December 22, 2009 at 3:40 AM (Happenings, Musings) (, , )

It was about 9.30 A.M. on a Tuesday morning, and I was on my way in to work, courtesy of our fabulous MBTA.  Given the three espresso shots I had all but taken intravenously, it was hard not to glance at everyone within my line of sight, what with my caffeine-induced nervous twitch and all.  What was also hard not to miss was that two thirds of the train would not have noticed if I had decided to shout obscenities: that majority was equipped with headphones, listening to podcasts, tunes and television episodes, totally lost to the world that was trying to stare them in the face.

Then I got to thinking about how much of life those people may have been missing because they were too busy listening to Lady Gaga.  Okay, that wasn’t my immediate next thought, but I eventually got there.  Allow me to elaborate.

Sitting on my right was an attractive gentleman.  He was attractive enough that the romantic in me kept hoping, “Oh, wouldn’t it just be so lovely if he had some reason to strike up a conversation with me?”  The romantic in me would then be beaten into a depressed submission by the realist in me who would point out that strangers just don’t talk to each other any more, not when they have the luxury of staying in touch with their friends via their smart phones.

Then I got to thinking about how much of life those people may have been missing because they were too busy listening to Lady Gaga.

We live in an age of “iWant it now and therefore iHave it now.”  Social media is truly an awesome thing, allowing us to access anything we want, whenever we want, but at what price?  We are sacrificing a kind of uncontrollable spontaneity that we experience from interacting with the unknown outside of our iComfortZones.  We don’t much talk to the person sitting next to us on the train any more, or at the bar, or waiting for the bus, or in line at the grocery store.  Instead, we are texting our friends, telling them how bored we are in said train, bar, bus station or grocery store.

The pretty man sitting next to me was one of the few passengers who was not wearing headphones that morning, and as a result, both he and I bore witness to the T driver’s eloquence.  We had been standing by for 15 minutes or so, and finally were graced with this gem over the train’s intercom:

“Once again passengers, there is a disabled train in front of us.  We’re just waiting for it to move ahead of the platform so we can uh . . .”

We waited.

“Uh . . .”

We continued to wait.

“Uh . . . yeah . . .”

He and I laughed.  We were the only ones on the train snickering like the schoolchildren in the back of the class.  And then something crazy happened: we exchanged words.  It wasn’t anything life-altering – just something like “Oh my God, that was brilliant!” – but it was enough to remind me of the fact that yes, there is life outside of  the iWorld.

Tonight’s Tunes
“Have You Made Up Your Mind,” Paul Weller
“Here With Me,” Dido
“Toxic,” Yael Naïm
“The Sweetest Love,” Robin Thicke
“Symbol In My Driveway,” Jack Johnson
“Holiday Inn,” Elton John
“Roll If Ya Fall,” Barefoot Truth
“Don’t Look Away,” Joshua Radin
“Joan,” Timmy Curran
“Hide and Seek,” Imogen Heap
“Vanilla Twilight,” Owl City


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