girl-on-mobile-phoneDear Kid,

Is it just me, or has the whole world lost it?

I just read the article Why Eye Contact Still Matters In The Age of Email which basically laments the “new” rudeness that has emerged now that teens and college students are spending so much time on their electronic communication devices. The article suggests that because people are communicating in ways that are not face-to-face they feel a freedom to be rude. (It also suggests that because “everyone is watching” people are no longer willing to take risks, but that is a discussion for another day. Tomorrow perhaps.)

As far as I am concerned, this is absolute hogwash. Nonsense. Ridiculousness. Idiocy. Also, I just don’t buy it.

I know several college students who understand that rude is rude and inappropriate is inappropriate whether you are staring someone directly in their eyeball or sending a text. The only difference is that for a text you can probably roll your eyes and get away with it.

For anyone reading this who doesn’t quite get it: there is no reason to be rude, either in person or via ones and zeros. You’re tired–we get it, we’re all tired. You’re upset–yup, we get that too. You don’t like the grade you got–been there. None of it means you should be nasty to the next person you encounter. (Especially if that person is your mother.)

In fact, I’d suggest that being rude in print is far worse than being rude in person. No one can print out something you say out loud. Or keep it on their phone to renew their annoyance with you right before handing out final grades.

Just for the record, we had rude people when I was in college. (Back in the day when electronic communication meant powering our quill pens with lightening.) Suggesting that rudeness is new is just plain silly.

So I hereby decree today No Rudeness Day. Probably not going to happen. How about No Rudeness Hour? A promise not to be rude to anyone while you’re sleeping? Sigh. I’ll take what I can get.

Love, Mom