We live in a world that has evolved to limit personal interaction. Almost everything we could ever need can be purchased online, including groceries, clothing and necessities. All of these things can be mailed or delivered, and we never have to deal with someone face to face while doing it. In the meantime, most of us spend the majority of our down time with our noses buried in an electronic device, gaming, checking social media or other online activities.
In fact, I recently ordered my son’s birthday gifts through an online website, based on choices he showed me from a catalogue. I remember thinking that this made my life incredibly easy as I didn’t have to go out to try and find something for him. Such has become the way of the world.
And while there’s nothing wrong with the ease and simplicity that the internet provides, there’s still an expected standard of etiquette that must be followed. Even if you purchase something from a person over the internet, you still need to have the same courtesy, respect and understanding as you would while dealing with someone face-to-face.
I’ll give you an example… My wife and I are members of a few online buy-and-sell websites, which require you to become a member in order to do business. It’s a great tool for selling things around the home that we no longer use. I enjoy it, because I prefer selling an item to someone else who may make use of it rather than toss it out. It allows me to channel my inner KonMari and clear out all the unnecessary clutter from my house. I can almost hear thousands of eyes rolling but I’m sorry to say it guys… There’s definitely something to Marie Kondo’s organizational method. But I digress…
I currently have over a dozen used items posted for sale online. There’s a lot of haggling and negotiating that usually happens. This also relates to the pick-up or delivery of items as well as when the transaction would happen. Because it’s peer-to-peer, this site requires the buyer and seller to work out whether the items will be picked up or delivered, unlike E-Bay and Amazon.
I had a buyer express interest in not one, but three of my items. We discussed a price for the combined items and a time that the buyer would come pick them up. I was tickled pink… Not so much about the few dollars I was making, but the fact I was getting rid of a few items. The expected pick-up was agreed to be on the Friday, which was three days away… A little long in the tooth, as far as these interactions go, but since the buyer planned on taking a number of items, I agreed to reserve the stuff for them and wait until the Friday.
Friday rolls around and my person is a no-show. A major “faux pas” in the peer-to-peer buy-and-sell world. I allowed almost a full hour beyond our scheduled meeting before I reached out, asking if she still intended on showing up. Nothing. I waited until the end of the day and messaged again. Still nothing.
There’s a system in place on most of these sites that allow a person to report someone for “infractions” like no-shows. I know what you’re thinking: maybe there’s a good reason. Maybe there was an emergency or something critical that happened. Maybe so. Here’s the problem: maybe it was nothing. I’ve dealt with a number of people who simply decided, between agreeing and meeting that they were no longer interested and simply didn’t bother to show up. Then they don’t bother responding, since they’re no longer interested.
It’s much easier to ignore someone when you don’t have to deal with them face-to-face. It’s an aspect of our society that is quickly dying out. Courtesy and good communication should have been improved with the advent of the internet, not hindered. But this doesn’t always seem to be the case. Let’s not forget that good communication with each other is the foundation of a strong society. ☯