Don’t you miss the era before mobile phones? – no? not even a little bit? Well.. I do.. and I miss is a lot!
You are probably thinking: “why Mariana? Why would you say such thing? – this mobile-connected era is so much better, we no longer lose our way thanks to Google Maps; we do not have to wait for Christmas postcards as the only time of the year we hear from our relatives living in other continents; we do not waste memory space on learning by heart all our key contact numbers and the most important one: the location of the closest public toilet is always at our fingertips.
Well, although all of the above is true and I do appreciate these benefits, there is one thing that annoys me more than anything in the world and is the fact that no matter the time, the day and the destiny, there is always someone talking by phone (few decibels louder than necessary) sitting next to me on my way home.
I love reading. My favorite time for it is during my commute to the office. It is the perfect way of taking advantage of that “death-time”. However, it has become almost impossible to get passed few pages because I end up more invested in the conversation taking place next to me than in my actual book. – It is their fault? Probably not. Is it my fault than I cannot focus on my book while hearing all kind of crazy stories about office gossips, boyfriends drama and software issues? Probably yes.
But you see.. I almost never talk by phone while I’m in the train/tram/bus for these reasons:
First, because I do not want everyone around me hearing what I have to say and making faces or laughing at any silly thing I’m telling my actual friend on the phone. What is more awkward than you saying something slightly funny or embarrassing and then noticing a small smile forming on the face of the person in front of you?. You know, they know, everyone in the damn train knows.
Second, because you never know who is around! This world is huge but the 6 degree of separation law is powerful, you always need to be conscious that someone who knows you could be around, in the middle of the 50 people surrounding you in the train. My dad could tell you an embarrassing story. Once while in Australia, he was commenting the attire of some (not all) Australian young girls. He was speaking in Spanish assuming only us (my mum & me) would understand. He said something like “These girls look a bit like street-girls” (probably no those exact words, but you get the gist). After saying it, a 20-year old girl laughed and looked at him while my dad reaction was to try to apologise and try to explain to the girl why he was saying that. He was so embarrassed but he learnt the lesson: you never know who is around; you never know if the person next to you understands what you are saying, even if you try to cover it up by speaking a different language. After all, Australia is a multi-cultural country.
Finally, because I see it as a sign of respect to other people’s commute. I hate when someone else does it so I just simple don’t do it, unrealistically hoping that I would be a role model for those next to me.
Probably I just need a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones!
What drives you crazy about this new super-connected era? – if you can, leave a comment with your answer!