Social graces: Have we gone from a “know boundaries” to a “no boundaries” culture?

know boundaries and social graces

In today’s highly social/virtual world, where connection and content seem to be everything, we may have disconnected far too much from traditional mores.

Just reading some facebook posts that broadcast more intimate details than anyone needs to know (from sex life to bodily functions), makes it more painfully obvious that we’re heading from a “know boundaries” to a “no boundaries” culture.

In fact, there has been such a dramatic shift in sharing, it is spilling out from behind computer and smartphone screens into intimate social situations, and it isn’t pretty. Sometimes, it’s like we’re living in reality TV, the only place where it’s acceptable to act like imbeciles begging to be ridiculed and judged.

Take, for example, the new wave of sharing salary information. In the last few months, several people have told me what they make, and expect me to “share” in return.

There are reasons for not doing this. One is called privacy—protecting me. Another is called consideration: protecting others. These are the same reasons I don’t discuss religion or politics at parties, and use the same rule-of-thumb on facebook.  A) It’s nobody’s business and B) There’s too much chance of offending others.

When you’re in a social situation, you’re responsible for making not only yourself, but, more importantly, other people, comfortable.

Is it possible that in today’s world of social media, this important social grace is being forgotten?

Life is not all “SoMe,” as facebook and twitter would have us believe.  It’s us relating to and interacting with each other, and there are rules for that.

It’s what’s necessary for us to get along in the world and “like” each other.

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