Is society getting ruder?

Most people think we are. In fact, a new poll shows that 76 percent of North Americans say we’re becoming, quote: “more rude and less civil.” Why?

Etiquette experts say part of the problem is that everything in our society is too casual. And casual dress and behavior leads to casual conversation. That’s why you’ll rarely hear so-called “magic words” today, like “please,” “thank you,” or even “you’re welcome.” Instead, you’re more likely to hear people say things like “sure,” “no problem” or “you bet.” 

Hilka Klinkenberg is the founder of Etiquette International. And she says responses like that don’t convey the same conviction as when we’re sincerely expressing gratitude.
But not all etiquette experts agree. Cindy Post directs the Emily Post Institute. She says the words we use to show respect and consideration tend to change over time, but have the same meaning. As an example: She says that in the past, we were taught to always greet others by saying “Hello, how do you do?” Today, she says you might come across as sounding sarcastic if you say that.

That’s why she believes it’s more polite to simply say, “Hey, how’s it going?”

The same goes for saying “no problem” instead of “you’re welcome,” even “got it” instead of “thank you.” Post says as long as your appreciation and respect is expressed in a genuine manner, then it shouldn’t matter which words you choose.

What do you think? Are people getting ruder? Or are we just changing the way we express good manners? Weigh in at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.