Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I swear I was from Mars...

...and everyone else was from Venus tonight on my subway ride downtown.

I was the only one, really, not sporting a smart phone as an accessory. At first I just thought it was the under twenty-five set, who had the earbuds hooked up to their Samsungs and Iphones. Then the more I looked up and down my subway car, during rush hour, it really was me, who was in the minority. People were reading on tablets, kindles and smart phones. I saw one actual physical book being read. No one was talking expect one couple in the corner. Had it been that long since I road the beloved Red Rocket? I sure don't remember so much non communication with communication tools going on before. Everyone was clutching their phones as they stepped on and off the cars as we approached each station. Amazingly there were no collisions, as no one took the time to really look up from their precious devices, but sort of glanced up at their peripheral vision.

Now in all honesty, I don't understand the great fascination with being hooked up to the world at all times. Again, I know I'm in the minority. I don't always want to be found. Is that so strange? Apparently it is. I felt like I was on a sociological expedition on the subway tonight — noting ages, who had what device, if they were reading or thumbing through pages and their concentration on not making contact with anyone else, even the most minor of glimpses, for fearing of missing a tweet on their mobile device.

The subway car was so quiet except for the sound of the suction of air hitting the car as we hit a curve on the rails. This was rush hour, in a major city, on public transportation, and it was quiet. Sure not how I remember the subway rides of my student commuter days when a lot of chatter could always be heard on a subway car, particularly at rush hour. Yes indeed, times they are a changing.

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