Less than a quarter of British people believe that common courtesy is important, a new survey has found.
The survey for bank First Direct revealed that simple acts of kindness are on decline in Britain.
Two-thirds refuse to given up their place in a queue while as many as one in 10 forget to say 'please' and 'thank you'.
The study showed that thank-you letter has been replaced by electronic mail, as almost 40 pct said they preferred to use social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, to send their appreciation.
Dr Gary Wood, a social psychologist and author, said manners were an easy way to get along with others during the recession.
"There is great power to be found in the fine detail. Good manners and social courtesy cost nothing and can have a profound effect on other people," the Telegraph quoted Wood as saying.
"We can literally make someone's day, and help to reduce their stress by paying attention to these little things, which then has a knock-on effect in our own lives.
"A smile or a kind word can actually set us up for the day, making it more likely that we focus on the good things rather than the doom and gloom," he added.
Flowers, and the remembering of a birthday or anniversary, were further down the list.