Modern technology is wonderful. It gives us shortcuts, puts the entire world at the tips of our fingers, and helps to make life so much easier. It even helps to make life more pleasant by allowing us to avoid interacting with unpleasant people (for the most part). But, it also is going to be the downfall of polite society if people don't remember a few simple rules:
1. Take the cell phone away from your ear once in a while. If your ear is numb or turning purple, you're probably on the phone too much. Better yet...just stop talking on the phone while driving altogether. You can wait until you reach your destination...and you may even be able to stay at a constant speed on the highway on your drive and not annoy the hell out of the people trying to pass you!
2. Turn your cell phone off while at a school, play, speech, movie theater, or funeral parlor. Seriously. If you're at a venue where you need to hear what is being said, then so do others around you. Turn it OFF...not to vibrate...but completely OFF!
3. Stop texting at the dinner table, in the car, at the doctor's office, in the grocery store, or anywhere else where people are trying to engage you in a conversation...or trying to get around you.
4. Return a message. Any message left on your phone (either voicemail or text) or on your computer (email) needs to be replied to relatively sooner rather than later. C'mon people, that's just rude to ignore someone. Even if you don't have time for a lengthy chat, text, or email, it's just the right thing to acknowledge you received the message. A simple email or text is better than nothing. Give them a quick reply...even if you just tell them that life has you swamped and unable to breathe at the moment, but your message was important and you'll get back to them when you come up for a breath.
5. If someone gives you something or does something nice for you...say thank you. It's that simple and really does make a HUGE difference! I'll even concede that a text or email saying "Thanks!" is better than nothing at all. Not acknowledging something kind someone has done for you is inexcusable. Always.
The world is definitely moving faster than it ever has. I guess I'm just old-fashioned and believe that manners and common courtesy still belong in our world and separate us from the animals. Animals at least have an excuse: they don't have thumbs so it's a little more difficult for them to type or dial.