People love to say that millennials have no manners and lack social etiquette, this is something that I can completely agree with. For entry #4, I will be dissecting why my generation has slowly lost structure in the way that we interact with people. Joining this discussion will be my lovely friend Jayla.
Jayla (@jaylaxmyles) is a solid human being from Rochester New York. I decided to pick her for this interview because she finds it very important to hold herself to a standard of being respectful and having grace for others. She currently is in her senior year at Howard University working to win a MEAC conference championship for the women’s basketball team.
Kira: Why do you think our generation lacks social etiquette?
Jayla: I have said this before, and I think it is because of our parents. They were the ones who raised us! Our parents represent a generation of people who work really hard so sometimes they just are not around a lot. They weren’t there to teach us every little thing that we needed to know.
Kira: Well it’s funny you say that because a lot of people like to blame our parents for raising millennials in a certain way, when it wasn’t necessarily all their fault. Each generation is constantly evolving and ours just happens to be very different.
Jayla: And I’m okay with that… I honestly think that me and my brothers are so different even though we were raised by the same parents. But I was with my grandmother a lot. So I think that I learned a lot from her about social etiquette and what is okay and what isn’t. We didn’t have much motherly guidance on etiquette and manners but I am still very respectful and I respect my elders, you know what I’m saying?
Kira: I feel like there was almost a social pressure before us to be proper and now our generation just does whatever the fuck they want. When I am talking about social etiquette I mean simple things like saying please and thank you, letting elders walk into a store before you, not cussing around children (which I even have a hard time with), and also being dressed appropriately in class around teachers.
Jayla: It’s a weird time now. Social media is ruining lives. And believe it or not, that (social media) is why people lack social etiquette.
Kira: Because now people don’t know how to communicate. They are always in their phones.
Jayla: I have an example of how our generation lacks social etiquette. Just the other day a student was in the cafeteria cussing out one of the workers. The employee apparently was crying and quit after that. How do you make an employee do that when she is serving you? People shouldn’t be quitting their jobs because our generation doesn’t know how to act now.
Kira: Do you think these lack of manners also translates into corporate America and how people act in the workplace? In some ways, standards at work are changing. At my internship I never really saw firm handshakes, strict introductions or even a dress code. A lot of people are becoming more loose with the way they interact with each other and sometimes it can cross the line of just being disrespectful.
Jayla: I think there is a new standard with social etiquette but it has become very sad. We fucked up big time.
Kira: The common theme in my talks with people is always social media/ technology. And there are a lot of consequences that come with these things. Now that millennials are more aware of the power of technology, we are figuring out how to create a balance with it.
Jayla: I say all the time that I don’t think I was meant to grow up in this time period. Me and a lot of my peers see things very differently.
Kira: I get worried that I am not going to meet everyone that I could possibly connect with because millennials are always on their phones and don’t like to stray away from what is comfortable. And sometimes what’s comfortable to us is having our nose in our phones and ignoring people, which can be very disrespectful.
Blaming our parents for problems is very easy. But Jayla has expressed that she learned more about what the standard for having manners should be from her grandma more than her mother. Whether our parents told us or not, millennials know how they should present themselves in a workplace, around children, to elders, in class and everything! Knowing when to be unfiltered and filtered in life is what we lack and we need to do better.