One of the things that drove me to bring the Perfect Gentleman into existence is the lack of general manners in society that seems to have vanished. One thing that is exceptionally evident on the streets of London, but I am sure it is true of all major cities is the what I call the ‘Bubble Effect’. People who walk along the street with their head down and totally absorbed by, in most cases, there electronic gadget. It could be a their phone, their kindle, their ipad and even in a few cases a book. These individuals walk along the footpaths of London with their head in a bubble, a bubble of technology.
The London Evening Newspaper, The Evening Standard, commented on it yesterday but their focus was phones but I think it is more widespread than that and it is a symptom of a number of issues. We have retreated from normal society, from the face to face interactions of the real world and descended into this technological bubble that is now interfaced with via an electronic device and if you can’t have one of those to hand, you can use a book or paper as substitute. This “bubble” that people put themselves in is almost as if they are blocking off the world at large and society in general.
I could go on about the physical dangers of this phenomenon, which should be self evident. Lets look at other perspectives, if you are head down in your ‘digital bubble’ you might miss the look of that pretty lady who is walking towards you, you might miss your friend waving to you from across the street and you will certainly miss the amazing sights and sounds of the world around you. People need human contact and even in the most tangential ways such as engaging people on the street with some eye contact.
I am not saying we need to go back to doffing our hats to every lady we pass on the street, there aren’t that many men in hats these days but that aside, its about acknowledged our people’s existence.
As Tony Parsons in his excellent article on manners in GQ puts it “It was once real, the country that foreigners still expect to find. The nation with a fanatical belief in good manners, where politeness was raised to the level of religion. All true. That civilised land really existed.” We at the Perfect Gentleman want to bring that Country, if not the world back to that level of Good Manners. So put the phone down and raise your head!
Respectfully Yours as always,