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Old 07-16-2008, 08:51 AM
Location: Minnesota
9 posts, read 44,341 times
Reputation: 18


Most of my friends are telling me that they have noticed a huge change in the social climate in America during the last 5 years. Maybe it is linked to the post 9-11 mentality or the waves and waves of immigrants who are coming into our neighborhoods. Or maybe the effect of technology and computers.

I see less socializing on the job, less communication with the neighbors, less chatting in the grocery line, more glum looks at the post office, and silence at the hairdresser. It seems like people have lost their gift of gab and the ability to enjoy the company of stranger or coworkers. Things are more all business today.

Some people like to claim they are to busy, but I do not think this is it, instead I think it is a form of fear and a major change in our social culture in America. Anyone else agree?
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:02 AM
4,898 posts, read 14,226,301 times
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i dont think its been only 5 years. i dont think people have gabbed in my life time--unless they are from small towns, or in the same neighborhood for many years.

i dont know if they are afraid, or private, or self absorbed.

i was very shy until just a couple of years ago, so you would have never caught me talking to anyone. now i am better and talk with everyone--if they talk to me first!
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:03 AM
Location: MA/NH
13,974 posts, read 27,718,418 times
Reputation: 11347
I don't see any fear in the areas that I live and work in. Last week, the smoke detector went off in my restaurant and all 160 people in the ballroom for the wedding rehearsal dinner stayed there calmly through the noise of the alarms and continued their presentation reminiscing about the couple's youth. The people at my post office are relaxed and friendly. No worries about anthrax threats.

So I would have to disagree with your observations.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:15 AM
1,884 posts, read 2,909,269 times
Reputation: 2609
I have not seen any of those things. I have always socialized plenty in the work place.

As for chatting in the grocery store, well I have never really wanted to start chatting someone up in the grocery line, never had it happen, and does not happen now. So, I don't see how that is any indication.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:40 AM
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
13,948 posts, read 15,210,553 times
Reputation: 15698
I live in the south where folks strike up conversation with total strangers. The gift of gab is definately not lost here. Nor are we generally afraid of people. We hold the door, carry your bag and even hold your baby. Ive been broke down on the road and have toatl strangers, fix my car or give me a ride.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:50 AM
Location: Wild, Wonderful WV
306 posts, read 713,374 times
Reputation: 155
I think some of it has to do with where you are. It has been my experience that people seem to be less likely to speak to a stranger in a large city. People also appear to be more friendly and outgoing towards strangers in the south and in small towns.

I believe it has more to do with not having a sense of community than with fear. Or perhaps the two go hand in hand and if you don't have a sense of community then you are more fearful of strangers.

When I lived in a northern city, I did not feel a sense of community and I think I could have been robbed and beaten on the street and people around would not have blinked twice. I now live in a small Appalachian town where there is a great sense of community. If someone robbed my house my neighbors would probably take them down before they made it to the end of the street.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:02 AM
Location: Wu Dang Mountain
12,891 posts, read 15,925,954 times
Reputation: 8484
Oddly enough, when I lived in NYC people were far friendlier than they are here in the sticks. Perhaps it was the times, perhaps the people - who knows?

I've never had a problem going up to strangers, but then I'm a mental case...
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:20 AM
Location: MA/NH
13,974 posts, read 27,718,418 times
Reputation: 11347
Another story. Yesterday afternoon, I came upon a stalled out car in front of my post office. Not only that, but the nose of the car was sticking out into traffic and the hazard lights were on There was an old lady around 70 years old in the drivers seat that car. My first comment to her was "that's a terrible parking job!" as I thought she had parked sloppily in order to quickly drop some letters off in the mailbox. She then replied that her key was stuck in the ignition. I then told her to pop the car in neutral so I could push her backwards into more of the parking space. She said her steering wheel wouldn't turn. Anyway, I told her to get out the car and I would check out the problem. I also promised her that I wouldn't drive off in her car (a Saturn). I was able to jiggle the key out of the ignition, flip it over and restart the car for her. It turned out that it was a new key and not well cut by the dealership. I suggested she go to the local hardware store and have a clerk wire brush the new key for her. She thanked me profusely, shook my hand and we parted ways.

Oh yeah, some guy was leaning into her passenger window and talking with her before I walked up. I guess he didn't know how to help her out because he disappeared.

Anyway, long story short, I had no problems helping her out and she wasn't afraid of my getting into her drivers seat to fix the problem.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:45 AM
Location: Sacramento
13,639 posts, read 19,683,522 times
Reputation: 5736
BTW, just for your information, the original poster is actually a guy...
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:47 AM
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 66,188,545 times
Reputation: 22814
Originally Posted by NewToCA View Post
BTW, just for your information, the original poster is actually a guy...
How cute?
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