Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rudeness Is Not Cool

These days of social media and information overload has made for a ruder society. Facebook updates, instant messaging, Twitter, e-mail, etc. have created monsters in us all. We think we're more important than we are, we are convinced our time is more valuable than anyone else's, and we take pride in our inept ability to multi-task, doing everything mediocre and nothing with excellence. I'm not here to judge, but I am here to inform. Here's what I want you to know: you are being watched.

You are being watched liked hawks by little people that look to you as an example of how an adult acts. You are the pinnacle of your child's expectations of adulthood. The way you behave is the way in which they will grow. How do I know? Oh, I have proof.

Last year I volunteered to help students during their Writing class. What a joy! Their chosen words and topics never ceased to blow me away. There are Pulitzer prize winners in the class of 2020, I just know it. One of the traditions of 4th grade is an event called The Mummy Wrap. Many long-time LOVD readers will recall the crocodile head my son made and the costume I glue-gun sewed for the god, Ammut. This event is a big deal and has been part of the school's history for eons. There were parents in the audience who participated in their own Mummy Wrap when they attended the school. The kids performed wonderfully and did surprisingly well amongst the blings and beeps of smartphone notices from the audience.

So, during Writing class, the assignment was to write a letter to themselves as if they had been in the audience watching the performance. Almost half of the students wrote to themselves apologizing that the performance could have been better had it not been for the distractions from cell phone notifications by many of the parents. And you know, the kids are right. I've got it on tape. I video taped the whole performance and every 5 minutes you'll hear a "brrring" in the background. Now, if the video camera can pick that up, come on?

We've become immune to the distraction but the kids notice. And they called you on it, parents! They're just not rude enough to tell you so.

So, are you guilty or do you plead no contest?


Ugochi said...

Hmnnn.... tough one here!
I think I might have fallen short one time or the other. But I usually silence my phone when I enter any gathering or event. Except I forget, but once my phone rings, that is the last it rings at that event.
I pray never to forget again, it is not right.

Suzan Wood-Young said...

Since I'm not really much of a cell phone user, it's not an issue for me, however your post is a shamefully reminder (me shame, not you) that I am not always polite ON the phone at times (specifically when being frustrated by customer service departments) and have been badly behaved more times than I care to admit. Thanks for making me think about the fact that the person on the other end is only human (usually ;-) and being polite shouldn't be such an effort.

I am LOVD said...

Oooo, Suzan, now you've got me feeling guilty. You don't want to know my yelling tirade with the Cleveland Clinic about my bill!!!! Shame on me, shame, shame. Thanks for actually reminding me!!! I should pretend I'm surrounded by children when speaking with them - that'll get me to change my tone.

I am LOVD said...

Ugochi, we're all only human:-) FYI - the same woman kept receiving the notifications. She did not clue in to silence after the first interruption.

Marilyn said...

This is a great post, I am so self aware of my phone after an incident a few years ago that it's always on silent and terribly forgotten about once I leave spaces where I can have my ringer on :(.. hence, I get a LOT of missed calls.. I think ppl simply forget in a rush to get places or sometimes don't connect the idea till the ring goes off.. Great article on it.. It's something we should all think of all the time to be mindful of our surroundings and others sharing it ;))

Marilyn said...

ps: would LOVE to email you about fall crawl, would you mind sending me your email addy pweeease? TY so much hon.. Hugs.. ;))


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