Was riding the train the other day and noticed something very interesting. Almost all of us were pre-occupied with our electronic devices. Blackberry’s, iPods, iPhones, etc… None of us wanted to talk to one another. Granted, it’s a little weird striking up random conversations with people you don’t know, but I have to say, that used to be one of the things I loved most about New York. Yeah, New Yorkers have a bad rap for being busy all the time, but so what? We got stuff to do. Besides, any tourist will tell you, we love conversation. Just keep it short and simple. No one will be rude to you. Those are usually the hipsters that move in from Nebraska, or Kansas somewhere and want to act like a real-life New Yorker just like they saw on Sex in the City or CSI. I digress.
At any rate, my point is we are starting a disturbing trend, which is to want to be alone while in the company of others. I have done it countless times. At the moment the lull in the conversation appears, I’m checking my trusty G1 for new messages or twitter updates. I know someone has just updated their status to something stupid like Jets suck, but I just have to see. I wonder what this will do to society at large? We are changing the way we interact with people. I won’t go so far as to say today’s technological advances will have a positive or negative effect. However, I will say it will definitely change the way we date and socialize. Sure, I suppose we can always meet one another at the bar or club, but for those of us who don’t really do the whole drinking and clubbing thing, there aren’t a huge amount of options left. I used to feel comfortable approaching a young lady during a commute or while at a cafe etc. Now, everyone is so into their music or video game that I now feel uncomfortable interacting with someone outside of my network of friends for fear of annoying them.
I honestly wish I could peer into the future to see what things will be like in ten years. What will happen to the casual conversation? Will it disappear or will it be held online in a chat room while playing some game? Will it become the norm to be on the phone while at the dinner table or restaurant or will restaurants begin outlawing cellphone usage inside? Will cases of ADD shoot up, or will it level off? Have I passed my soul-mate while she was adjusting her volume to tune out the annoying guy trying to ask her for her name?