American Etiquette: How Time and Technology Have Changed Social Interaction



Broadbent, G Paige

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This thesis describes how over time technology has changed what Americans view as polite behavior and the ambiguity of the common conception that etiquette practices are outdated, yet awkward encounters are causing embarrassment because of the lack of knowledge of common etiquette. Starting with the Victorian Era this thesis looks at common etiquette practices of that time and why people were so interested in understanding how to behave in most social settings. Moving forward, this thesis examines the impact technology has had with how Americans interact on a daily basis, especially paying attention to the affects of modern technology such as: cell phones, Internet, television, and the media. Etiquette practices and conceptions from the Victorian Era are compared to etiquette practices today in order to show commonalities and differences among the times, but to exhibit the need for modern Americans to accept the need for a common agreement that a shared belief of what acceptable behaviors are what is necessary to avoid the feelings of aloneness and awkwardness many face in social settings.



Etiquette, American, Technology, Polite behavior