Everyone is aware that the advancement of technology has made our world a different place than it was 10 years ago… 5 years ago…maybe even 5 months ago.  It’s changed many things in our everyday life from how we speak to how we spell. It’s also changed our manners.

Let’s start with the request seen so often on wedding and party invitations. Ah yes, the RSVP, the request made to respond to an invitation. Getting responses is becoming more and more difficult. Instantaneous communication has given the illusion that we can wait until the last minute to make a decision.  Quoting Lizzie Post, great-great granddaughter of Emily Post the etiquette expert…

“We are worse at RSVP-ing than we ever have been. We want to decide that morning if we want to go that night – we have forgotten how to simply commit.”

Today’s abbreviated communication options have altered what was formerly considered a basic courtesy not to mention the spelling of many words.  Words like please and thank you (Remember those “magic words”?) are not always included.  For example, “Check your calendar” has replaced the more polite request to “Please check your calendar.” And Thank You has become “TNX.”  We overlook these changes because our communication is often being sent from handheld devices.  Emails would be more cumbersome and text messages would become overwhelming if we chose to use too many words or to actually spell them correctly. It’s gr8 you agree!

The handwritten note is almost extinct. When someone responds with a handwritten thank you note in this day and age it is very impressive.  Writing a thank you note is a beneficial skill every child can learn. Quoting an article on Parents.com entitled 25 Manners Kids Should Know:

“Manner #12: Be appreciative and say ‘thank you’ for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.”

Another thing worth noting is the “Powerful effect” of a parent’s words and actions. Modeling is powerful and persuasive and so is encouragement. Teach your child how to respond to others with old-fashioned good manners and when he does just that, let him know you’re pleased.

You can hear John and Kendra Smiley’s interview on Austin Hill in the Morning below:

Are good manners out of date?

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