Manners in the Modern Day

The Golden Rule no longer applies in this day and age! “Treat others the way you want to be treated” has been taught to children, their parents, and possibly their grandparents, but it isn’t right. The Golden Rule is a good sentiment to hold if it’s a childish dispute about sharing so you can understand their side and how your actions and selfishness affect the other. But it can be harmful as you mature.

You should treat others the way they want to be treated. It may be awkward to pause your jokes and ask if something is okay, but it can mean a lot to the other person. Many comments can hurt someone and possibly affect the way they think for the remainder of the day, or even the week. A snide remark on someone’s clothing or personal behaviors can make someone feel self-conscious, even if it was meant for good fun and not to make them feel bad.

It takes a certain skill to make someone feel comfortable, but it is important to try. Before you do something, you can casually ask about it. ‘Do you like hugs?’ ‘Do I make you comfortable?’ or, before asking a question, prefacing that they do not need to respond and that they are not obligated to an answer. Knowing that your friend won’t force an answer out of you is comforting, and may bring a sense of security if they later need to say something. Boundaries are extremely valuable in all types of relationships, and you should never assume someone is okay with something because you would be.

This idea is becoming more prevalent because of this generation. People are speaking up more about what makes them comfortable, which is an excellent advancement. Pronouns and physical boundaries are becoming easier to talk about, and it’s important to respect even if you don’t like the person. Misunderstanding someone’s pronouns and boundaries on purpose isn’t just disrespectful, but it’s dehumanizing. A level you should never stoop to, no matter how much you dislike someone.

Modern mannerisms include phone behaviors. Phones are allowed in school for your safety and resourcefulness, but they’re a major distraction. It is rude to be on your phone when someone is talking to you, to listen to music without permission/too loud of a volume, and keep notifications on during a lesson. All these are examples of rude phone etiquette that can upset peers and teachers. Phones are a privilege. They shouldn’t be treated as an option when it’s school.

Expected mannerisms will change with every generation. People are adapting to be more inclusive for everyone, and one day you will have to do the same. No matter what, the Golden Rule is no longer viable. Treat others the way they want to be treated, check in on others’ boundaries, understand they aren’t the same as yours, and always try to adapt and be a better person. No one is perfect, and there are bound to be mistakes, but the effort can make someone’s day.