In the 40th Teen Trend Report released by StageofLife.com, and published by PRWeb, more than 5,500 junior and senior high school and college students revealed the factors leading to today’s incivility. In the report, 92 percent of teens say that social media, including Facebook and Twitter, make us a less civil society. A whopping 70 percent of teens think society today displays more bad manners than good ones.
Students ranked family upbringing as the No. 1 factor affecting civility. Education level was No. 2, followed by socioeconomic status at No. 3.
The results revealed the following other statistics about teenagers and their views on manners:
» 47 percent have witnessed the most frequent rudeness and bad manners from school classmates compared to 6 percent from family at home, 27 percent from strangers in public places and 20 percent from friends and followers on social media.
» Students indicated that they learned “bad” manners from the media (69.3 percent), school (65 percent) and friends (61.5 percent). However, 43 percent named school as a positive influence on their manners, especially activities such as sports, student government, music and theater.
» What do teens claim as their biggest pet peeve? People being rude to cashiers, waiters and other service people that they’ve observed in public places.
These type of statistics, coupled with experienced observation, have inspired The Key Class to successfully provide behavior training to students in the high schools and other programs like the United Way of Santa Barbara County, the Workforce Investment Board of Santa Barbara County and the county Juvenile Services Division.
In addition to the 5,500 students responding to the survey, an additional 125 teen bloggers submitted an essay to StageofLife.com sharing personal stories and thoughts about civility that answered the question, “Where has civility gone?” The winning first-place student essay was entitled, “Not the Same as Respect,” and was written by a South Korean high school student. Click here to read the winning essay.
A Twitter contest, tied into the monthly question about civility, selected a winner. It came from @MissMelBell98, who wrote, “Civility is fleeting fast because people are no longer expected to have it, so in turn, we don’t have anything to live up to.”
I’m proud to say that the site collaborated with international etiquette expert, Jay Remer, “The Etiquette Guy” (and my friend), to craft and judge the writing contest. Remer is the acting Etiquette Coach for StageofLife.com, where he answers real-life questions about manners and civility in the etiquette advice sections of the website.
Rudeness in America
Social Life Skills 101
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Register your child for The Key Class today! Just four classes — on table manners, meet and greet, respect and making others at ease with them. For those seeking jobs, we’ll teach how to create résumés and cover letters!
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— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or get information on Thursday night classes in Santa Barbara. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook. Follow John Daly on Twitter: @johndalyjr. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.