Social media has made us an impatient lot of people. We want instant results and instant interaction and we want it now! For many, the issue is one of simple impatience and unjustified expectation. For others, it comes down to general bad manners; where the social media world equates to an impersonal world of surface-level interaction and lack of social skills – where a simple thank you is a forgotten art.

So, has the art of good manners and a simple ‘thank you’ been lost forever in a world of social media?

I honestly think not. The issue is less about us forgetting our good manners and instead, is more about learning how to adapt them to an online world.

The art of a good thank you

Let’s begin, by looking at what makes a thank you so important. It’s about acknowledgement and appreciation. You’re taking the time to let someone know you’ve noticed what they’ve done and you appreciate that effort. A good ‘ thank you ’ is therefore one that:

  • Acknowledges another person
  • Engages them, and
  • Is meaningful

And this is something that is easily translated to the social media world. The problem is, we’ve all become a little too busy to take the time out to do it.

The benefits of social media

Social media has given us the opportunity to acknowledge and engage with people all over the world. We can interact with our clients, potential fans and family, on whichever social media platform we choose to use.

There’s ample opportunity to get our opinions out into the wider world, whilst also sharing our latest products and services. We can intermingle our personal and professional conversations and lives, no longer limited by time, distance or until we meet up in person with the person we want to interact with.

And we try to do it all – now.

Why social media leads to bad manners

With so many people to interact with, we’re going too broad and not narrowing down that interaction. We’re looking to reach everyone, instead of getting personally involved with someone.

We’ve got so much to say, to so many people, we’re not listening.

And that’s why so many people are saying that the social media world has killed good manners and the simple ‘thank you’. We’re simply too busy shouting, to care about the people we’re shouting at.

How to turn it around

But herein lies the secret. The benefits social media affords us, are the keys to turning it all around. Yes, we can engage with more people – so let’s make those engagements meaningful. Social media enables us to instantly connect with others, so why not take that time to personally connect with one person, instead of trying to instantly connect with many.

Social media gives you the chance to find out more about what’s been going on in another person’s life, so be interested! Why not use social media to create more meaningful connections and enhance your relationship with others? By focusing on less people but with more meaningful connection, you can take the time to encourage or motivate someone, when they need it. You can create meaningful interactions and new connections, for yourself and for others and yes, you’ll notice when it’s appropriate and right to say, ‘well done’ or ‘thank you’ – and you’ll take the time to do so.

What are your thoughts around social media and manners? Do you think the art of saying ‘thank you’ has become lost or do you think it’s a case of not taking the time to notice and do so? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on today’s topic – so why not leave a comment in the box below!

Image courtesy of Melpomene/