You start to feel strange in a familiar environment with every passing minute. People’s manners and attitudes are changing for the worse. And if you are found holding on to new etiquette, you may be called out for it or tagged backward and uncivilized. Showing etiquette some years ago was lovable and encouraged by all and sundry. People would even criticize those who do not offer good manners as uncultured. But nowadays, things are changing fast; yesterday’s uncultivated manners and attitudes are celebrated and encouraged.
Children are no longer raised with societal values that teach them to relate well with other people and think of how their actions affect them. All of our values that make us honorable are being thrown out in the name of civilization. While civility is about treating one another in everyday life with politeness, courtesy, consideration, and other similar traits, we are becoming less civil in our interpersonal relationships with every passing day.
The digital age has brought this problem to an all-time high. With social media platforms and the internet, physical interactions have been limited. However, this has given people the audacity to express their thoughts rudely and provide no care about insulting or degrading someone else’s beliefs, opinions, and identity. This media also affords people anonymity, allowing them to behave anyhow without fear of reciprocity. Hence, demeaning and offensive comments cyberbullying are now common occurrences.
Parents in this millennial generation have raised their kids with a lot of self-gratification and self-entitlement with less effort on self-restraint. The child becomes mature, thinking that he can behave anyhow he wishes. He grows up with the idea that his opinion is supreme and should be placed above anyone’s view. All that matters to him is what benefits him; hence, he has no regard for community-shared values or how other people may perceive his actions. These self-absorbed and self-entitlement traits will later bring about uncivil actions from an individual as he only cares about having his say and getting his way without bothering over what others think.
While we have all witnessed uncivil actions of one form or the other in our personal lives and professional careers, it is safe to assume how widespread the problem is. With television, movies, and the internet all working together in promoting and normalizing these uncivil behaviors, the fight for a civil society seems to be a distant dream. However, the path we can take to return to normalcy is mainly about raising our kids and youths on basic manners and ethical values at school or home. Seminars and symposiums can also be organized to foster people’s understanding of the need for civility in society.