Every so often the internet plays host to a viral sensation.
One of the latest hits is a twitter post from the UK, which features a snapshot a grandson took of his grandmother’s Google search. The thing that set this Google search apart from the billions of other daily searches? The grandmother prefaced her request with “please” and ended it with “thank you”:
As of this writing, the tweet had been retweeted 24,000 times.
The popularity of the tweet may be due to the chuckles that it draws from readers, particularly since this particular grandma believed her request would be directly answered by a person at Google headquarters, and that the mannerly additives would give her search request pride of place.
I think it’s far more likely, however, that the tweet is getting major visibility because it shows something that’s increasingly rare in our society: manners.
Why are basic manners such as saying “please” and “thank you” in such a decline? The answer to that question is quite simple, says author Emilie Barnes:
“[W]e have a lack of knowledge, training, encouragement, and examples. And when social skills fall into disuse, we return to survival skills that barely get us through the day. Good manners for kids start at home. … That means you both, Mom and Dad; you have the responsibility to teach your children proper manners and courtesies. And it’s easier if you start when they are young.”
The reality is, the use of polite language in every day conversation shouldn’t be unique. But it has become unique due to the decided lack of knowledge regarding speaking and acting in a kind and polite way.
Is it time parents and teachers made manners training a higher priority for the next generation?
Image Credit: Ben John Twitter
Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.