A recent Pew Research Center survey has noted that the acts of the many may eventually outweigh the rules of the few. For instance, fully 98 percent of young adults use their cell phones at social events and a third of all adults never turn them off. Survey results also determined that many feel cell phone use in public is fine regardless of who you collide with, that browsing one’s phone in front of others when bored isn’t all that boorish and if enough people do something, the rules can change.

Posing new challenges as to how society views the rules isn’t always bad. This is true of civil rights, certainly. And bridal gowns and funeral rites, although modern updates to those last two have been somewhat iffy. But with the exception of women’s suffrage and racial and gender equality, society rule-bending can have serious consequences.

That’s because technology gets around the gatekeepers. Editors, newspapers and society doyennes acted as filters in days of yore. The dubious were denied access and what reached the public was generally in the public’s best interest. Gatekeepers kept the drawbridge up and kept out the uncouth. No gatekeeper means the barbarians are not only at the gate, they’re coming through.

“I have always been of the mind that in a democracy manners are the only effective weapons against the Bowie knife,” said 19th century editor J.R. Lowell. He was correct then and now, and the acts of the many can and do overwhelm those of the few. Think of it just like the Alamo.

You may be holding the fort right now, but there’s a lot of soldados out there.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

Bonaparte fall social

Krewe of Bonaparte held its fall cocktail party at La Marquise and, as always, it was a class act. Bonaparte’s members are famous for their charm, and while everything’s still under wraps about royalty, there was no shortage of good times. Keeping up the krewe reputation was John Fenstermaker, ball Captain Rachel Comeaux, President Mark Becnel, new member Nannette Heggie, and Paula Whitmeyer, who wore an excellent dress.

Fathers and daughters

So many men, so little time. The City Club in River Ranch invited fathers and their daughters to an evening of dinner and dancing, complete with roses and pink lemonade fountain. They arrived by car and limo and just kept coming, each father better looking than the last and little girls just as adorable. “I like creating memories,” said City Club exec Alan Jacobs, on hand to personally greet his guests. We do too, and just couldn’t quit.