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Regional rudeness?

Here's an e-mail I received from one of our blog readers...

I have been told that I am rude and my family is rude also. I am from Michigan, a place known for rude people. (This is what my wife, who was raised in Indiana, tells me.) I don't intend to be rude, everybody talks like that here. I don't mean to sound like an Idiot, I am educated, but like many people I don't really know what "rude" is. Could this be the reason people are so rude?

- T.G.

And now, my questions for you: What do you think constitutes rudeness? Do certain regions raise ruder people? Let us know what you think!



Tech Etiquette

Tech Etiquette
As the holiday travel season begins, here is how to make your trip more pleasant for you and those around you.
Pioneer Press

Peter Shankman was on a U.S. flight recently when the person beside him pulled out a DVD movie to watch on his laptop computer.

That's hardly unusual nowadays, except that "it wasn't the most … um … family-friendly movie," says Shankman, head of New York-based travel-service company AirTroductions. "I didn't care so much, but I could only wonder if he'd do the same thing if he was sitting next to a five-year-old."

Shankman isn't the first traveler to run into a glaring breach of "tech etiquette" — when portable technology is used in a manner that is potentially bothersome or offensive....

For the complete article, click here: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/13416597.htm

Here's an excerpt of the technology do's and don'ts for travel:

Headphones. Use them with all gadgets. They may still be audible, so regulate the volume carefully. If you're listening for a flight announcement, keep one of your ears free.

Laptops. They're fine for work on the go, but save sensitive stuff for home, office or hotel. If you really must pull up that top-secret work memo, use a laptop privacy filter.

Pick your material. When watching movies or playing video games, weigh whether these might offend a seatmate. R-rated flicks and M-rated games might not go over well.

Don't be nosy. "It is not proper to look over someone's shoulder to see what book they are reading or what they are typing," says veteran traveler Dianne Daniels. "It's rude."

Don't disturb! Someone using a laptop and/or phones probably doesn't want to be bothered, so don't, says seasoned traveler Peter Shankman. "It screams, 'Leave me alone!' "

Typing technique. Don't type noisily with fingernail tips, says Laurie Puhn, author of a "Rudeness, Interrupted" blog (lauriepuhn.com). "Use the fleshy part of your fingers."

Bright screens. These can annoy others on night flights. Dim the screen (it will remain perfectly legible in the dark) and angle it away from a sleeping or reading seatmate.

Be space-considerate. Use of an extra-wide laptop doesn't entitle you to more elbow room. If there's a laptop user behind you, show some mercy and keep your seat erect.

Seek more space. If your flight isn't crowded, move to a more secluded seat. At a Wi-Fi hotspot, position yourself with your back to a wall, says traveler William Kotis III.



Survive the Holidays: Fend off Family Fueds

Now that holiday gatherings are upon us, I've received a number of questions about how to fend off rude relatives.

Below is Barbara's question. Anyone have a suggestion?

What do you think of the question, "What do YOU do all day?" I think this is such a judgemental and rude question. I am entering the job market after a long absence and it has been difficult to find the right job or even to get an interview. So, I have a part time job at this point, simply to gain some job experience to add to my resume.

But, since I am only working part time and my son is away at College, I often get that question from friends, and even from close relatives at holiday gatherings! "What do You do all day?" I am so offended by this question, because I know that it is not a question at all, it is more of an accusation--that since I am only working part time, I must spend the rest of my time picking my butt or something.

How should I respond to this rude question without being rude myself? Why don't people realize what a rude question this is?

Here's a suggestion from one of our blog readers...

I don't know exactly what to say to them to make them stop, but if you want to make sure that you don't say anything rude, remember to not tell them anything when you are in "the mood". This is advice I try to follow myself and it has saved me from some major scrapes.

Also, if you don't have the intent on being rude, then if they react, they are only reacting because they are super sensitive about something. It seems that people are either supersensitive about something or are super rude... you can't really win anymore.

But as long as you are nice and have no mean intentions, you will become a rare breed... a nice person!

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