propagation of technology and gadgets.

  17. Anonymous

    I’m with the first person who commented….taking FB seriously is really the first mistake (and I realize that you were exaggerating the point for effect). If I didn’t have to be in front of my clients in some way, I’d delete my FB page altogether….because it has diminished our social interaction in so many ways. But given that fact, I take everything on there with a grain of salt….some people have lots of time for it, others not much time at all. I actually really enjoy the “like” button because I don’t have time to type out a lengthy response….I have a high-stress job that keeps me working 60 hours a week. I’m on FB during the few minutes that I look at a different screen for some distraction. What I don’t actually like are the posts about people having a bad day, etc…it seems like such a cry for attention. If I really need a friend’s support, I’ll just call them…not post it on FB.

    • I definitely agree that social media has diminished human interaction and I know there is a much more serious blog there.

      I see your point about time as well. And the content-yes-the click this if you love this or that drives me nuts and people who drone on about how unfair life is in one form or another is a downer and/or annoying. If I’m truly feeling badly, I tend not to post at all. Thank for your thoughtful comments.

  18. Someone just told me that the reason twitter and facebook exist is to remind us we have free time. I guess they’re not using it wisely.

    • To Keith and “Someone”: I think it does depend on why one uses FB or Twitter. I actually don’t use Twitter that much. I use it more as a convenience, knowing that I can communicate with friends and family at the same time instead of having to make a myriad of phone calls and then not getting to far with that, I post once and then I’m done! I also love to see what people I care about are up to. It really isn’t earth shattering if they don’t respond, I was more surprised that these polite people, when in person, are more dismissive online-so of course I went with it.

      • I didn’t say free-time means waste of time. And I agree that if you’re going to respond on fb or twitter a favorite or a like isn’t always the best recourse. I actually use favorite on twitter to bookmark. Maybe there’s a better way, but I find it easy.

  19. Maybe I’m just weird, but there’s something about social networks that just bring out a whole different person in me… probably because it shows all of the ignorance of the world. This leaves me in a crabby mood, and I get irritated by things that I would otherwise be grateful for.

  20. Oh, I know, no worries. I’m still explaining my position lol. Dunno, I didn’t feel I explained it as well as I would have liked to. Definitely easier that’s for sure. Thanks for the comments : )

  21. I “liked” this post, only to feel a huge guilt for not commenting haha.

    Anyways, just yesterday I wished a good friend “Happy Birthday” on FB and she proceeded to “like” my post and give me a smiley face. Really?? You didn’t even have the decency to reply back to me in actual words? I was so disappointed (not really, but you know what I mean). Great post!

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