18 Things That Used to Be Considered Good Manners But Gen Z Finds Overrated

The concept of manners and etiquette has evolved significantly over the years, with each generation redefining what is considered polite and appropriate behavior. For Generation Z, many traditional manners deemed essential are now considered overrated or unnecessary. Here are 18 forms of etiquette that Gen Z finds overrated.

Handwritten Thank-You Notes

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Once a requirement of gift-receiving etiquette, people would buy boxes of thank-you cards to send out after birthdays, weddings, and showers. While still appreciated by some, digital expressions of gratitude are more common and accepted among Gen Z, whether it’s a quick text, a longer email, or a social media shout-out.

Avoiding Phones in Social Gatherings

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An etiquette coach on Business Insider says, “Using your phone in a social setting immediately signals that your attention is divided, and this can be a turnoff to a prospective employer, a date, or even a friend.” However, Gen Z has normalized having their phones out at all times and integrated posting on social media into every aspect of their lives.

Not Using Phones at the Table

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There once was a time when there was only a house phone, and that was not to be answered during dinner time. When cell phones started making their way into our daily lives, many families maintained a ‘no phone at the table’ rule. With the integration of technology into daily life, strict rules about phone use during meals have relaxed, and now we see people at restaurants scrolling the internet instead of talking to each other.

Formal Dress Codes for Every Occasion

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People used to put on a suit and tie or dress to go to work every day. They also used to wear sports coats for more casual social gatherings. Today, business casual is often the closest people get to dressing up, and that is only for special occasions. Casual and comfortable attire is often preferred by Gen Z.

Addressing Individuals by Mr./Mrs. Last Name

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Adults used to be addressed as ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’ before their last name, which indicated respect. First-name basis interactions are becoming more common, even in professional settings. This creates a space of equality amongst everyone instead of a feeling of hierarchy.

Correct Use of Utensils

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People should still mind their table manners, but formal dinners are far less common for Gen Zers. Since meals have become more casual, knowing the proper fork to use with your salad versus seafood has become a lost art. But please, Gen Z, still use a fork, even if it’s the wrong one.

Avoiding Conversations about Salaries

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“As far as discussing pay, as long as this information is freely given and not rudely demanded, Miss Manners has no objection, although she would prefer it be confined to the workplace. Career talk in social situations is rarely titillating.” Employers hate this trend, but open discussions about pay are encouraged to promote transparency and equity.

RSVPing for Events with Physical Cards

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Major events used to come with a nice invitation in the mail that included an RSVP card to mail back with your ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ As electronic correspondence became more popular, people shifted from mailing back RSVP cards to sending an email or text. As invitation etiquette has continued to evolve, or maybe devolve, formal invitations have become far less common, with people sending more email invitations or Facebook events.

Waiting for Introductions in Social Settings

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It used to be the formally polite thing to introduce people to each other or wait for your host to do so. In today’s bold networking world, it is completely normal to introduce yourself in any setting. “Thinking you always need to wait for someone else to introduce you is one of the 15 signs you are actually too polite,” according to Reader’s Digest.

Avoiding Elbows on the Table

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As a child, our parents always told us to keep our elbows off the table. This rule is often disregarded in casual dining settings for Gen Z. The New Yorker says, “With every passing year, fewer and fewer young people are observing the basic rules of etiquette.”

Making Eye Contact During Conversations

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Making eye contact during a conversation was taught as a must to show you are engaged in the conversation and confident. Today, Gen Z has shifted away from this hard and fast rule, as some people may feel that too much eye contact is aggressive and prefer to show their engagement in other ways.

Avoiding Discussing Personal Life at Work

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Older generations liked to keep their work and professional lives completely separate, leaving what happens outside of the office as an off-limits topic at work. Gen Z values authenticity and connection, making personal conversations more acceptable. However, when the lines are blurred, it can open the door for employers to use your personal life against you.

Not Wearing Hats Indoors

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People used to wear hats outdoors all of the time, but then for men, they came off inside. Fashion and personal expression have made this rule less relevant, and people are wearing hats wherever they please.

Avoiding Interruptions

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While still considered rude, the fast-paced nature of digital communication has blurred the lines. Instead of giving someone your undivided attention, it is considered normal for Gen Z to be answering texts and scrolling social media during conversations.

Strict Adherence to Gift-Giving Protocols

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The focus has shifted towards thoughtful, personalized gifts rather than adhering to traditional etiquette. Who knows what you are supposed to give on a 15th anniversary anyway? Although, with the internet, it’s easier than ever to find these rules and follow them.

Formal Greetings and Farewells

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Everything about Gen Z is about feeling casual, like everyone is your buddy. Formal greetings and farewells have gone away like an Irish goodbye, and informal interactions have taken center stage.

Waiting to Eat Until Everyone Is Served

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Waiting for everyone to have their food to begin eating was a social rule that was surprising to see go. Gen Z tends to lean more casual and will begin eating as soon as their food is in front of them, to “eat while it’s hot.”

Avoiding Talking About Controversial Topics

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We were taught never to talk about religion or politics in mixed company, but now these are some of the top topics anywhere. Gen Z values open dialogue and activism, making discussions about politics and social issues more common. While some find this liberating, others may feel the topics become too divisive when constantly discussed.

Read More: Why People Aren’t Religious Anymore: 15 Simple Reasons

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As society evolves, so does our approach to spirituality. This article looks at the subtle yet profound shift from traditional religious adherence to a more personal, evidence-based belief system.

Why People Aren’t Religious Anymore: 15 Simple Reasons

17 American Attractions That Not Even Americans Want to Visit

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The United States of America—land of the free, home of the brave, and the location of some of the most ‘unique’ tourist attractions you’ll ever lay eyes on.

Get ready to chuckle, scratch your head, and maybe even facepalm as we look at 17 American attractions that not even Americans think are worth visiting.

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17 Fairy Tales That Are Now Considered Racist

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While fairy tales weave magical narratives that span generations, many emerge from historical and cultural contexts tinged with biases. Hiding in many of these tales, racial undertones can be found. Let’s look at 17 fairy tales that have deeper implications.

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18 Common Traits Found in Adults Who Had Unhappy Childhoods

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Being a parent is a hard job, so even those who are truly trying their best will often miss the mark on creating the best environment for their children. Unfortunately, this means that many of us grow up with far-from-perfect childhoods that affect us into adulthood. Here are 18 common traits found in adults who had unhappy childhoods.

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18 Things Old People Just Can’t Get On Board with Today

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Over the past few decades, society has evolved, and with it, so have a few things that older generations find it uncomfortable to get the hang of. While younger generations are easily able to adapt to these changes, some of which are drastic, others may be struggling slightly. Here are 18 things the elderly may have difficulty learning.

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