Teen manners falter with texting

Teen manners falter with texting

Rebecca Lee
Editor-in-Chief

Becky Headshot

I hastily reached into my backpack for my Clipper Card as the 30 Stockton bus came to a halt in front of me. Without any hope of finding the card any time soon, I let an elderly woman get on the bus before me instead of making her wait.

“You’ll get through life well with manners like yours,” she told me from across the aisle.

I never thought of myself as being a polite person and was shocked to be given such a compliment, but with waning manners in today’s teen culture, I could understand her comment.

Manners seem to slowly wane as one grows into a teenager as often times manners are more enforced on one as a child. Parents quiz their kids on “What’s the magic word?” or “Did you say thank you?” but a teen would view these questions as annoying, roll her eyes, then probably fend for herself.

Manners help one build opinions about another person — even if they are not necessarily strangers.

Texting is the most common behavior among teenagers that bring manners into question. Teens text when alone and when they are with others, but many adults view texting in the presence of others as rude, signaling that the texting teen is not fully engaged with the people in the same room.

Such behaviors sometime appear to be more understandable if a teen is conversing with another teen and she reads only a couple of texts, treating them as a phone call she cuts short, but the actions become unacceptable when the encounters become longer.

Teens have become accustomed to this type of “multitasking” — instant messaging, doing homework, texting and watching T.V. all at the same time, so texting while talking does not dawn on them that it is disrespectful, yet when teens text and talk at the same time it’s impossible to fully comprehend either one of the conversations. A multitasking person does not have the capability to pay attention to two items at once, no matter what it is, according to a Stanford University study.

Menial tasks can sometimes become dangerous when one’s attention is absorbed by something else, including texting when walking. Dozens of times cars have to stop and honk their horns so the texter is not run over.

Manners aren’t simply conventions for a polite society, but can help keep us safe.

I hastily reached into my backpack for my Clipper Card as the 30 Stockton bus came to a halt in front of me. Without any hope of finding the card any time soon, I let an elderly woman get on the bus before me instead of making her wait.

“You’ll get through life well with manners like yours,” she told me from across the aisle.

I never thought of myself as being a polite person and was shocked to be given such a compliment, but with waning manners in today’s teen culture, I could understand her comment.

Manners seem to slowly wane as one grows into a teenager as often times manners are more enforced on one as a child. Parents quiz their kids on “What’s the magic word?” or “Did you say thank you?” but a teen would view these questions as annoying, roll her eyes, then probably fend for herself.

Manners help one build opinions about another person — even if they are not necessarily strangers.

Texting is the most common behavior among teenagers that bring manners into question. Teens text when alone and when they are with others, but many adults view texting in the presence of others as rude, signaling that the texting teen is not fully engaged with the people in the same room.

Such behaviors sometime appear to be more understandable if a teen is conversing with another teen and she reads only a couple of texts, treating them as a phone call she cuts short, but the actions become unacceptable when the encounters become longer.

Teens have become accustomed to this type of “multitasking” — instant messaging, doing homework, texting and watching T.V. all at the same time, so texting while talking does not dawn on them that it is disrespectful, yet when teens text and talk at the same time it’s impossible to fully comprehend either one of the conversations. A multitasking person does not have the capability to pay attention to two items at once, no matter what it is, according to a Stanford University study.

Menial tasks can sometimes become dangerous when one’s attention is absorbed by something else, including texting when walking. Dozens of times cars have to stop and honk their horns so the texter is not run over.

Manners aren’t simply conventions for a polite society, but can help keep us safe.

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