The ipod will be the end of us

So, before I start my whining, allow me to disclaimer myself:?? I do it too.?? I too allow myself to become sucked into the web of antisocial technology that is taking over our society.?? I am of those who don headphones every morning and evening to make the commute more bearable.?? Because my time to and from work is a sort of meditation-zone for me, a time when I get to tune out and forget that I work in that awful office, and just generally get my energy up to where it should be.?? And the headphones are great for phasing out that socially awkward seat-mate on the bus (or worse, airplane).?? But, I think it’s kind of sad, just HOW anti-social we’re all becoming.?? And I say this as one of the more *social* beasts!?? I chitchat in elevators if there’s something worth chitchatting about; I smile and am friendly and pleasant when I conduct any sort of transaction.?? But I think I take people aback – outside of an actual wet bar, people aren’t used to experiencing this sort of interaction, especially between 9 and 5 – I sometimes get this freaked-out, deer-in-headlights reaction from baristas, fellow elevator riders, janitors, the works.?? People no longer EXPECT general pleasantness, friendliness, or courtesy.?? Sometimes people are genuinely shocked when I hold the door for them.?? And when I regale my office-mates of a funny anecdote about a conversation I had in the elevator or what have you, they sort of poke fun at me, saying “Oooh, you’re one of THOSE elevator people…”[1] as in the annoying socially awkward ones.?? Well, no, I’m not – and believe me, I know those people, and I avoid them too.?? But are we really so stuck in our own little worlds that we have to assume that *any* person-to-person interaction is an unpleasant one??? The worst are the little screens they installed in the elevator.?? I mean, don’t get me wrong – I only ever know about current events and/or local weather because of those little screens ??? but it???s kind of sad that they give us all something to stare at, so we don???t have to actually converse, or God forbid, acknowledge the presence of other humans in the little metal box with us.?? And don???t even get me started on the people who talk on cell phones in elevators.?? I could devote an entire week to cell phone etiquette. Grr.

[1] Ya gotta understand, we have a very tall office building with lots of elevators.?? It???s not just an obsession.

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