What Ever Happened to Having Manners?
by Zoe Sullivan


The state of manners and etiquette within our generation has become so skewed that the mere act of someone holding the door open for me at the gym stopped me dead in my tracks. 

If you take a step back and look at the daily interactions you experience, you may see that such occurrences as holding the door open for the person behind you, saying excuse me, and introducing your guest to a group have become significantly less frequent.

While in lecture the other day, a professor told us that our generation has been criticized for its lack of manners. Instead of getting offended and offering arguments to contradict his statement, I found myself in complete agreement with him.

How many times have you passed by someone you have met once or twice and decided to avoid contact? How about experiencing a social situation where a friend of yours fails to introduce their guest? I can admit to experiencing these situations on more than one occasion. 

These instances, once considered “rude” by earlier generations, have made multiple social situations unnecessarily awkward. However, this may be because most college-aged individuals as well as their younger peers are just plain unaware of the importance of manners. 

So who is to blame for the etiquette “gap” in our generation? My professor offered the explanation that our parents have failed to educate our generation about proper manners. This may be a possibility, especially since learned behaviors are picked up by children via their parents. 

Perhaps another factor has been our own inability to truly make an effort in the realm of manners. A simple opening of the door in consideration for others may not be enough to change our generation, but it could be a small step in re-instating the awareness of etiquette among us.