Monday, August 18, 2008

Internet Rudeness Spill Over

On my way to Long Island, New York last month, I stopped in a McDonalds somewhere on the road. I had my normal grilled southwestern chicken salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing and Diet Coke. On my way out of the restaurant, I stepped aside to let this beautiful family come into through the door. There was a mom and dad, grandma and grandpa and a brand new baby that was crying in this very young baby cry that is not yet annoying and sounds something like a young whitetail deer in need of it's mom's milk. The mother of this child had beautiful, long dark hair and was wearing sunglasses. The dad was young and what I can remember about him is that he had blue jean shorts on, you know, the ones that are a bit faded and come down to the knee and are hemmed and not cut off. When this family entered the McDonalds I could not help but smile, and spending a little time thinking about my own family, which I was apart from. I was so mesmerized by this sight that I never opened the door for this new mom that had her hands full. "That's ok....I got it," is what she said as she entered the MacDonalds. It is really not what she said, it was how she said it. She said it with the most sarcastic distain that really hurt, and I thought this is not normal rudeness. Now I know I should have helped her, but did I deserve her rudeness? Maybe I did. But I don't think so. I just have this feeling that the Internet rudeness that seems to have grown out of the anonymity of the web is spilling over into our daily lives. I'm not sure I can prove this but I read Dave Moulton's Bike Blog and he seems to agree.

I guess just rudeness in general is increasing. I have observed many times people going into a store and at no point did they acknowledge people around them not even saying hello or smiling to the checkout clerk. I was in Parkview, a local grocery store, during lunch just a couple days ago. And the woman infront of me talked on her cell phone during the entire grocery store check out process. I asked the cashier if she has many people who check out while they are on their cell phones. She said that about 4-5 people do it each shift.
I also heard the other day that an airline was considering allowing people to use the Internet in flight. At the time, I said, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Now I know how I feel about it. People should be talking to people. Have you seen many of today commercials? Count the acts of rudeness in commercials. I remember a few years ago, discussions about violence on television and how many random acts of violence children see, and how it desensitizes them to violence. Well, how many times do children see people being rude to each other and are children being desensitized to rudeness. I think so.


Mark Carls said...

Good blog post Ed Tech Man. I think I've noticed it as well, but then I start to think that must just be me getting old! I do try to say hi to people and to be accomadating to others, but I know I've been a cellphone talker way too much as well!

ItIsIRick said...

My wife said to me the other day that when you talk or text other people when you are currently in a room with people, you are telling the people you are in the room with that the other people on the phone are more important than the current people you are face to face with. In our job we often talk about "being there." I'm just not sure we can really "be there" or convey what Daniel Pink calls "High Touch" if we are on our phones all the time. I of course include myself in this.