30.4.08

personal space invaders

Cramped up against the window I stood with only the air above me to draw from. My train has never been this busy of an afternoon. When the crowd alighted, room became abundant and people spaced out in almost perfect intervals across the empty seats.



My travel experience in Japan proved greater crowd numbers yet opposite with personal space. When all the passengers alight at a busy station, they remain squished together. Even in public places people will sit right next to each other when there is space all around. They just don't have personal space issues.

My station arrived with the majority of people getting off. This gave everyone another chance to group hug as we climbed up the stairs and through the ticket gates. Walking to my car was dark and lonely with only one girl ahead of me. I took this opportunity to play a little game of personal space. I would walk quicker to catch up and then slow down to keep my distance. She was aware of my presence and reacted accordingly - tensing and relaxing.

Yes, I am a little strange...

Driving home I considered the link between travelling and personal space with social interaction in person or online networking. I remembered a quote from the movie Collateral:

Max: First time in L.A.?
Vincent: No. Tell you the truth, whenever I'm here I can't wait to leave. It's too sprawled out, disconnected. You know? That's me. You like it?
Max: It's my home.
Vincent: 17 million people. This is got to be the fifth biggest economy in the world and nobody knows each other. I read about this guy who gets on the MTA here, dies. Six hours he's riding the subway before anybody notices his corpse doing laps around L.A., people on and off sitting next to him. Nobody notices.
Is our culture of individualism and personal space causing social breakdown? Thoughts?

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2 comments:

Dave Miers said...

Is our culture of individualism and personal space causing social breakdown? Thoughts?

dunno.

but that's a funny video!!

Leia said...

You write very well.