We mustn’t forget the art of talking

Sian Crips, Georgia Perry and Abi Robinson, from Oaklands School, Waterlooville, celebrating their A-level results. Picture: Habibur Rahman PPP-170817-140116006

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We now live in a world of e-mails, tweets and texts.

When you want to invite your friends on a night out or a party, you no longer need to drop by their house and give them a piece of paper with an address or number to rsvp. You don’t even need to pick up the phone and dial their number to see if they want to be on the guest list.

Now it’s 2013 and we live in a world where you don’t need to talk to anyone ever.

Inviting friends to a party? Simple, just create an event on Facebook and invite all the friends who you want to come.

They’ll receive the invitation in their inbox and simply click whether they will attend or not.

On the face of it, this seems great, much simpler with less time consumed, but is it really a good thing?

According to a recent article, modern technology is making us lazy in how we deal each other, and we are horribly out of practice when it comes to face-to-face dealings with strangers.

Put simply, it’s stealing our manners and social skills and making us less confident people.

The workplace is apparently the biggest culprit, with people preferring to send an e-mail rather than talk to their colleague who is within earshot, something I have experienced many times.

It was also revealed that people now have no problem having loud conversations on their mobile phone in places such as a normally quiet library, the supermarket checkout or even a restaurant.

We all know how annoying it is when you’re enjoying a film at the cinema that you’ve spent your hard- earned cash on and you hear a mobile phone ringing. Even worse is when they stay in their seat and proceed to have a conversation (which I witnessed once).

So, as a parent, although I want my children to grow up using all the technology that is available to them, I hope that this isn’t at the expense of their day-to-day social skills.

By that I mean things like greeting people with a ‘hello’, making eye contact when having a conversation, answering questions when asked and speaking respectfully.

I also hope later in life, if they were in a library they would choose to go outside to have a phone conversation – and that they would respect the ‘quiet zone’ on the train.

But of course, as a parent I have to lead by example, which includes always remembering to say please and thank you.

If I forget, I have my three-year-old daughter to remind me, which she did recently. ‘Daddy you didn’t say thank you,’ she said.

I don’t think I have anything to worry about.