Friday, January 29, 2010

Hello? I Exist Even When You Don't Look at Me

I talked about this last semester. For some reason, people assume that as long as they don't look at you and you don't look at them, you don't exist. It turns out you don't even need to draw for this to happen.

The most exciting thing I overheard this week was a girl on her phone in a crowded elevator. She said something along the lines of "Last night was really, really bad. He was totally drunk. One of his friends died a few days ago and then another friend offed himself yesterday because this guy died. Listen, I gotta go, I'm in the elevator and you're breaking up."

Ten people in this elevator and no one was looking at anyone else.

That's not the only conversation I've overheard. One of them was in the library. One of them was a phone conversation that someone was discrete enough to take around the corner but not smart enough to remember the sound goes around corners even if sight doesn't.

Most people are on their cell phones constantly. Speaking as someone who uses her cell phone for about a minute twice a week, I have to wonder what they talk about. If you're on the phone, texting or talking, you don't see what's going on around you. Neither, presumably, does the other person. What is there to say?

Maybe there's a kind of game world in the telephone lines that sucks your brain out through your ears, so all these people on their phones are actually semi-vegetable brain-dead zombies living in a simulator world the non-cell-phone-dependent population can't access. That would explain why they don't run into things even though they don't look up from whatever they're texting.

Although me walking around them probably helps with that.

Eavesdropping is when you go out of your way to hide and listen to conversations. What do you call it when other people's conversations (no matter how interesting) are shoved in your face?

1 comment:

  1. Well - one assumes that the people in question don't MIND if you hear what they're saying. I have all kinds of interesting conversations with my kids in front of other people (sometimes glimpsing a grin on their face), because I'm not going to put off their questions until a more "convenient" time when there is nobody around.

    Being on the cell phone, however, is more of a choice than answering a kid's questions. Even more annoying are the people with the Bluetooth thing so you can't tell if they're on the phone or talking to you. I guess people are just rude.

    Speaking of which, a few years ago Greg went with a youth group in a van to Six Flags. Every *single* one of them was either texting or talking on their cell phones - not to each other. What kind of message does that send to your peers? "I'm sorry, your company doesn't interest me at all." This is why my kids won't get cell phones for a loooong time.