Thursday, 13 September 2012

Are We Becoming an Unsociable Generation?

Boris Johnson is not someone who I usually find myself agreeing with- laughing at, yes, agreeing with, never. However, something in his speech at the Olympic Closing ceremony on Sunday really stood out for me.

He made a comment regarding how strangers on the tube, more accustomed to spending their journeys in silence, were compelled by the Olympics to strike up conversations with strangers instead.

It got me thinking about how we all are in this day and age. 

Walk through any town, be it the centre, or sit on the local bus, or walk the back streets and suburbs, and most people you come across will have head phones in. They are in their own personal world with their own personal taste in music. Blocking out the outside world of traffic and noise, it creates a bubble for just them.

The once busy school playgrounds at pick up time are less the social hub of Mum's chatting about the latest offers at the supermarket or discussions of what you watched last night on telly like when I was a kid. Most Mum's in my playground generally don't chat with each other save for a "hello". One Mum yesterday made a remark towards me and another Mum as our kids- happy to see each other after a whole evening apart- ran screaming and shouting to each other in an enthusiastic game of tag. She was not impressed, moaning about the noise, and making a flouncing gesture towards the very bottom of the playground. 

Do we expect silence everywhere we go? Are we becoming an unsociable generation, happy to live in singular silence plugged into our iPhones or MP3 players?

I honestly thought that, once Mini started school, I would suddenly have my own little group of fellow Mums as mates, all with kids the same age. I expected to chat and make friends and then pop along to the local coffee shop for a latte while we discussed subjects close to us, sort of like a Mothers Meeting version of Sex and the City. 

Instead, we may say, after a year, a cursory hi to each other, but that's it. No one meets up in the holidays, no one chats idly in the morning. 

However, when online, where most of my social action starts, everyone chats everyone has opinions and voices them, its great.

I just wish my Real Life offline self experienced the same thing!

The thing is, 15 years ago, you rarely saw anyone plugged into headphones with a CD walkman, they were too cumbersome for a start. But now, as these devices have got smaller and more advanced, starting with the Sony Walkman Phone only a few short years ago, its becoming ever easier to close off the world and live in a bubble of your own. 

I feel like we will all reach a stage where the art of conversation will only exist when on a phones Internet service, even if the person you want to chat to is standing beside you. 

Are we killing the art of conversation? Do you prefer to hook up your headphones and escape the rest of the world, or do you miss having a chat in the mornings?

Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. I completely relate to what you are saying. I feel we are isolating ourselves from the real world as 'virtual' convo becomes the norm and is a substutute. I worry the effect it will have on children and how far we advance will in actual fact take us backwards in people skills.


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