I like to people-watch, and living in New York City is a people-watcher's dream. There are so many different races, ethnic groups, tourists, natives, and borderline wackos to look at. One thing I've noticed is that people seem more detached from one another and attached to whatever electronic interface connects them to the world. The art and joy of face-to-face communication is in serious decline. We tweet, surf, e-mail, and telephone, but we don't talk. People wander around like zombies, a $4 cup of coffee in one hand, and an i-phone in the other, fearful of putting the phone down lest they miss some trivial bit of gossip. I have actually seen friends sitting at a table together over breakfast, each talking to other people on the phone. Walkers pass me in the park staring straight ahead, unwilling to make eye contact or nod good morning. What is happening to us?
Generally speaking, depersonalizing human relations is not a good thing. We tend to behave less kindly when we don't have to look the recipient of the unkindness in the eye. It is probably too late to go back...more people are around who grew up in this electronic age than those of us who remember what was like before. I feel sorry for them.
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