While the subway’s arrival may be ambiguous, one thing about your commute is certain: No one wants to talk to each other. In our contemporary culture, the prospect of communicating with — or even looking at — a stranger is virtually unbearable. Everyone around us seems to agree by the way they fiddle with their phones, even without a signal underground.
It’s a sad reality — our desire to avoid interacting with other human beings — because there’s much to be gained from talking to the stranger standing by you. But you wouldn’t know it, plugged into your phone. This universal armor sends the message: “Please don’t approach me.”
What is it that makes us feel we need to hide behind our screens?