Sunday, September 7, 2008

'People' people, or not

Sometimes I get the feeling that there are people who are avoiding me for some reason unknown to me. Maybe I'm too self-conscious, sensitive or taking this personally but I think with globalisation, the digital age, technology, whatever you call it, people are generally a colder lot these days.

Long ago, meeting neighbours and having a chat over the fence was something common. These days, whether you live on a landed property or condominium, everyone just enters their house and shuts the door, do their own thing in the name of minding their own business. They don't know who their next-door neighbours are. Impromptu visits to friends' homes are no-nos, must make appointment first.

When I was young(er), our family weekends included visiting friends and family to catch up. No appointment was required. We'd just turn up in front of their doorsteps and get welcomed in, spend an hour or so talking about this and that and leave happy. If they happened to be out, it wasn't an issue. We'd just drive off and go do something else.

Now things are so different even with relatives and close friends. When we happen to bump into each other at a restaurant or mall, we'd chat briefly, say goodbye with lip-service "we should catch up one day, some day". Or when we're online, we'd rather not chat with others whom we see are online too. It's easier to just indicate "busy", go "invisible" or sign out when we see others coming online (of course, there are those who are genuinely busy). I've been guilty of these so maybe my guilt manifests in return and makes me feel like people are avoiding me! Ah....self-analysis is confusing.

Anyway, I just think people are becoming less 'people' people and more 'self' (or selfish?) people these days in general, resulting in a less caring, apathetic society. Maybe I'm wrong...or could I be right?

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