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Has Technology Made Us All Disrespectful Flakes?

Posted February 23, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five
Corn Flakes

Flake. It might be a word from the 1980’s, but it’s definitely alive and well and living in 2013. One of my favorite Huffington Post bloggers, Rachel Ryan, recently admitted this in her blog:

Last Wednesday, I canceled long-standing dinner plans with a friend mere moments before said dinner by sending a text. We rescheduled for Friday, but I got held up at work last minute, so I had to cancel again, this time via Gchat. I’m a flake and, if you’re a young 20-something, you probably are too.

She’s right, Career Girls! And it’s not just the disrespectful nature or the stereotype of the Millennial generation. No way. In fact, it’s happening in every generation. Technology, my friends, has made us all  incredibly disrespectful flakes. Consider this. Think about your life 10 years ago. Then answer these questions:

  • Would you have cancelled a meeting with a professional colleague an hour before the meeting?
  • Would you set a meeting with someone and never even email to confirm?
  • Would you text your boss to tell them you’re sick?
  • Would you change a meeting’s location last minute without notice?

Don’t lie. The answer to all of these questions 10 years ago is a resounding NO! But today, texting 30 minutes ahead to cancel or setting a meeting and never confirming (after all, we’re sending Outlook invites, right) is completely permissible. Just last week, I saw my good friend at a coffee shop randomly where she told me she “thought she was meeting someone, but they never confirmed.” So here she is, waiting at a coffee shop, just in case, and the person never showed. But hey, it’s ok, we can apologize via text, right?

The next time you reach for your phone to cancel a meeting last minute or to change plans with little notice, as yourself if your actions stand up to the 10 years ago rule? I’m guilty of it, canceling a training session with my personal trainer last week 20 minutes beforehand, so definitely don’t think I’m lecturing you all for something I don’t do. We all do it. It’s become the nature of being so attached to our phones. But perhaps we need to reevaluate and spend less time looking or feeling like a flake.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."