No SHOUTING, and say thank you

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

This whole trend for all things retro seems to be invading every aspect of day-to-day life, from fashion to music and even etiquette.

Yes, etiquette: something that was popular and considered important way back in the olden days (and for all you young’uns out there, olden days in this case refers to a time in history before I was born. Yes, that’s right, the history books do go back further than my birthday).

By the time I was a teenager, my grandparents’ generation was frequently heard grumbling about the lack of manners shown by children, our inability to send a thank-you card for a birthday or Christmas gift. Although, in my own defence, said gifts were usually scenic tea towels or socks.

Now with the web forming such a big part of daily life for kids, etiquette has snuck back into importance.

Oh sure, today’s teenagers still grunt more than they talk and they do still tend to hang around the place making it look untidy, as we did back in the day. But they do actually have some quite interesting online social behaviour rules they live by. In fact, it’s not just teenagers I’ve noticed the netiquette influence on all ages.

It’s probably safe to say most of us know not to type our messages in capital letters, because that’s considered shouting, and most people know to resist the urge to forward those awful “forward this to 500 friends and get a free trip to Disneyland” emails.

However, Facebook is reawakening that whole chain of spam the Disneyland emails caused with what seems to be an ever-increasing number of “OMG!!! SOMETHING EXCITING HAPPENED, CLICK HERE TO LIKE THIS TO VIEW THE AWESOME VIDEO/POST/WEBSITE/WHATEVER!!!!!” posts popping up all over the show. Of course, most of the time it’s simply a ploy to get you on a mailing list.

It’s also interesting watching the drama unfold as relationships develop, and then disintegrate, on Facebook.

OK, let’s be honest, I’ve witnessed this happen a few times now and interesting is probably the wrong word: maybe hilarious would be a better description, especially as things fall apart and all the online friends of the online couple choose sides and unfriend the offending half of the couple, all the while clicking the like button on every vicious remark typed by the other half.

Good times, good times.

Oh, and I suppose if they want to send a card to their ex, current online fancy or even to their Nana as a thank you for some hideous gift, they can use New Zealand Post’s new iPhone app. Because sending cards is another one of those retro things.


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