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.