If someone sends you a text message, always send a reply message back to let the person know you have received it. Even if the sender is not asking you a question, good manners should tell you to let the person know you got it. Don’t just sit up there like a knot on a log, or just say, “Oh, this person cannot benefit me at the moment so I’m not going to respond.” Everything is not all about you and you should not strive to be the center of attention all of the time. Just because email and text messaging are modern/postmodern forms of communication, they should be treated with the same courtesy we treat all other forms of communication that have existed since Adam and Eve messed around with that forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. It is highly arrogant to intentionally ignore someone’s email or text message, especially if the email or text message is not coming from someone who is trying to do you harm.
People need to start thinking about being more courteous to one another. It seems like it is too old-fashioned to talk about good manners anymore, but here at Revolutionary Paideia there is no shame in talking about good manners. Revolutionary Paideia will hold people accountable for maintaining and exercising good manners.
In some of these emails and text messages that you send out to people, you should not think that putting “LOL” at the end of a message is going to make your vicious and rude comment any better—it’s still a vicious and rude comment. “LOL” also does not effectively disguise vicious personal attacks on people in an email and text message—vicious personal attacks will always be vicious personal attacks. People think that they can send you an email or text message that attacks you and it not be considered a threat—it’s still a threat!
We need to start treating one another better, and we can start to treat one another better through how we communicate through email and text messaging. Don’t let the medium through which you communicate become a barrier or excuse for you to exercise good manners. When you do not exercise good manners through email and text messaging, you never know what negative consequences you may be bringing on yourself.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison