Magens Bay --San Thomas

Monday, October 31, 2011

Where are our manners ...

Ever since email, internet and cell phone have been unveiling, we found ourselves doing more and more things at once. Occasionally we would find ourselves, driving while web-ex-ING into the meetings, or perhaps text-ing while driving, or perhaps answering emails in the middle of the meetings, watching movies with our family while answering emails and so on and so forth.

--courtesy of

There is another aspect of sociology that we often overlook, etiquette. We often find ourselves talking to someone, who barely paying attention to us. The person is so busy looking at his/her emails while conversing a conversation with us, sending a message that he/she is too busy to talk to us. Sometimes, they stop in the middle of the conversation and conversing another one with another party, in attempting to multitasking. Last night, I was in the middle of listening to a book on CD; my girls were trying to talk to me. I acknowledged them without wanting to stop the CD. I grasped the major part of the conversation, but I was missing the details. More importantly, I have behaved disrespectfully to the girls.

We, somehow, have lost the meaning of communication. Four and half years ago, if a phone was ringing in the meeting was considered rude, let alone we picked it up. Nowadays, it is very common for us to pick up the phone during the meeting, regardless of importance. Every one shows up in the meeting with a laptop. We think that we are multitasking by doing many things at once. It turns out according to scientists that our brain is not capable of multitasking. What we are capable of doing is switching between one task to another. If the tasks are similar, our brain will take less time to resume back, otherwise it will take much longer, even twice as long.

So, we are not performing multitasking successfully, but we have become a generation that has lost our communication etiquette. We are too busy to pay full attention on someone anymore. I sometimes found it a little irritating when I was having lunch with someone that someone would take out an i-phone and started looking at emails and browsing. It left me feeling uncomfortable as if my company was not that exciting.

Hopefully we would take time in our busy life to pause once in awhile and take some times to fully focus our attention at one thing at a time, at one person at a time, sending our messages that they are important enough for us to pay full attention.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life