The Decline of Public Courtesy
With ever encroaching technologies and T & C’s that few ever read, people are giving away their privacy at an alarming rate. There are surveillance cameras in jewelry shops but also in restaurants, on street corners and traffic lights. We are tracked by our internet browsers and social media. Our private information has become a product to be sold for corporate benefit. Ads are targeted based on our demographic. And we have become all too accustomed to being in the public eye.
Private conversations once held in a phone booth are often conducted at high volume in public places such as bars, libraries, even churches. Where once there was blissful silence, now there is the hum of technology and loud conversations and even shouting.
Simply visit a public monument or tour a famous church and you will see blatant disregard for others in the form of selfie sticks at sacred gravesites and loud conversations held in front of a sign stating “Silence”.
From my personal observations of this decline in public courtesy, I would surmise that it is due, in part, to being outed to the public by technologies and social media. Being so used to putting it all out there, there has been less attention to setting and maintaining personal boundaries. The world appears to be growing smaller but different cultures and traditions still need to be respected. We have grown apathetic and informal where, in many situations, formalities and convention is still expected and appreciated.
I have witnessed appalling behaviour on airplanes, that would not be seen a decade ago. And at home, in neighborhoods, there is growing disconnection with children left to their own devices (literally) and drones flying overhead and lowering to peer into windows.
In my practice, I often recommend a break from tech for tech-dependent clients presenting with moderate to severe anxiety. I find that relief from the EMF’s and the auditory and visual stimulation can aid in relieving anxiety. Of course, with screen addiction a growing concern, there is a detox period where a client can feel like they have lost a limb. However, after about 2 weeks with reduced or metered screen time, clients feel a bit better.
We are creating anxiety that did not exist in previous generations with the overuse of technology. We are forgetting when we are in public and when we are in private and the boundaries of reality are blurring. The remedy is to invite connection but putting down our phones and tablets and laptops more and making eye contact with people and pets more. This way we can find our way back to kindness, courtesty and connection. To find out more about recovering from addictions, anxiety or how to set boundaries, you may book a free 15 minute consultation. If you would like to learn more about freeing yourself from the fears containing you, take a look at this anxiety blog.