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#72854 - 09/04/01 06:50 PM What's missing from today's social interactions?
ms.strident
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 515
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada

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Okay, lousy subject heading but bear with me.

I vote for 'a lack of respect/consideration for others' as the most irritating element of social and work interactions lately.

For example, I have bent over backwards helping a friend of mine to get a job with my employer and now he constantly comes in late, calls in sick and is generally lazy when he does arrive. I've tried to explain that his behaviour puts a lot of pressure on me and makes my job more difficult but he only reforms for brief periods. If someone had gotten me a job I would work very hard to prove I deserved it. My friend, however, does not feel the same way. He takes me for granted, using our friendship to make his life easier and refusing to acknowledge that I may be inconvenienced or overworked as a result of his actions.

I'm not seeking advice on how to handle my situation but I am interested in which elements of social/work interactions you feel are making life more difficult through their absence.

edited to make a little more sense but I don't know if it worked!

[This message has been edited by ms.strident (edited September 04, 2001).]

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#72855 - 09/17/01 02:35 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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I was going to reply here awhile ago, but events kind of kicked me somewhere else. Sorry about that...

I think the one element missing in social interactions these days is courtesy. Just plain old common courtesy. People tend to be very rude. I've seen the degeneration in Seattle. When I moved here 12 years ago, people were friendly. There were jokes about how cars at a 4-way stop would sit there all day because noone would go first. You got smiles from strangers on the street. But then a million people moved here, and everything changed.

One of those things that has never left my mind is from Robert Heinlein's Friday. Boss says to Friday that the first sign of a degenerating society is a lack of courtesy. Of course, all this may also explain why this is the first thing I see in answer to your question.

I hope this makes sense, I'm really tired.

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#72856 - 01/28/02 02:30 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
omega
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 20
Loc: Madison, WI, USA

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I agree with you both... I think I'd describe what's missing as class. Class involves manners, yes, and definitely courtesy, but there's also something else that goes along with it--respect for others, concern for their well-being, a desire to make yourself and everyone else look better--I'm not sure quite how to put it into words.

I think class has fallen by the wayside in large part because of the anonymity that comes of living in large crowds. The spirit of, "oh well, I'll never see these people again" has been taken way too far--I see thousands of people every day, so it doesn't matter if I shove you or swear at you or discuss my sex life on a cell phone in front of you.

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#72857 - 01/28/02 02:47 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Skeptopotamus
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/03/01
Posts: 66

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Well, here's my obligatory disagreement; I make it a habit to disregard any statement of the form, "Back in my day..." because there's really no adequate way for a person to judge that. Memories become hazy and reconstructed over time, and the sort of things a person tends to notice changes, too. And then there's the fact that it seems people have been saying, "When I was your age..." and "In the good old days..." and "Children today..." for centuries. Either we've been on a downward spiral since the beginning of recorded thought, or there's an age effect going on here. I'd lay my money on the latter.

Of course, when *I* am in my thirties, I may change my mind and suddenly start believing in this stuff - but right now I can assure you, I'll be wrong. *g*

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#72858 - 01/28/02 02:53 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
blithe spirit
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/12/01
Posts: 513
Loc: Toronto, Ontario

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oh how I hate cell phones and how people using them have absolutely no respect for the people around them. I was at a movie the other day and the person behind me had her cell phone ring twice! What was worse, she tried to carry on a conversation until she got a very rude glare and hiss from me. When the movie was over and I could see her in the light, she was only about twelve years old! Very sad.
At work, I find frustrating the battle lines people fall into which usually revolve around "We never used to do things this way...." battling with "let's try something new."

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#72859 - 01/28/02 03:13 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Bear Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 1954
Loc: Dublin, Ireland

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blithe spirit, I was in the Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. recently, and just as I was walking through the room filled with Auschwitz victims' shoes, some fucking dicks (if you'll pardon my french) started talking on their mobiles. And having loud, mirthful conversations on them too.

[This message has been edited by Bear (edited January 28, 2002).]

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#72860 - 01/28/02 03:29 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
cat
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 1754
Loc: Northern California

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Jesus, Bear. That's unbelievable. What fuckheads. If nothing else, I can't imagine wanting to talk to anyone while in the Holocaust Museum.

The other day someone's cell phone rang in yoga class. During the shivasana time at the end, where we're all lying quietly and trying to meditate. Sheesh.

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#72861 - 02/07/02 04:51 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Orlando
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/22/00
Posts: 335
Loc: Australia

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I was in a bookshop the other day and this guy walked in, talking on his mobile, announcing very loudly, "It's OK, I've found a nice quiet shop to talk in."

I couldn't stop myself snarking to the assistant, equally loudly, "Well it was a nice quiet shop," but he carried on regardless for the next 5 minutes or so, hung up and walked out.

If your conversation is that important(which it wasn't, judging from his end of it) find a phone booth or, I don't know, go back to your office or home. Just let me buy my books in peace.

*Takes a deep breath.* Thank you, I feel much better having got that off my chest.

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#72862 - 02/07/02 03:33 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
NataliAnne
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 113
Loc: Montreal

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I am full of animosity towards people who have no cell pone manners. I am also full of animosity for people who don't hold the door open for people 2 steps behind them and for drivers who speed through puddles and splash unsuspecting pedestrians. Ughhhh!!!!!
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#72863 - 04/12/02 09:22 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
FortunateGirl
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Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 72
Loc: Fort Worth, TX

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Okay, my cell phone is very handy and all, but I can't fathom answering it in the restroom. I hate it when people answer theirs in the stall. Come on. I don't think many conversations are that important. Especially ones that go like this: "Oh, fine. Just out doing some shopping. How are you? And the kids?" Ugh. How can people not mind their caller hearing all that flushing?
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#72864 - 08/31/02 04:14 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
LoolaLady
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Registered: 04/26/02
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Rudeness in museums pisses me off so much. I was in the Royal Ontario Museum a month or so ago when these kids came and ran through the gallery I was in, trying to touch stuff in the exhibits (there's a reason for why it's in an exhibit, you little morons, not lying around on the floor) and saying "That's so GAY" really loudly. Why did they come if that's what they thought, and why wouldn't they leave?
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#72865 - 09/10/02 10:46 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Lady Di
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Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 346
Loc: lynn, ma 01902

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I don't mind cell phones being used when your lost and need to check with kids. But not just for goof off conversations like: What ya doing?, me? I don't know. Real intelligent conversation.
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#72866 - 09/10/02 07:39 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
sunflwrpdx
Ching Shih


Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 330
Loc: Portland, OR

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LoolaLady, I'm with you on the museum thing. At just about every art museum I've been too, whether it's in Portland, New York, or San Francisco, I've almost had my experience ruined by other people's rudeness. You know, people pushing you aside to look at a painting, talking too loud, etc. Sorry, but I'd like to enjoy my Monet in peace.
_________________________
If you don't risk anything you risk even more. -- Erica Jong

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#72867 - 09/12/02 05:22 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
goo
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 459
Loc: London, UK

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Cellphone etiquette has had some interesting ramifications for public behaviour - we used to have large privacy booths for public phones but since the advent of mobiles the booths have shrunk to be tiny plastic shells around the phone that don't even keep the rain out. People are now perfectly happy to have the most personal conversations with no regard as to who might be in the vicinity. Yesterday, I was on the bus and a woman was on her phone loudly discussing her transvaginal ultrasound!! Please, there are some things I don't need to know about a total stranger.

Nat

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#72868 - 09/13/02 10:41 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
sophietje
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/19/02
Posts: 318
Loc: Buffalo, NY, USA, Earth, The U...

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I agree with Skeptopotamus back there.... I do think that the older we get, the more our memories change- we start to remember only the good, etc..

Also, the older I get, the more aware I become of others' actions. When I was a child, I only needed to be concerned with myself and a very small sphere- I only saw and understood what my brain was allowing.

However, that is not to say that poeple aren't excessively rude, just that they have always been.
And I think it is selfcenteredness that is the culprit. People rarely take other's needs and what-not in to account. And not enough people believe in karma, etc.
I guess this does boil down to courtesy- and recognition that I am not the only person on earth whose needs are important- there are some 6 or 7 billion others.


The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching
--Assyrian clay tablet 2800 B.C.

Or

Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannise their teachers.
--Socrates

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#72869 - 09/17/02 03:31 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
HeatherC
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Registered: 09/06/02
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Loc: Austin, Texas, USA

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Goo - right on with the ultrasound thing. What immediately popped into my head when I saw this thread was "restraint." Why are people willing to share these types of details with strangers, or even people they know but don't know well? I have co-workers who see nothing wrong in detailing their latest visit to the gynecologist.

While I have no problem having these conversations with my friends, my co-workers aren't my friends. And even if they were, I wouldn't want to discuss such things at the office. Yech.

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#72870 - 10/11/02 07:21 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
ms.strident
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/01/00
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When I originally posted this I wasn't intending it as a 'back in my day' sort of thing so I was really surprised to see it taken that way.

However, with some reflection I think there is a difference in the level of rudeness now and in the past. Not that I think society is on a downward slope or anything, just that I think social interactions were more formalized and that there was a time and place for certain conversations (e.g. the ultrasound one described above). One the one hand that lead to a lot of issues being swept under the rug but one the other hand casual social interactions were generally less abrasive.

Just musing...

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#72871 - 01/11/03 10:40 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
NightFlight
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What's missing today from social interaction is a lack of respect and common courtesy. I contend that indeed, there has been some deterioration and the age factor is not so relevant.

When you can turn on your tv set and hear a man call a woman a b*tch, I'd say there's definitely DETERIORATION. No question about it. But perhaps this is equally as shocking to the audience who first heard, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Clearly, we cannot dismiss the "idiot box" as inconsequential as it has far reaching ramifications. One can hardly leave his child unattended while soaking up the junk it dispenses. How long before sweet little straight "A" student Johnny goes to school and calls his teacher a b*tch when he loses his head? \:o

Cell phones? Oh my. They irritate me to no end. I just cannot fathom everyone having so much to talk about. It simply cannot be that important.

What is also missing is genuine concern and empathy. We are so hurried to get where we're going that we simply don't have time to be bothered. Very often one person leaves an interaction feeling like they've not been heard or the listener genuinely cared.

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#72872 - 01/21/03 02:40 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
crumpet2
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Registered: 12/17/02
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I think behaviour of individuals goes in cycles.

I have a brother and a sister, both of whom are more than 10 years older than I am, and I think they belong to another generation. They grew up in between the late '50s to the early '70s, when parenting and schooling were more rigid than they are now. They are parents now. My neices and nephews (seven all told) range in age from 2 to 17. As far as I can tell, they feed themselves when and what they want, go to bed when and if they feel like it, and attend school when they choose. I'm not saying my siblings are bad parents. I think they are very normal for their generation. They take a "laid-back" approach to parenting, perhaps as a reaction to a stricter up-bringing. The kids are nice, relatively polite, not overly precocious, but not delayed either. They seem very average, and I think they are representative of their peer group. That said, they are constantly receiving cell phone calls, and seem completely self-centred. I am still waiting, after 17 years of birthdays and Christmases, to get a single thank-you card, call or email from any one of them. Making few demands on kids tends to make them self-centred, which then becomes rudeness, even though they may not intend it.

As for the cycle, seeing my neices and nephews being totally self-absorbed has made me think that when I have kids, I need to put time and energy into helping them be caring, respectful, polite people.

The quotes from Socrates and the tablet are great.

As far as crowd rudeness goes...I always think of that essay we had to read in highschool about the rats. I bet you all had to read it. It goes on about how overcrowded rats become completely uncivilized, just as people in large cities are becoming (according to the article).

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#72873 - 01/21/03 03:44 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Irony
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Registered: 09/19/02
Posts: 18
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI

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I agree about the courtesy and lack of manners going around now. A coworker and friend today instant messaged me and asked me to look something up in a database for him (no please, of course). After I'd done it, I typed "yw" to him and he asked me what it meant. I said "it means 'you're welcome'". He said he'd never seen that before. I told him another coworker uses it all the time, and that's where I'd first seen it, so apparently this man never thanked any of his coworkers. He agreed that this was the case. He also contends that "courtesy is outdated."
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#72874 - 01/21/03 05:11 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Catness Moderator
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/02/02
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Loc: Chicago, Illinois

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I must admit that in the work environment, I am guilty of a little bit of this myself. Not that I neglect the "please" and "thank you" but that I do forego some of the usual "social lubricant" that sometimes seems necessary. I'm getting a job done, not taking tea. It's not chit-chat time for me, can we just cut to the chase so that I can go get this taken care of?

For example: a week before the Christmas holidays, I rang up our webmaster and asked him when he was leaving on his vacation, when he said he was leaving in about an hour, I thanked him and hung up. That was all the information I needed to give an estimated upload date to another department. A few minutes after I hung up, I called him back and said "Oh, sorry! Have a nice vacation and see you when you get back." He laughed and said that the straight, to-the-point conversation earlier was no more or less than what he needed; and that he usually expected and appreciated that "East Coast" sort of delivery from me.

Honestly, I am uncomfortable with some of the effusive "oh thank you, oh this is great, wow" stuff I get at work for doing my job. I'm not working miracles here (although somedays it's expected), a simple thanks is thanks enough.

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#72875 - 01/22/03 11:08 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
amateur
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Registered: 12/25/01
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I almost never say "please" unless I'm asking for something that's more or less out of the person's way/might be an inconvenience to them. It just doesn't sound natural in a lot of situations. I always always always say "thank you", and that's about the extent of it. At my last job, just about everyone was gushy and chatty and it drove me UP THE WALL. I'm a very perfunctory, "just doing my job" sort of person and the overbearing, saccharine adherence to tea-party social conventions in a business environment makes me crazy. My last boss had to sugarcoat absolutely everything, wouldn't confront anyone in the name of "being nice" or "being polite"... needless to say, when things got done at all they were done slowly and with unnecessary complication. Fortunately, at my new job, both my supervisor and my office-mate have very similar attitudes to mine and it's a thousand times easier to get anything done. So I do think social conventions can be taken to an unhealthy extreme, but basic respect and courtesy are absolutely necessary.

What bothers me about today's social interactions is that people don't interact! If you try to strike up a conversation with the person standing next to you at an art exhibit, they look at you like you've lost your mind. Ask about the book they're carrying? [not reading -- I don't interrupt people when they read] You get the Glare of Death. And God forbid you try to talk to the attractive stranger at the hors d'ouvres table at a party. I seriously wonder how people make friends or meet significant others these days if friendly interactions like that [which take me a LOT of courage to try, only to get the death glare time and again] are regarded as bizarre.
_________________________
"Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness
has genius, power, and magic in it." -- Goethe

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#72876 - 01/22/03 01:53 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Ekaterina_dup1
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/16/01
Posts: 238
Loc: USA

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This may be off-topic, but it's the third time it's occurred to me while reading this thread, so I thought I'd share.

Many of the the things that are "missing" seem to be related to something that is present instead: fear. Once you get beyond please and thank you, fear seems to dominate many social interactions. I know that a lot of my interactions are shaped by the fear that I might offend someone with my peculiar ideas or the alternate fear that I might attract a psycho with my peculiar ideas.

Or is this just one of my peculiar ideas? ;\)

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#72877 - 01/22/03 03:43 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
crumpet2
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 719

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 Quote:
Originally posted by amateur:
...they look at you like you've lost your mind. ... You get the Glare of Death.
Amateur, I know what you mean. Having lived in many places, I find it does depend on where you are. I too often have to force myself to be open to new interactions and risk the Glare of Death. In one particular new job, I made a huge effort to sit with different groups in the lunch room, to be social but not annoying, fun but not ditzy etc. Incredibly stressful. And I tried it every day for six months. At the end of month six, I was still being actively ignored by everyone. So after that I went home and read a book while munching a sandwich with my parrot. At least he enjoyed my company. But now, I'm at a different place. It's a small town which made me nervous (all those horror stories about people from away being shunned) but it's great. It's just one of those places where people are friendly and talkative. So refreshing, because I was really beginning to think I was a social freak. I love your term the Glare of Death. It describes so perfectly the year of hell I spent at that one job.

On another note, I think many people need to learn email etiquette. My personal peeve is not getting an acknowledgement when I have gone out of my way to send someone information. I want at least to know that it arrived.

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#72878 - 01/22/03 05:11 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
amateur
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/25/01
Posts: 587

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I live in a small town which is also a university town, so we have a good mix of the "socially outdated 1950s social conventions" type people and people from different states, countries, and continents. There's no "shunning", but there is a certain amount of fakey-friendly, overbearingly saccharine social convention among the "townies" [I've lived here all my life except for college, so you'd think I would've gotten comfortable with the townies... but no]. Oddly, I most often get the Glare of Death from university people, particularly students. I don't LOOK particularly strange, so I know they're not staring at my hair color or jewelry or whatever...

I do agree that fear is present in a lot of interactions today. I've had multiple friends tell me that men of their acquaintance are literally afraid of being accused of sexual harassment if they pay a woman a legitimate compliment or have the gall to ask her on a date. I know women who freeze every male who gives them the time of day unless they've been properly/formally introduced, because they fear rapists, stalkers, and sleazy pick-up artists [don't ask me to explain, it makes little sense to me too]. And most college students I know are so afraid of having their insecurities and "inadequacies" exposed that they automatically shun/dislike anyone who is better than them at something [which explains the general murmur of panic and/or ridicule that rises in my media class every time I or one of three other students add something to the discussion]. And of course there are the various fears that are serious enough to be classified as social problems [homophobia, xenophobia, et. al.]. It's all very discouraging and makes me wonder if there's anything to be done about it other than live my own life in an open and healthy way.
_________________________
"Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness
has genius, power, and magic in it." -- Goethe

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#72879 - 02/08/04 03:05 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
SporkOrFoon
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 37
Loc: Illinois, USA

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Cell phones annoy me so much. I don't have one, and have refused to get one. In at least one class a day at the university I attend, someone's cell phone will ring. It's almost to the point that people's cell phones are taking the class or something, with all the noise they make. How hard is it to turn your cellphone off when you step into class? People aren't even ashamed anymore when this happens, even though they disrupt the class, get the professor off track, and waste precious class time. Some people, especially what they call "non-traditional aged" students have cell phones to connect them to their kids, places of employment, whatever. The only time this is important is if you set the phone to vibrate, and leave the classroom to take the call. And this should be an actual near-emergency, and thus should only happen, ideally, once.
I've seen people talk on their cell phones during classes set in big lecture halls. Annoying? Yes.
This is probably a horribly retrograde opinion, but I wish cell phones had never been invented. There isn't that much that can't wait until you are in front of a landline based phone.

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#72880 - 02/08/04 04:23 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Marya
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Registered: 12/23/03
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Loc: Kentucky

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SporkOrFoon - you know things have gotten bad with cell phones when your graduate professor's goes off during her lecture and she stops to take it. I was amazed. She is a single mother whose young daughter called her during an emergency, so I was a bit less peeved after hearing that, but still ....

If I had to name what is missing from today's social interactions, I would name two very important things:

1. Patience. People have no tolerance when it comes to waiting or even when it comes to dealing with other people and too quickly react and respond to things that if they just took a deep breath realy aren't that big of a deal .... this is quite easy to do when communicating with people on the internet or in e-mails but also carries over to "real" life.

2. Curiosity. No one seems to care about what anyone else does and even our supposed "close" relationships are full of one-sided conversations. I tend to ask alot of questions of people because I am naturally curious about what goes on in people's days, in their lives. Reading has always fed this curiosity about how others live, but I am also interested in how my friends and family are doing and what is important to them. I always make sure to ask my colleagues how their weekends went and I try to realy listen to what they are saying. Even if they don't ask me the same questions, I feel that the world flows more smoothly when we can show some genune interest in what others do.
_________________________
"I just want them to know that they didn't break me" - Andi Walsh, Pretty in Pink

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#72881 - 02/09/04 01:10 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
lauriechac
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 192
Loc: Colorado

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Here's my take:
Cell phones - selfish. We all know it is not an emergency. We really should just tell people (loudly) to get off the phone.
Conversations which involve no boundaries. For example; if I have just met you, do not tell me how your sex life is awful or you think your husband is cheating on you. I don't want to know that. Personal subjects are for close friends. And now I don't want to be your close friend (who knows what secrets you would tell of mine to just anyone??)
Customer Service. WHY? Because you have money? I think we should nationally and publicly do away with it. Make it clear to everyone: if you are a jerk, you will be treated that way in return.
I did the service job thing in college and I feel for that whole industry. There are some seriously rude people out there who expect to be treated better than they treat others. When i am in line behind these people (I know, this is bad) and they kick up - I make comments like "why do I always get in line behind the A-hole??!!" really loud, too. so that is like a rude-to-the-customer-customer. Hmm - that sounds rude, too. Well, let's continue...
Forced socialization at work. This may seem anti-social, but I am at work ONLY because I am paid to be there. If I get to know someone at work and we have things in common, great. Otherwise - no thank you. No birthday parties please! Especially ones that involve money. My biggest pet peave is expecting everyone in the department to put money toward's the boss' birthday. Please. You're the boss - everyday is your damn birthday.
I think we put up with too much, to be honest. These situations suck our energy away because we try so hard to avoid conflict. I agree, it may not improve things to confront rude people. However, I think that many of these people do not know that they are rude. It is our job to correct that misconception.

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#72882 - 02/09/04 11:44 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
maggie
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Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 269
Loc: Canada

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I use my cellphone, I need my cellphone, I love my cellphone. HOWEVER, more than 97% of the time it is switched off. I have a voicemail box and text messaging so I can get any messages I need to get. When I do have it on it is usually at a public transit station and I'm waiting for a call from my husband so we can coordinate meeting up. I rarely keep it on in stores (unless we're trying to meet up) and never have it on in restaurants, theatres or peoples' homes.

So, last week I spent the morning at the library. Of course, my phone was off. There was a huge snowstorm raging so very few people were there. I found a nice quiet table and sat down with a stack of reference books. A retired man (elderly, in fact) at the next table got a call and he took it. LOUDLY. After a few minutes of his bellowing, I called to him and asked him to take his call out in the lobby. He nodded and left. When he came back he did apologize but said he didn't notice me there. I didn't want to get into a debate with a man twice my age, but what did it matter whether I was there or not? It's an effing library! Didn't he grow up in the era in which librarians rapped your knuckles with a ruler while shushing you?

I don't know why I'm shocked by displays of rudeness from older people, but I always am.

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#72883 - 02/10/04 11:21 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
StephA
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Registered: 06/13/02
Posts: 2744
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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My favourite bookstore in Toronto has posted a sign on the door asking customers to keep their cell phone conversations to a minimum, and if they MUST use their phones, to keep quiet. I've been known to give The One Glare to people who don't get the hint.
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#72884 - 02/10/04 11:58 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Dolly*Dimple
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 27
Loc: London, UK

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Difficult Child:
Many of the the things that are "missing" seem to be related to something that is present instead: fear. Once you get beyond please and thank you, fear seems to dominate many social interactions. I know that a lot of my interactions are shaped by the fear that I might offend someone with my peculiar ideas or the alternate fear that I might attract a psycho with my peculiar ideas.
DifficultChild, that's definitely true to my experience in London. I know it's a peculiarly large city, but nobody speaks to other people in public, to the extent that you assume that if a stranger tries to strike up a conversation with you, they're either trying to chat you up, they're mentally ill, or they're drunk (or all three). I didn't think it had affected how I behaved, until I went back to my parents' home in a suburb of Glasgow and remembered that not everyone adopted tunnel vision in the street. (I walked right past a friend from school without seeing her as I was so wary of making eye contact with anyone!)

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#72885 - 02/10/04 06:00 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
always-anne-shirley
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 190
Loc: Knoxville, Tennessee

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I am incredibly annoyed by cell phones. Less when strangers are using them loudly then when my friends use them. Multiple times I've had friends take calls while supposedly hanging out with me, and then proceeding to ignore me for as long as half an hour. Unbelievably rude, and come to think of it, it's that kind of inconsideration that has led to me no longer being friends with some of those people.
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#72886 - 02/10/04 11:46 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
teapot
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Registered: 11/17/03
Posts: 118
Loc: Cambridge (the one in England)

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 Quote:
Originally posted by StephA:
My favourite bookstore in Toronto has posted a sign on the door asking customers to keep their cell phone conversations to a minimum, and if they MUST use their phones, to keep quiet. I've been known to give The One Glare to people who don't get the hint.
my local, a wonderful smoke-free pub is also mobile/cell 'phone free ... if yours makes a noise you have to put 50p in the charity of the month pot ... I have a mobile, it is in my handbag and is turned off ... I have it for emergencies and I have given the number to only two people ...

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#72887 - 02/11/04 08:38 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Ekaterina_dup1
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Registered: 11/16/01
Posts: 238
Loc: USA

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 Quote:
Originally posted by always-anne-shirley:
I am incredibly annoyed by cell phones. Less when strangers are using them loudly then when my friends use them.
Oh, me too! It's incredible to see. One minute you're having a conversation, and then the phone rings. You completely lose their attention while they check the caller id. And then they answer it! And chat! Without so much as an, "Oh do you mind terribly if I answer this? I've been expecting this call." And these aren't "oh, hey, pick up a gallon of milk on your way home," or "gee, the dog is on fire" type calls. They're either completely random blathering or they're "gosh, my cheating boyfriend broke up with me, can you provide 90 minutes of therapy for me right this minute," type calls.

I get up and walk away. I left someone's house one time and went home because I was just fed up.

edited because if someone called to say their chetaing boyfriend broke up with them, it would be okay to take the call -- mostly so I could learn how to cheta.

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#72888 - 02/18/04 12:32 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
anna_karina
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 143

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I just moved to New York City (tranferring to a different college), and being in the city makes me really hate the coldness and rushed-ness of everybody here. It had always been my fantasy to live in NYC (I grew up in Long Island), but now that I'm here, I don't like it very much. I was always a naturally shy person, and don't like noise, but I couldn't stand being in Westchester (where my first college was) because it felt too secluded and quiet. But here are some things I've picked up on while living here:

I cannot stand people who are always on guard, who walk with this hard frozen look on their faces, this real "get out of my way" look on everyone's faces, and I don't want to become like that.

I never liked cell phones. I never wanted one, because I never needed it, and I value my privacy. I don't like people to bother me or call me up. That's why we have answering machines. I talked to my mother about this, saying how only very important people should have cells, and not every other person on the street. My dad got me a phone when I moved to the city, as a tracker beam to keep on me, and I don't use it often, as I don't like to talk on it, prefering to speak in the privacy of my room.

I was born in the early 1980s, so I have come of age in the computer age. And I like the advantages of the Internet and of e-mail, but I love sending real letters too, and getting mail from people with their handwriting and personal letters to me. I hate seeing people all glassy-eyed in front of the computer, or the idea that if you don't have an email address, you don't have an identity. I don't like it when my peers don't like to read books or actually study and look up things in the library by feeling books by hand, not just downloading and printing everything.

I agree with the above poster who mentioned really speaking to people, and finding out more about them. I can talk about myself any time, I love being surprised by something and having a true connection and encounter with somebody. I showed a girl a postcard I had of Mikhail Baryshihov, and she smiled and went, "I saw him perform in London last year!" She was so genuine and excited and happy, that it took me aback, and made me really happy too. So often people like to be blase, or ironic, or just talk about meaningless patter, but this was like a breath of fresh air in my day.

I like having the advantages of New York City for now (nice places to visit and hang out in), but I'm not sure where I'll live, as I want to live in a smaller place but not secluded from civilization.

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#72889 - 02/18/04 06:33 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Anne Wentworth
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Registered: 10/03/03
Posts: 259
Loc: NY, NY

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I don't think I'm a terribly rude person, but many of the things cited here don't bother me. Letting your phone go off in a movie or class is of course embarrassing and rude, but the actual amount of disruption caused by maybe 3 seconds of ringing is usually disproportionate to the lingering anger it causes in those who hear it and get upset. And everyone can make a mistake.

Personally, I no longer have a landline and I think many other people are now in this boat, too. Maybe the reason that people are having more personal discussions in public (which I'm guilty of, but never about sex or pap smears or anything like that) is because they're used to just talking to people when they get the chance (and have the free minutes on their plan). There's a difference between conversing on your phone while walking down the street and doing it in a quiet store. But really, how is it more annoying than having a personal conversation with a friend in public? Neither of those things particularly bother me.

And I admit to frequently being perturbed when people strike up conversations with me in the subway station or at a coffee shop. I like my alone time. I live with two roommates. I talk to people all day at work. I have a ton of friends that I speak with on a daily basis so I'm not starved for that and I have a boyfriend so I'm not looking for a relationship. I go out of my apartment to get alone time. I lapse into a very interior state during my commute and I really just want to be alone. I'm an introvert. Talking to people I don't know is draining for me. I like being lost in a city crowd, annonymous but surrounded by people. I don't want that bubble disturbed. I'd rather exist in a place where I can choose when I want to be sociable and when I don't than live in a small town where people will be truly offended if you just don't feel like talking.

I might be part of a distanced and impersonal culture or generation. Or maybe just crazy. Maybe some people can relate.

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#72890 - 02/18/04 07:50 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Ekaterina_dup1
Ching Shih


Registered: 11/16/01
Posts: 238
Loc: USA

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Darn it, edit and reply are two different functions... Sorry for the interruption!
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#72891 - 02/19/04 02:59 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
dazey
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Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 941
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland

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Anne Wentworth: I absolutely relate! I like living in a city because I grew up in a village and, frankly, I like being somewhere where I'm fairly confident I'm not being gossiped about in the corner shop. I don't want to talk to strangers in much depth. In my experience, that usually leads to situations that make me feel uncomfortable or unsafe - and, yes, I do mean my village-living experience, not in the big, bad city.

And the fever of hatred for mobile phones is a bit beyond me. As Anne Wentworth said: would it bother you if I spoke to the person face-to-face under the same circumstances? In a class or a library or a quiet shop, it probably would, and turning away from one friend to talk to another is rude no matter how you do it. I don't talk on the phone in those kind of situations. But chatting to someone as I walk down the street? Why not?

To be honest, I quite like today's social interactions. I like small chats with the person who sells me my newspaper or Big Issue, I like hanging out with my friends without any of us being harrassed, and I like the fact that I can walk down the street without someone commenting on my pierced nose. I don't think people are rude more often than they were 20 years ago, and they're a hell of a lot more accepting, on average, of people's differences.

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#72892 - 02/19/04 03:05 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
JetGirl
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Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 219
Loc: NY, NY USA

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I feel the same way too, though I do have to agree with people fuming over their dinner partners taking lengthy calls at will. If I actually made the effort to see you, why am I losing out to the person who didn't do anything beyond dialing a phone?
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#72893 - 02/21/04 11:02 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
sunflow
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Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 1156
Loc: Brighton, UK

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I fear that I'm in the same camp as Dazey and Anne Wentworth. I like my quiet time, and often don't welcome conversation from strangers. Part of this comes from being an unusually tall woman -- more often than not, complete strangers want to discuss my height, a subject that really isn't very interesting to me. When I'm riding the light rail, I want to just stare out the window and think deep thoughts, rather than chit-chat with someone I'll never see again. I don't think this makes me a rude person, just a quiet one.

This is not an absolute rule, of course. There are plenty of times when it seems natural to strike up a conversation with the person standing next to me in line. However, I don't think such conversations should be mandatory. I find it strange when someone persists in trying to talk to me when my monosyllabic answers should make it clear that I'm not interested. Maybe it's selfish of me, but I feel no obligation to entertain or be polite to someone who is interrupting my all too rare quiet time.

However, it always surprises me when I visit friends who live in smaller towns, where people on the street smile easily and say hello in passing. I do wish that happened more often in my (somewhat) big city. To me, I guess there is a fine line between being friendly and being intrusive.

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#72894 - 02/22/04 03:22 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
SporkOrFoon
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 37
Loc: Illinois, USA

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 Quote:
I don't think I'm a terribly rude person, but many of the things cited here don't bother me. Letting your phone go off in a movie or class is of course embarrassing and rude, but the actual amount of disruption caused by maybe 3 seconds of ringing is usually disproportionate to the lingering anger it causes in those who hear it and get upset. And everyone can make a mistake.
I think it has changed the entire climate of classes (and group meetings, for that matter.) It tells the professor, "Look, you are important, but not as important as my ringing phone." I'm an English major, and in English classes I've seen professors lose the thread of their lectures when a cell phone interrupts them. Also, it tends to take most people much longer than 3 seconds to turn the damn things off because they seem to store them in some far-off zippered pouch of their jackets or bookbags and/or because people never know if it's their cellphone going off or someone nearby's. I pay dearly to have the privilege of sitting in a college classroom, and I get the feeling that most people who "forget" (and it's usually the same people from week to week) to turn their ringers off have a considerable sense of entitlement about college and lectures.
This is not even addressing the volume most people set their ringers to (is eardrum shattering a menu option?)
Maybe I seem bitchy about this, but I'm trying to squeeze every drop out of college and I do get bitchy when anyone interrupts what I'm getting into all this debt for.

 Quote:

But really, how is it more annoying than having a personal conversation with a friend in public? Neither of those things particularly bother me.
What I've observed is that people talk louder on cell phones than they would to an in-person somebody. I think it also has to do with the fact that in in-person talking we generally can talk a little quieter because the other person has lip movement and gestures to understand what we are saying and over the phone voice is the tool we have to make ourselves understood. Also, as you've probably noticed, ring tones (especially incredibly annoying ones) are a pet peeve of mine. Obviously, when we are talking to someone in-person, we do not need to signal our request with screeching versions of Take me Out to the Ballgame or Justin Timberlake's new song.
Caveat: I have been diagnosed with ADD, and while I'm not sure this was accurate, I know I have trouble concentrating in our highly distracting world.

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#72895 - 02/26/04 05:48 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
senlin
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Registered: 08/27/03
Posts: 96
Loc: Maryland, USA

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I guess no one has mentioned this yet... in addition to the cell phone thing, a lot of college students tend to be generally rude in class. If you're late, it's rude to walk in front of everybody as though they don't exist, to slam the door, etc. If you sit in the front row, it's rude to sleep or read the paper. You're not watching a movie; there's a real live person speaking in front of you! And if you have to leave early, don't walk in front of everyone either. I've been apalled at how inconsiderate people are.

This is an extreme example, but it really did happen to me about 2 years ago: In my economics class, a student's phone rang and he picked it up. The professor (who is kind of youngish) respectfully asked him to turn it off or take it outside. The student kept talking on his phone, and when the professor asked him again, he replied, "Hey, fuck you, buddy." It didn't help that the student (who was older) seemed close in age to the professor. Eventually the professor had to kick him out of the class! I've wondered what must be going through someone's mind when they swear at a professor -- especially when he merely asked you to stop being a jerk. Students *seriously* need to get over their sense of entitlement in college.
_________________________
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul" - William Earnest Henley

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#72896 - 02/27/04 12:24 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
tygrkatt
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/29/03
Posts: 574
Loc: Maryland, USA

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Adding another voice to Anne Wentworth Dazey and Sunflow. If I don't know you, why are you talking to me? Of course there are exceptions, say if you're in the store and notice the container of milk I have in my cart is leaking, by all means say so, but there's a far cry from random conversation for no reason. And naturally if we're in a social setting, like a party where part of the point of being there is to meet new people that's different too. Not that I go to places like that often. I'm just a quiet person. I have to spend all day every day talking (I'm one of those Customer Service Reps that so many people are rude to) so when I'm not at work, I just want to shut up.
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#72897 - 02/27/04 04:10 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
SeattleShrew
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Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 372
Loc: Seattle

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What always annoyed me in class was the cacophony of velcro noise that would begin 5 minutes before the class was over. Incredibly rude.

A good friend who teaches some college courses has a good trick regarding students and their phones. When someone's rings, she good humouredly insists they answer it and speak with the caller. Call-ee is embarrassed, and everyone else tends to remember to turn phones off before class.

What is missing from today’s social interactions? An awareness that, yes indeed, there are other people on the planet. Just this morning I was walking out of a bakery, coffee in hand, and another woman was approaching the door as well. I let her go ahead of me, and she opened the door and let it slam behind her. Onto me, holding my coffee. Was I surprised when she leapt into her humongous SUV? Nope.

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#72898 - 02/28/04 01:55 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
sunflow
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Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 1156
Loc: Brighton, UK

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I have to agree with you on that last point, SeattleShrew. Many people do seem to forget that there are other people sharing the planet with needs at least as pressing as their own. My two current pet peeves:

In the grocery store, another cart and I are about to cross paths. Rather than have a collision, I wait for them to pass...and then they stop directly in front of me, blocking my way. This has happened so many times that I've stopped waiting for people. I'm becoming a ruder person myself!

The other one, and this seems to be more of an Oregon thing, is people who need to change lanes while driving. Instead of keeping with the flow of traffic, they stop the car until someone lets them in, thereby blocking everyone behind them. This occasionally happens on the freeway. In both cases, the general attitude seems to be that whatever they are doing, it's more important than what anyone else is doing. Drives me bonkers!

This was vaguely on topic, but it also felt really good to vent for a second.

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#72899 - 02/28/04 09:22 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Georgina
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Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 399
Loc: Alberta, Canada

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 Quote:
Originally posted by tygrkatt:
If I don't know you, why are you talking to me? Of course there are exceptions, say if you're in the store and notice the container of milk I have in my cart is leaking, by all means say so, but there's a far cry from random conversation for no reason.
Huh. I admit to being one of those people who will talk to you just "because". Especially in grocery stores. Especially while waiting in line for my turn at the checkout. I'm just sort of friendly that way. I make casual conversation; I make people laugh. It passes the time. I had no idea it bothered people or was somehow socially inappropriate.

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#72900 - 03/01/04 12:34 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
tygrkatt
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Registered: 07/29/03
Posts: 574
Loc: Maryland, USA

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It's probably just me. I wouldn't discourage anyone from making conversation if it's in their nature to do so, but as Sunflow said earlier, if all you get is monosyllabic mumbleing (which is all you're likely to get from me) then drop it. Really most people aren't like me in this regard, I don't think.
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#72901 - 03/01/04 01:36 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
FishDreamer Administrator
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Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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Georgina, I'm like that too. I'll strike up a conversation in the grocery line, and just yesterday I stopped to do a lap around the track with a woman in my neighborhood to talk about running (she started it). I think the bothersome part is when a chatty person doesn't know to drop it. If I get little to no response, I don't pursue conversation, but some people will persist beyond annoyance into near-stalker behaviour.
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#72902 - 03/01/04 03:45 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Georgina
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Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 399
Loc: Alberta, Canada

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Thanks FishDreamer and tygrkatt, now I understand what you mean. I assumed that not pursuing a conversation if the other party appeared uncomfortable was self-evident. Do people really do that?

Edit because it's impolite to misspell someone's name.

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#72903 - 03/01/04 04:33 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
tygrkatt
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Registered: 07/29/03
Posts: 574
Loc: Maryland, USA

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 Quote:
I assumed that not pursuing a conversation if the other party appeared uncomfortable was self-evident. Do people really do that?
Oh yeah. I don't know if they're too self-absorbed to notice that you're not responding, or if they think they're so important you *must* want to talk to them. Either way persons like that are irritating. But it doesn't surprise me that fellow Chickliteri have more common sense (and manners) to not do that \:\)

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#72904 - 03/02/04 10:20 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
sunflow
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Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 1156
Loc: Brighton, UK

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Yeah -- what tygrkatt said. I'm really not misanthropic by nature, and often join in those random grocery store line conversations. However, sometimes I'm not in the mood. I'm a teacher, and talk all day long for a living. Sometimes, I just need some peace and quiet. You would be surprised how many people don't respect that. I don't mind friendly, polite people. It's the ones who impose themselves into my all-too-rare quiet time that bug.
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#72905 - 03/03/04 08:46 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Mirren
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Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 136
Loc: Vancouver

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 Quote:
I assumed that not pursuing a conversation if the other party appeared uncomfortable was self-evident. Do people really do that?
People really do. The other day I was in a taxi halfway through a tough day at work, and I could not get the driver to stop asking me questions. Usually I’m talkative and happy to engage, but I just wasn’t in the mood. However, my just-on-the-polite-side-of-monosyllabic replies didn’t seem to give him a hint, and eventually I just felt so rude that I responded properly.

The driver also kept calling me “love” and “sweetheart” which I vehemently dislike. But I haven’t yet found a polite way to say so to strangers (perhaps I’m just too British)—any suggestions?

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#72906 - 03/03/04 09:48 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
tygrkatt
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Registered: 07/29/03
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Loc: Maryland, USA

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I wonder if people like that think they're doing queit people a favor, "drawing us you" as it were?
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#72907 - 03/03/04 12:29 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Mirren
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Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 136
Loc: Vancouver

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Well, I expect I’d do the same if I were a taxi driver; I’m naturally garrulous. But I’d have the EQ to back off when my chatter wasn’t welcome (or at least I hope I would, and do).
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#72908 - 03/09/04 06:10 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
always-anne-shirley
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Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 190
Loc: Knoxville, Tennessee

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I just saw a Mad TV sketch where a woman took a cell phone call at a funeral and talked loudly about oral sex while the deceased wife gave the eulogy, then jumped on top of the casket for better reception.

I thought of this thread. Couldn't help thinking, "I can see that happening..."

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#72909 - 03/16/04 07:31 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Emily
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Registered: 10/01/03
Posts: 206

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 Quote:
What is missing from today’s social interactions? An awareness that, yes indeed, there are other people on the planet.
I think driving has something to do with it. I recently switched jobs - I used to walk to work, now I drive. When I was a pedestrian, I never experienced the hositility I do on the highway every day.

Also, when I was a pedestrian I used to always get mad at the people in cars who completely disregarded the existence of other people: driving through puddles and splashing everyone on the sidewalk, not letting me cross the road even though it's freezing and wet out & they're in well-heated vehicles. Now that I'm driving I sometimes zone out and don't pay attention to that stuff. I try not to, though. (And I vow I will *not* become one of those people who'll go through the drive-through and eat in my car in the parking lot.)

I know cars are a necessary evil, but I do think we'd all be better off if most people didn't spend a hour before and after work each day in driving aggressively, oblivious to the rest of the world.

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#72910 - 03/16/04 10:15 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
lauriechac
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Registered: 11/16/03
Posts: 192
Loc: Colorado

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Emily, I totally agree with you there. Driving. I wish I didn't have to do it. As my city gets bigger and bigger, the number of people who actually use indicator lights seems to decrease.

The people who speed up in a lane which is close to ending just to shove in ahead of everyone else is super annoying. How much time do they actually save by doing this? 4.5 seconds?

And just to tie in the cell here, I always seem to be behind someone using their cell phone while driving. They are either swerving or slowing down/speeding up while talking. These are not safe behaviors on the highway.

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#72911 - 04/30/04 07:46 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
SporkOrFoon
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Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 37
Loc: Illinois, USA

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I thought this was kinda funny, re: cell phone use in classrooms.
http://www.planetout.com/entertainment/comics/dtwof/archive/436.html

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#72912 - 05/04/04 10:27 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Lady Di
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Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 346
Loc: lynn, ma 01902

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I don't like cell phones either. My mother has one, then she got a special buy 2 for the price of one. She had me take the other; all because of 9/11. We live near Boston, I work in Boston, so if 9/11 should happen again & in Boston and if they don't do my building in, I can call her.
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#72913 - 06/07/04 05:01 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
anna_karina
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 143

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I don't like cell phones, and never wanted one. I lived in NYC for six months to go to school, and my dad bought me one and made me use it, to call him because it would be free with the same area codes. I like the necessity of it, but don't like carrying it around or seeing people walking and talking on it, or all these excuses to use cell phones (e-mail, music, pictures, text messaging). I wish I wasn't such an old-fashioned weenie, but I really don't like cell phones.

My dad and sister drive like maniacs. They speed around our little town and get pissed if anyone's in their way. They've both had heart trouble already (my dad because of age, my sister because of stress and diet pills), so seeing them "road rage" because it's so acceptable to honk your horn and scream and curse like a pyscho. I hate it.

I'm not good with small talk if it's very fake-feeling (Hi!!!! How are you?! Good?! So nice to meet you!"), but I like sitting down and having genuine conversations with somebody, or connecting on some level (I showed a girl a picture I had of Mihkail Brayshnikov, and she said she had just seen him perform in London the year before, and we were both so excited and happy about this).

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#72914 - 06/11/04 10:30 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
fastiller
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Registered: 12/18/03
Posts: 157

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To answer the question posted by the thread title: Manners are missing from today's social interacions.

Please allow my rant: yesterday I was going thru' the turnstile into the subway at Grand Central Station. A woman to my left dropped her metro-card. I mentioned it to her (since it might still have funds/time left on it). She said to me "Oh, no, it's garbage." (That was the word she used; she didn't say "Oh, it's been used up.") So I said to her "Then throw it in the garbage bin." Her response: "Who do you think you are?"

I wonder if she treats her home that way.

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#72915 - 06/11/04 11:25 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
StephA
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Registered: 06/13/02
Posts: 2744
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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fastiller, good for you saying something, at least!

Ten or so people - including me! - saw a couple of punk kids jump the turnstiles on the TTC yesterday, and no one said anything. My possibly-irrational fear of being knifed or otherwise attacked outweighed the annoyance of seeing the blatant disregard for rules and common sense.

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#72916 - 06/11/04 11:26 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
betso26
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Registered: 04/28/02
Posts: 185
Loc: Vermont

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 Quote:
Originally posted by SporkOrFoon:
Some people, especially what they call "non-traditional aged" students have cell phones to connect them to their kids, places of employment, whatever. The only time this is important is if you set the phone to vibrate, and leave the classroom to take the call. And this should be an actual near-emergency, and thus should only happen, ideally, once.
woah woah woah... I think it is a little dangerous to be picking out one kind of student as cell phone offenders. I am admittedly a "non-trad" type of student, and although I don't have any kids, I still don't see it fit to bring my cell phone to class. Even if I did, I wouldn't turn it on... I've seen way, way more kids, naive freshman or surly upperclassmen (decked out in greek-wear supreme) answering calls during lectures or letting the phone ring and ring until it gets picked up by voicemail - often times totally ignoring the glares of those around them and the professor who stops the class to stare. If anything, I would say that the "non-trads" I know are at least somewhat more considerate of being in a classroom atmosphere - or at least appreciate that they are paying for their classes themselves and need to pay attention.

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#72917 - 06/11/04 12:47 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
fastiller
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StephA, sometimes I can get over my timidness to speak up - particularly when my husband is near (as he was last evening). I just walked away from her muttering "I hate people, I hate people, I hate people!"

There was a time on the train that a bunch of high-school kids were rough-housing (the train wasn't too crowded, just enough that the kids did bump into people that they weren't with). They banged into this guy near me who was holding an ice pack to his cheek (he had just had his wisdom teeth out). He was too weary to "protect" himself so I did it for him: "Hey! Some respect, please! Injured man here!" I surprised myself - and them.

My husband taught me that if you're going to be stupid and take on a bunch of people, make sure you take on the biggest of the lot and stand your ground firmly. (Holding onto a pen in your pants pocket so as to be ready to use it as you would use a spear helps too.)

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#72918 - 06/11/04 01:11 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
StephA
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fastiller, good job!

I did stand my ground at the baseball game the other night. I hate it when people try to leave and come back during the play, instead of between innings. After six times, I told the kids (12 or 13 years old) in my aisle that they would not be getting by me during the game - then I asked the SkyDome employee to please try to keep people from coming down the aisle during the play. He apologized. And the kids stopped bothering me, too.

Yay!

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#72919 - 06/11/04 01:32 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
LaSalleUGirl
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When I teach college courses, I require all my students (both traditional and non-traditional) to shut off their cell phones for the class period. I also tell them that I will understand the need for a temporary exemption from that rule in the case of an emergency. I just ask them to tell me before the period starts and to sit in a place that is convenient for leaving the room quickly. I have to admit that I'm surprised at how well this policy has worked with my students; I truly thought no one would pay attention. Instead, my students have been quite respectful of me and their classmates.

Outside of my classes, I've been horrified by people's cell phone behaviors. People who would probably not otherwise publicly engage in family fights, detailed discussions of someone's sex life, or confidential disclosures of a client's law/medical information apparently have no qualms whatsoever of allowing an entire public transportation ridership to overhear their conversations. To answer the question in the thread title: today's social interactions are lacking a sense of propriety. Yeesh.

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#72920 - 06/11/04 03:23 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
ken_m
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 Quote:
Originally posted by LaSalleUGirl:
When I teach college courses, I require all my students (both traditional and non-traditional) to shut off their cell phones for the class period. I also tell them that I will understand the need for a temporary exemption from that rule in the case of an emergency. I just ask them to tell me before the period starts and to sit in a place that is convenient for leaving the room quickly. I have to admit that I'm surprised at how well this policy has worked with my students; I truly thought no one would pay attention. Instead, my students have been quite respectful of me and their classmates.
I do the same thing, with the proviso that I announce (on the first day) that if an unexpected phone rings, the recipient can expect me to stop lecturing, make a big scene and generally call the event to the attention of everyone in the class.

People who would not be motivated by politeness do seem to be motivated by public embarassment. It works pretty well.

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#72921 - 06/11/04 04:33 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
miercoles
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I haven't seen much bad cell phone behavior from my students, but maybe that's because they can't hide from me in a small lab (about 20 students). I'm sure it happens more often in the large lectures.

Although, one professor of mine confessed that in all his teaching, the class has only been interrupted twice by a cell phone, and once it was his own.

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#72922 - 06/11/04 07:17 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Orlando
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I work in a hospital, so pagers and mobile phones are pretty much a way of life. Lectures and tutes are just as much likely to be interrupted by the lecturer's mobile ringing as anyone else being paged. That I can deal with - what really bugs me is if someone answers a call that is clearly not work-related but continues to the end of the conversation anyway. If you're supposed to be teaching me, I do not want to hear you discuss your plans for the weekend in excruciating detail!
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#72923 - 06/14/04 12:06 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
PrimulaMary
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Mobile phone behaviours do seem to be symptomatic of wider society -- people are more likely to have brawling arguments with family on the bus; disrupt a film to have a detailed conversation, push in front of others There seems to be something about mobile phones that exacerbates that behaviour.

I actually like it when a stranger in line, or a salesperson, or Nice Boy Standing Beside Me At The Cake Display At The Café strikes up a conversation. I think that's the sort of thing that is missing from social interactions. We're all too scared of being hurt, or getting sued, or seeming odd or threatening to make contact with other humans.

That said, wider public: if you must have your mobile phone on during a lecture, a movie, a meeting , put it on bloody "silent" so that you can check whether it's an urgent call without disrupting everyone else. If your phone is advanced to play the Habañera from Carmen in full polyphonic splendour, it's advanced enough to vibrate. Silently.

Also? Way to go, fastiller.

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#72924 - 07/18/04 04:25 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Jules21
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I was in the psychologist's office the other day, and (mind you, this is supposed to be a very quiet place, soundproof rooms and all) and some bastard was talking, extremely and overly loudly, on his cell phone right outside the door of the waiting room. I had a compulsive urge to go out and hit him, but used better judgement and decided against it. But God! The noive of some people!
As for what's missing socially today, I'd have to agree that it's a tie between old-fashioned politeness, and genuine concern for others' well-being. It seems, as I go about my daily routeen, that everyone's out for himself. It's obnoxious, and disheartening. And it seems to be most prevalent in my age group.

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#72925 - 02/04/05 07:21 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
mini-mart
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What's missing?

Basic consideration for others' needs or feelings.

I'm a hardass with those I dislike. But I'm polite to strangers, especially those who work in customer service. I've been made fun of for thanking the bus drivers when I get off. But I enjoy showing people that some of us punk kids are good people.

However, it took all the strenght I had to not kick some ass on the bus last week when a high school girl (young and healthy looking) refused to give up the accessibility seat to a blind woman. It's a crowded bus and she can't be expected to make her way through it because of her condition. She asked nicely. Why aren't you getting up?

I let her have my seat and spent the rest of the bus standing in front of the girl and glaring at her.

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#72926 - 02/10/05 04:20 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
fastiller
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 Quote:
I let her have my seat and spent the rest of the bus standing in front of the girl and glaring at her.
Good on ya, mini-mart! Ages back I was getting on the train at the same time as a ready-to-give-birth-last-week pregnant woman. Nobody offered up a seat (in fact another woman came very close to pushing by her to get to a seat!). So, really loudly, I said to her "Gee you'd think someone would offer you a seat." She answered by saying that the aforementioned pusher-by woman - who was sitting eye-to-belly with pregnant lady -was staring at her belly. She said something like "let her feel guilty, she ought to!"

Anyway, I've got a question for all you chickliterati: how do you respond when you hold a door for someone who doesn't say thank you? (I've noticed quite an epidemic of this in the past few months.) I will often say "you're welcome!!!" really loudly, but sometmes I want to tap 'em on the shoulder and ask them "Why no 'thank you'?" I'm curious as to how other people respond to this.

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#72927 - 02/10/05 05:28 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
nanliza
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I love chatting to strangers in places like shops where we can always leave if necessary, but I'm wary of getting into conversations on long journeys - on trains, especially, because I use them a lot. And I think it's sad, because more than a few times I've thought that I did want to talk to them but have then been too shy to start when we're an hour into the journey. But if they turn out to be weird or just boring there is simply NO WAY to end the conversation politely, so I just plant my nose in a book from the start.

Besides, the last guy who chatted to me on the train ended up telling me how the government can see us from space and we're all going to have to move to Mars before long. No, I'm not kidding. Also, I'm sick of being asked out on trains. So now I just don't talk to anyone.

I don't even notice when people don't thank me for holding the door open, though.

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#72928 - 02/10/05 09:05 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Grass
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fastiller I once got into a bad scene with a man who held a door open for me. I was having an awful, crappy day, and I really just wanted to get my errands done and get home to bed. This guy was with his wife, and he held the door open for her. Then he continued holding the door open for me, even though I was three or four stairs and a wide sidewalk away. (ie. it would have been _way_ easier for both of us if he had simply followed his wife in the door.)

I did, in fact, say thank you to him, but I muttered it, and he didn't hear me. So he remarked loudly and sarcastically to his wife about rude people who think they don't need to say thank you. So naturally I dished out a ration of crap for him. Something along the lines of "I did too say thank you" followed by "If you were really as generous as you pretended to be by holding open the door, you wouldn't be so bent out of shape about a thank you." And blah, blah, blah. His wife blanched & I felt even crappier.

Moral? Point?

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#72929 - 02/11/05 03:20 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
literaryvamp
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Grass - I totally agree with your comment about generousity. If a person is just doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, and trying to make something easier for someone, then it really shouldn't bother them that they are not "rewarded" with a thank-you. Otherwise, they're just doing it to prove it to themselves and the world that they're a "good" person. Sort of like giving a bunch of money to charity and insisting that your name be written all over it.

And why should a stranger on the street give you that satisfaction? They haven't asked you to open the door for them, so to bite their head off for not replying to the "kindness" is really quite rude. Actually, I think you were quite right in saying something to that guy. I feel a little sorry for the wife, but more because she's married to the guy, and was probably quite embarrassed to be associated with him.

I would never think of saying something sarcastic to someone who didn't thank me, precisely because they didn't ask me to hold the door for them. It was my choice, and as such, I have learned to deal with people who do not say thank-you. They're probably just having a bad day, or perhaps even a bad hair day. I don't want anyone paying any extra attention to me on a bad hair day!!

Bravo, mini-mart & fastiller!! I wish I had the guts to do something like that.
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#72930 - 02/11/05 10:08 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
fastiller
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I think that my issue with people not saying "thank you" for acts of courtesy such as holding a door is the same issue I have with people who will walk thru' a door and let it close behind them without holding it for someone else (that is, if there is someone following close behind them; I’m not suggesting a person just stand there for ages, holding the door open & waiting for people to pass through it). I just think that there are things that people ought to do: hold a door; help someone who has dropped something or tripped; give up a seat to someone who needs it more, etc. Likewise, when these acts are done on someone’s behalf or for their benefit, I think it is appropriate to acknowledge the act.
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#72931 - 02/11/05 12:32 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Georgina
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If someone holds a door open for me, they get direct eye-contact, a smile, and a “why thank you” from me. At the same time, I don’t get miffed if I hold a door for someone and they don’t acknowledge it. I have no explanation for that.

What does get on my nerves is when I’m standing still in the grocery store, staring at shelves, and scanning for the item I’m looking for. I always make sure that I’m standing close enough to the shelf so I’m not blocking the aisle if someone needs to walk past behind me. Notwithstanding my overblown self-consciousness in those situations, people still manage to bump into me on their way by and sometimes don’t say a word. That bugs. I always turn and look at the person and say, “Pardon me, was I in your way?” and that usually produces an “I’m sorry”.

I have to say, though, that I find the majority of public interactions polite. People excuse themselves if they have to cross in front of you, or apologise if they notice they’re blocking your way. More often than not people hold doors open for each other; if someone drops something, usually anyone nearby will help them pick it up. Or people will stop to help an elderly person cross an icy parking lot. At the grocery store, I routinely see people offer someone ahead of them the use of their discount card if the first person has forgotten theirs, or offer change if, say, the first person’s purchase is $9.10 and that person doesn’t have a dime. It’s fairly usual to see the next person in line offer the dime if they have it. I even got into a lively discussion at the grocery store the other day about doing things for people just for the fun of doing it. Like being at the counter in a doughnut shop and paying for the coffee for the person in line behind you without even knowing that person. I’ve gone through fast-food drive-throughs and asked at the pay-window how much the order for the people in the car behind me costs, and then paid for it just because it tickles me to imagine what their response would be.

Maybe it's because I don’t live someplace where people are densely squashed together. But in all honesty, where I live, I’d say public rudeness at the pedestrian level is the extraordinary and politeness is the ordinary. Now, once people get behind the wheel of their car, that’s a whole other thing.

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#72932 - 02/13/05 10:17 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
tygrkatt
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 Quote:
I’ve gone through fast-food drive-throughs and asked at the pay-window how much the order for the people in the car behind me costs, and then paid for it just because it tickles me to imagine what their response would be.
We do that going through tolls. Often the people behind us will catch up and wave a thank you. It's nice. i figure what goes around comes around and some day we'll get repaid in some form or fashion.

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#72933 - 02/13/05 12:11 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Catness Moderator
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 Quote:
What does get on my nerves is when I’m standing still in the grocery store, staring at shelves, and scanning for the item I’m looking for. I always make sure that I’m standing close enough to the shelf so I’m not blocking the aisle if someone needs to walk past behind me.
Oh, they walk past you? How about the ones who stand right in front of you, completely blocking what you're looking at? Yep. Those are my favorite people in the world.

"Hello! I'm standing right here."

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#72934 - 02/14/05 01:56 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
claudine
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Usually people say thank you when I hold the door open for them, and vice versa. I just don't like it if I'm right behind them, and they let the door slam in my face, or don't bother to notice anyone behind them. That's rude.

I always wanted to snap at someone who got on the elevator and hit the button for the next floor up. I wanted to go, "You can't walk!?" Especially if they're able-bodied and not carrying anything big.

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#72935 - 02/14/05 03:00 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
gwenworld
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I never snap at people who only go one floor on the elevator, because there are zillions of reasons it could happen outside of laziness. Maybe the stairwell doors are locked on their floor. Maybe they got new shoes that are giving them blisters. Maybe they fell down on the stairwell and had to go to the hospital, and now they're scared of the stairs. (That happened to someone here at my work.)

Not to rain on your parade, Claudine. I'm just saying.

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#72936 - 02/15/05 02:11 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
FishDreamer Administrator
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The stairs in my building are locked, for a variety of reasons, so once you get in you can only go to the bottom and out into the lobby. I used to take them down when I worked on a lower floor, but we couldn't take them up. It's mildly irritating to have people get on and off, but it's never taken more than a few minutes to make it to the ground.

I do always make sure I pee before I get in though. The day I don't is the day I'll get stuck there.

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#72937 - 02/15/05 06:15 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
literaryvamp
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Heh, Fishdreamer.

I hate people who openly stare. Not really an interaction, persay, but I'm a somewhat timid person who can't hold a stare, and it kills me not to be able to stare those people down. I can't be rude like that.
_________________________
“A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.” –Dorothy Parker

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#72938 - 02/17/05 03:10 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
claudine
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gwenworld, I understand. It's just a peeve of mine when I'm in a crowded elevator and people go one or two floors up.
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#72939 - 07/10/05 11:31 PM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
mini-mart
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I always get annoyed at the people in my building who forget the little courtesies that I find important. (But I live in what's considered the bad part of town. And that town is Scarborough. So, I stopped expecting better.)

Then today as I reached my building, I saw a family approaching. A mother holding her sleeping toddler and a little boy of 6 or 7. He was helping carry her packages and made sure to keep the door open for me when he saw me coming. He hurried into the elevator so that he could hold the doors open for his mother and me. And as I left, he gave me a little smile and nod.

I don't know why I'm so amazed, but I do know that this kid will grow up to be the kind of man who understands the art of the 'thank you note'.

Topic? What's missing is more parents like this mother because she sure as hell is doing a good job of teaching her kid impeccable manners! I know I wasn't that thoughtful at that age.

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#72940 - 07/11/05 08:40 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Auroranorth
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I'm joining in on the cell phone annoyance. My three pet peeves are:

1. People who yell into them, especially on the metro. If I can hear you on the other end of the car, you're too loud. If I can hear your discussion of your boyfriend's impotence... please don't. I really don't want to know. (True story, folks.)

2. Cells in class. I have one lecturer friend who announced that all phones should be turned off. When someone ignored her, left it on and it rang, she walked over, took the phone out of the student's hand and said, "He's in class. He'll call you back." She then turned it off and kept it until the end of class. This happened a couple years back and she hasn't had a problem since.

3. Cell phones in the library. I work a part-time job as a reference librarian at a university library where cell phones are banned (we tell them to take the calls in the entry.) I've had people answer their phones right in front of me and start talking loud enough to be heard at the far side of the building! They are promptly ordered to take it outside. I nearly called a security guard once because not only was the guy loud and obnoxious, he refused to leave the building and got nasty about it.

I know that a lot of people are considerate with their phones, but the ones who pull this stuff are the reason so many of us non-cell people get annoyed about them.

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#72941 - 07/11/05 11:44 AM Re: What's missing from today's social interactions?
Ekaterina
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Registered: 11/16/01
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Today I am annoyed with people who get annoyed at me for following laws.

Example 1. Last week at a fireworks show, on an extremely crowded field, a man is setting off totally illegal sparklers and the smoke is blowing straight into my face. I politely tell him that 'he'd better be careful because they're illegal', and he tells me that they're not, they're totally safe, and proceeds to burn himself. Wonder why they're illegal? hmmm. Also? don't burn things at 1200 degrees when there are so many people around you!

Example 2. I do not speed; others do. Just because I'm choosing to obey the 25 or 35 MPH sign and you're not is no reason to tailgate me that closely, hoping I'll get the hint and pull over to let you speed ahead. I obey laws, I've never gotten a speeding ticket, and the children I transport are always safe. So please don't beep at me, swerve around me over double yellow lines, swear, make faces, or point at me. That's rude and you're breaking the law.

What's missing; courtesy, awareness of the law.

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