Etiquette and Social Media

 The Evolution of Etiquette and Social Media

Etiquette and Social Media

Ayyad-PadhaniThe writer, Ayyad Dilawar Padhani is in Marketing at his family optical practice. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Marketing and related support services.  He has been rendering community services from a very early age.

 The Evolution of Etiquette in the Age of Social Media


n a world that is constantly evolving, the advent of social media has brought about significant changes in the way we communicate and interact with one another. To some, it may seem as though social media has eroded the long-standing principles of human etiquette, while others argue that it has simply transformed them, removing certain formalities and bringing people closer than ever before, allowing for more casual speech. In this age of rapidly changing norms, the truth lies somewhere in between, offering an interesting glimpse into the evolving landscape of social etiquette.

For older generations, social media can indeed appear as a realm where etiquette has been abandoned altogether. Gone are the days of writing formal letters and waiting for a response, replaced instead by instant messaging, memes, and emoji-laden conversations. While some might perceive these changes as the decay of traditional manners, others view them as the emergence of a new form of communication etiquette that aligns more closely with the fast-paced, digital age we inhabit.

One cannot deny that social media has brought people closer together in unprecedented ways. It has erased geographical boundaries and made it possible for individuals to connect with friends and acquaintances from around the world, fostering a global community. Keeping up with friends’ lives through their ‘stories’ or by the types of memes they share has become the norm. However, this newfound closeness has also presented its own set of challenges. With the ease of communication, misunderstandings can arise more frequently due to the absence of non-verbal cues like tone of voice and facial expressions. Consequently, many have had to adapt to a new etiquette of empathy, patience, and tolerance, seeking to navigate these potential pitfalls in a thoughtful manner.

The absence of face-to-face communication has led to changes in the way we express ourselves. The rise of abbreviations, acronyms, and emojis has allowed us to convey complex emotions and reactions in succinct, easily digestible forms. Some argue that this has eroded the richness of language and the depth of communication. However, these novel forms of expression can also be seen as innovative adaptations of language, reflective of our ability to evolve and adapt to new modes of communication.

Social media has also reshaped the traditional norms of politeness. While it has reduced the formality of interactions, it has simultaneously heightened the importance of authenticity. Users are encouraged to be themselves, and to express their true thoughts and feelings, often unfiltered. The pursuit of authenticity has led to greater transparency and vulnerability, forging connections that are arguably more genuine and meaningful.

In essence, the impact of social media on human etiquette is a nuanced one. While it has stripped away certain formalities, it has also ushered in new norms and expectations. It has bridged gaps between generations, where the young embrace the new etiquette while the old sometimes resist its changing tide. Instead of eroding etiquette, social media has reshaped it, pushing us to find a balance between the old and the new, between the formal and the informal, and that tussle or pull towards one or the other side is what is essential in evaluating our positions, and therefore discovering the sweet spot.

Ultimately, the evolution of etiquette in the age of social media reflects our adaptability as a species. We continue to refine our social norms and manners as we embrace new technologies and modes of communication. The key lies in navigating this evolving landscape with a sense of respect, empathy, and an understanding of how these changes can bring us closer together rather than tear us apart. In doing so, we may find that, beneath the surface, the essence of human etiquette remains intact, even in the midst of digital transformation.

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