Mind your manners

Our reliance on smartphones, iPads and other tablets has led us to be much more insular in our attitude toward others.

There has been a considerable amount of conversation in the pages of the Oak Bay News lately about the level of conviviality we are sharing with our neighbours.

Rude and obnoxious behaviour are not the norm for our area, but there is significantly more navel gazing going on as of late.

Our reliance on smartphones, iPads and other tablets has led us to be much more insular in our attitude toward others.

As we “appear” to be more social, tweeting, texting, sharing our photos instantly in any number of ways, we are actually distancing ourselves from society.

Look around in the coffee shop and what do you see? Faces cast down, turned towards our technology.

Even toddlers in strollers are happily poking away at screens while busy parents wheel by what, just a few years ago, would have attracted a small child. A dog here, a raised bed of flowers there, petals falling from a cherry tree. All things missed by a child whose attention is instead drawn toward colourful characters and synthesized sound from a screen.

Much can be learned from being aware of your surroundings. You’re safer for one, if you keep your eyes on traffic, rather than a photo of your friend’s lunch popping up on your phone.

You may notice an elderly person in need of help crossing the street, or carrying groceries.

You may notice a youngster wandering away from the playground.

You may notice the face of the server in the coffee shop, smiling, offering help.

You may notice a friend sitting alone across the room, or perhaps, someone who may become a friend when a little conversation is started.

We may want to raise the Tweed Curtain to wave good bye to those who don’t like it here, as one reader suggests in this week’s letters. But instead, let’s look up at them and smile, say hello and offer the best of ourselves to each other.

That’s the Oak Bay way.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thousands protested in Victoria following the death of George Floyd in the U.S. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. is not exempt: New report documents 150 years of racism and the fight against it

Booklet marks province’s 150th anniversary with call for transparency, change

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District residuals treatment facility at Hartland Landfill where residual solids are turned into Class A biosolids. (Photo courtesy CRD)
Plant closure sends more biosolids to Hartland Landfill

Saanich residents are concerned they were never consulted

Sgt. Sandrine Perry in the Oak Bay Police Department interview room that has been softened with household features to better accommodate survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay police interview room gets a makeover

Room made less daunting for victims of trauma

BC Housing ensures that by March 31, shelter will be available to all people living outside. (Black Press Media file photo)
All unhoused Victoria residents will be offered shelter by March 31, says BC Housing

BC Housing working to secure shelter locations in coming weeks

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

The Nanaimo Clippers in action at Frank Crane Arena in early 2020. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers for sale, owner says hockey won’t be back to normal any time soon

Wes Mussio says he’s had numerous inquiries about the junior A club already

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Most Read