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.

 

Just Posted

Many teens unaware if they’re vaping nicotine or not

Health Canada survey finds many youth are unaware of the risks of using nicotine products

UVic partners with harm reduction groups to run a drug checking pilot project

The three-year pilot will allow people to test their drugs for fatal ingredients like fentanyl

Public asked to give feedback on proposed protection measures for southern resident orcas

Measures focus on key threats related to contaminants, lack of prey, noise or physical disturbance

Oak Bay double murder trial enters second week

Defence continues to question police handling of crime scene

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

Most Read