Monday 18 December 2017

Claire O'Mahony: Good digital manners? We just don't have the time

Claire O'Mahony

So much for that aphorism that good manners cost nothing. Because in the digital era, they do. They waste time and energy – engage in what you'd consider a normal act of politeness in real life, and you run the risk of irritating the recipient of your genteel text, email or voicemail.

Or so claims a recent blog by Nick Bilton in the 'New York Times'. "Who leaves a voice mail message when you don't answer, rather than texting you?" he asks in his diatribe about people who clutter up your inbox and voicemail with pointless communication.

This sounds harsh but closer inspection reveals that he could have a point. In the main, we would prefer to think of ourselves as people fairly well versed in etiquette. We have written thank-you notes; held open doors and let somebody with one item go ahead of us and our heaving trolley at the supermarket checkout.

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