View Full Version : Look Up

May 13th, 2014, 01:02 AM
In this day and age, everyone has a cell phone, iPod, iPad, or other electronic device they enrapture in public - from the guy with a MacBook at Starbucks, to the commuter listening to music on the bus, and the drivers texting behind the wheel. While it's great that we have computers (VT wouldn't exist without it), it can often overrun our life.

There's a viral video on YouTube about this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY) issue. It states that people don't know how to communicate face to face with strangers as well any more, and how by "looking up", you open doors to new relationships - friendly and/or romantic. Until today, I thought "well, there's not much we could even do about it even if I wanted. Nobody talks anymore."

Well, today I was proven wrong.

I was on the bus so I could shoot some photos for a photo class project. It was *packed* (well, for VTA at least). All the usable seats are taken except for my bench. A guy whos name i didn't catch boards and I offer him the seat next to mine, and for the next 20 minutes, we talked.

I was on that bus for over an hour, and it generally had the same amount of people on board - it was the first time i talked to anyone since my friend got off about 10 minutes in. It was the very first stranger I've had an elaborate conversation with on a bus before, really.
"So, how's life going today?" He asked. It was actually really suprising to me - I didn't actually think commuters still talked to each other any more. Most of the people on the bus were looking at their phones or off in the distance. That could've been me, too. If I had simply said "it was good, thanks" and dove into my iPod as a social security blanket, then that's where the conversation would've ended. But instead, I looked at him and said "what about you?" And you know what? I'm so glad we talked - it made the ride go by so much more faster and made it a lot more relaxing and fun. It gave me a warm feeling inside, and made me indescribably happy to know that at least one person on this bus of 60 people was willing to just kick back and have a chat with the person next to them in an effort to make the ride more relaxing; the video was right. It was a total mind-blowing moment for me.

While I know not everyone on here is very social, but trust me on this - strangers out in the public are a lot easier to connect with than you may think. I invite you to give it a try if you commute regularly. Say hi to someone you see on your bus or train route regularly - soon enough, they may become your friend or something more (yes, i've actually seen the beginning of relationships bloom from chatting on the bus).

It's time for us to stop using our mobile devices as security blankets when you're not with your friends in public, because there's so many new people to meet and you never know who might become your friend. I never caught the guy's name nor will i likely ever see him again, but it really gave me a new outlook on commuting :)

May 16th, 2014, 03:48 PM
This is the best piece of advice that can be given. You will be so pleasantly surprised if you drop your cellphone for a while (maybe for a really long while) and figure out how to not be bored (which will usually be through talking to people). I lost my cellphone around 2 weeks ago and I was around 3 days without one and I talked my fair lot, and thanks to that I've actually strengthened a couple of friendships. It's becoming a habit for me now to not depend on my cellphone.

May 16th, 2014, 04:41 PM
I loved reading your post. Sometimes, I wish I was more social so I could interact with lots of people.

May 16th, 2014, 05:09 PM
I wish I'm more social.