How Technology has Killed Good Manners

Woman looking at phone

“Hey, Siri!”, it beeps its response. “Play my ‘Chill Out’ playlist”.

As requested, calm music flows from my car speakers and instantly I am relaxed. Why is this problematic? Well, when my husband is sat next to me in the car, he isn’t as responsive. He doesn’t meet my every demand the instant I make it. In fact, if I shout demands at him, he gets rather annoyed.

What’s the lesson?

Technology Brain

We are getting very demanding, we expect our interactions to all be as simple as the interactions with our technology. Perhaps we don’t realize this is what we are doing but I assure you, it is happening.

“Manners don’t cost a thing”. We were told this over and over again as children. Our parents repeating it every time we’d forget to say “Please” or “Thank you”.

We knew the rules. We understood the way we were expected to interact with other people. What about children now, though? Are we giving them the same understanding? Are they able to differentiate the way they speak to technology and the way they interact with other people?

Even as adults we are forgetting the importance of using manners in our human interactions. We are sat at dinner tables staring at our phones, we are picking them up during conversations with friends, family and partners. We are walking into coffee shops and mumbling things like “Latte” to a barista without even making eye contact.

Spilled Coffee Beans

What happens when AI is accessible to everyone for everything?

“Hey Siri, tell the Barista I want a Latte”. Is this where we are heading? Forget the eye contact. Why bother when AI can just place the order for me? Why talk at all? I could just type “Latte” to my AI and then it could tell the Barista itself.

How would the Barista feel? How would you feel if you were the Barista?

If you've read our blogs before you might argue that the Barista is soon going to be a robot anyway, why does it matter? It matters because right now that Barista is probably overworked and underpaid, desperately trying to make ends meet and serve customers like you on a daily basis. They do this with a smile. 

Be considerate, they're doing their best!

We are hiding behind our screens more and more. We hear about keyboard crusaders and internet trolls who feel confident about saying awful things because they are sat behind a screen, are we all becoming these people? We are all constantly behind our screens now, but what happens when we don’t have to move from behind them?

Are we all becoming awful human beings? Is the change happening whilst we aren’t realizing?

The truth is, we aren’t just forgetting our manners, we are losing empathy. We are forgetting to relate to other human beings because we rarely have to. You see a friend or a family member post about a break-up on Facebook and you can’t connect to them, not in a meaningful way anyway.

Human connections

We have no idea of their pain. We can’t comprehend how they feel on a personal level.
I hope that with the advancement of technology, we find a way to use our devices to connect in a better way. We can contact people all over the world, but how many people are we actually connecting with?

At the moment we are all disconnected.

On that note: “Hey Siri, play my ‘Chill out’ playlist... please”.