Currently, we are living in a culture that is common to ignore each other and ‘mind our own business,’ with the help of technology, we can ‘block’ other people out, by putting our headphones and looking down at the phone. The society has accepted that having a phone in our hands and headphones in our ears means “I do not want to engage in a conversation.” And it is common to see these in any public space.
This week we were challenged to talk to a stranger and tell our experience, personally, I am an introverted soul, and I have troubles when starting a conversation. I work in a retail position as a cashier, and I find it troublesome to talk to customers. When I compliment or mention something about a product that they are purchasing, the conversation fades quickly and leaves with an awkward silence. When the customer is more open to asking questions and is interested to know more about the person behind the counter, the conversation is more enjoyable. Personally, I find that the majority of people are uncomfortable talking to strangers and it does not open to engaging in a conversation.
I tried to follow the steps that James Hamblin in The Atlantic to talk to another human being, and I do agree that we need to connect to other people in the streets. I mean, I try to say hi to my neighbours but that doesn’t really lead to a conversation. It just makes me really anxious.
As part of the generation of kids that have the Internet as an essential element part of our life, we get to meet people all around the world and interact with them. I use social media and online games; on these platforms, I interact with a lot of people. Personally, I have easiness interacting with people online than in person. Part of the Internet world it gives you anonymity, and you can block people and forget about them.