Thursday, February 12, 2009

Toronto the good no more...

Here in Toronto, we are always in the shadow of our bigger, more glamorous cousin to the south - New York City. It's not that we mind. We love our city and accept our place as the nicer, quieter, more polite version of the Big Apple.

Imagine our surprise then to have the world media spotlight shining on us finally but not for the reasons we might like. Yesterday, a journalist for a national newspaper and a PR consultant, both based in Toronto, got into a spat over what appears to be an unreturned phone call and, for some reason, decided to stage the argument on Twitter. The public quarrel comprised profanity, insults and personal attacks. I'm fairly new to Twitter and not totally up to speed on the "rules" but it seems it might have been better to take this discussion offline.

In our increasingly pressured world, I guess everyone is allowed to go off the rails occasionally but ten years ago, this same argument would have likely taken place on the phone with only the participants there to witness it. Now, anyone can google it, find it and share it.

When talking about online etiquette, Miss Manners uses the term: New tools, old rules. The way in which we communicate may have changed but the old adage of treating others with respect never really goes away.

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