Some of the most interesting experiences I’ve had involve riding on an elevator. I’m betting this is because riding the elevator forces people to be cramped in a moving metal box with complete strangers for a few seconds. Riding the elevator up and down, floor after floor, I came to a strange conclusion: Everyone is paranoid.
One day in an effort to make the daily elevator ride more bearable, I tried starting a conversation with the other occupants. Sadly I did not turn out the way I wanted. I tried to be friendly, but everyone shot me me a look of pure astonishment as if to say, “how dare you try to talk to me!”. Clearly I had broken some unspoken rule involving elevator conversation, but I was not deterred; I tried again a few other times with mixed results. Some people simply ignored me and pretended I didn’t exist. Others anxiously stared blankly at the floor or retreated to their smartphones.
Why are humans in this day and age so afraid to interact with each other? Casual conversation between strangers is a thing of the past. With our generation, politeness has become the exception not the rule. Everyone is becoming narrow minded and task oriented, making the excuse that we simply don’t have time for other people. Technology has given us great things like computers, smartphones, tablets, and headphones, but all these devices cut off interaction with the outside world. We are a society that is increasingly self absorbed in our electronic toys.
It doesn’t help that we always have our guard up. We are taught not to trust anyone and that everyone is out to get us. I refuse to live my life fearing other people simply because I was told so. We are all human, all facing similar circumstances and all I ask, is that we act like humans and learn to interact with each other.