What’s with everyone being an asshole these days? Patience seems to have flown out the window along with common courtesy. Politeness. This used to be a thing. Nay, a common thing.
I can’t say for sure to what this can attributed, but I have an idea: Smart phones—our mobile technology driven society. I have an ongoing love affair with my iPhone don’t get me wrong. It’s like crack. I am on it all the time and carry it with me everywhere. Not that I didn’t carry my old dumb phone everywhere. Wait, I occasionally didn’t. And it didn’t matter.
Having a tiny computer in my hand at all times is phenomenal…and a menace. One of my greatest skills is getting lost. I’m like a man who won’t ask for directions, but infinitely worse—I will call you at one AM crying because I’m lost in the ghetto unsure of how I got there, which direction I’m going or how to escape (and with the added pressure of having the “Empty” fuel warning light on for the last 20 miles. Sorry Mom…).
It’s best for everyone that I have Google Maps at my disposal constantly.
Also, never having to plan ahead is a spectacularly freeing sensation. I can be anywhere and not know where I’m going next, or the address of the store I want to visit and it doesn’t matter. My phone will tell me in a matter of seconds. This mindset, however, also breeds massive irresponsibility and lack of accountability with and to everyone. I’m not sure this is best for the advancement of society. Of course it’s convenient and wonderful and frankly, yes, amazing. We didn’t have the world at our fingertips a few years ago.
It’s not that I don’t praise technology. Technology, by definition, is bomb. It’s the culture I’m worried about; the human-to-human contact that seems to be dwindling at a steady and rapid rate.
Today I was in line at a coffee shop. I got pushed out of the way three times in three minutes by people scooting past me without saying “Excuse me” or even looking me in the eye to let me know they were so rudely going to plow through me. It was then I realized this was normal to them. People are so much in this bubble of not interacting with humans that they’ve become completely oblivious to life around them. Or at least ENJOYING life around them—making life BETTER around them.
That’s what politeness is—not being a fucking dick for the betterment of human society. Having common courtesy brings people together. It makes us realize that we don’t need to sweat the small stuff and that other people actually have souls. Plus, doesn’t recognizing other people’s existence just make you happy? You feel alive, wanted, understood. That is what people need on a daily basis—reinforcement that they are alive.
I’d go as far as to say it’s our basic human right to feel alive. Camaraderie: know it, use it, love it.
People these days think it’s weird to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. And if they don’t think it’s weird, they most certainly don’t think it’s commonplace. IT IS WERID THAT YOU THINK THIS IS WEIRD.
I plead to my peers (::cringe:: I hate this word, but it applies here. Be happy I didn’t say ‘peer group’) to pay attention. I’m not saying don’t use your iPhone. Just, please. Stop being an asshole.
…And start becoming an interesting person within the context of the place where you physically are, at the time you are there.
I thank you.