Some choose not to buy into the debate on whether innovations in technology have improved our lives or not - but it is obvious to most that mobile phones, email, blackberries and the like have on the whole made us a ruder, socially awkward group of individuals.
It is well known that the old fashioned way of connecting with people - in person, via the post or perhaps even by the trusty landline or payphone is just that - old fashioned. Most people now use informal, evasive communication methods to stay in touch with people - text messaging and email, though a far less personal way, is now just too convenient.
Through my daily travels on public transport, I have found great evidence that this convenience has come at a huge price for some people. Being so accessible via mobile phone has somehow led to a major loss of general respect for others in a public space.
A gentleman, if you can call him that, on my train to work was receiving a phone call from someone who he obviously didn't want to speak to. Common sense and manners would tell you to either put the phone in silent mode or at the very least answer the call, then hang up quickly - but no, he let the phone ring out in a very annoying, loud ring tone. He clearly had no concept of respecting his fellow commuters, as he barely noticed the angry glares and whispers from those around him.
The same lack of social skills applies to people who choose to air their grievances via text message or email - it has become far too easy for one to tell another what they think of them without confronting them face-to-face. In all honesty, some don't feel comfortable with the idea of speaking to someone as all their social experience has been through a computer.
There is mobile phone and email etiquette - emoticons to represent your feelings rather than actually describing them - so perhaps someone needs to develop technology etiquette? Some guidelines and rules that remind people that despite these great inventions and all the good things they offer us, basic social skills still apply? Or should people already know this?