Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful service, but there is a price to be paid for all of that environmentally friendly convenience.
Anyone who’s spent rush hour literally bonding with their fellow passengers knows what I’m talking about. The lack of personal space on a train can be unnerving to say the least.
In the course of 24 hours we all have a lot of information thrown at us. It can be exhausting sifting through all of that and deciding what’s worth retaining. Personally I choose to retain all of it. I’m like a walking, talking font of useless information…back to the point…
That flow of information goes the other way too. Think of all the information you throw at every one else–comments, statuses, random musings about your dietary choices. Who’s determining the relevance of your Internet input?
If you’re a frequent commenter, you may have come across their algorithm when trying to share your two cents. It’s meant to prevent spam and determine whether a comment is “irrelevant or inappropriate.” If the system thinks your comment is either, you’ll get a warning message and be blocked from posting your comment.
I, having only relevant and appropriate thoughts to share with the masses have of course never received this warning.
Of course, it’s not always accurate. Anyone who’s come across a stream of nasty, petty comments followed by four easy steps to find your soul mate online, can tell you there may be a few loopholes in this system.
To the rest of you. No one wants to be told they’re irrelevant, but it’s really for the greater good. What can I say? Sometimes the truth hurts.
“Why Facebook Thinks Your Comment is ‘Irrelevant or Inappropriate’”: MSNBC
Okay USA, we need to have a talk. Recently we discussed a survey unveiling Americans as the worst travelers, as determined by Americans. That was humbling and self-insulting to say the least. Of course, I think we can safely assume that most of those voters did not think they fit into the stereotype they envisioned.
Now, we’ve done it again. In a recent poll 76% of Americans surveyed think Americans are becoming more rude and less civil, but clearly it’s the other 24%. I mean what are the odds that any of the 76% are surly, mean, cynical beings? Really?
I am all for humility, but this is just ridiculous. We are not that bad. Sure maybe we forget a please and thank you here and there, and maybe these simple offerings of gratitude and decorum are being replaced by more modern phrases, but we have to stop beating ourselves and each other up over it, even in poll form.
It’s the sentiment that counts ultimately, right? Is “no problem” really any less thoughtful than “you’re welcome” if it’s meant by the one who says it? More importantly, is calling someone out on that really fixing the possible problem or exacerbating it?
Expectation is half the battle, if we expect kindness from others, maybe we’ll get it. Thank you, have a good one.
“Please Read This Story, Thank You”: NPR
When travelling it’s important to remember that your vacation destination is someone else’s home/work/everyday life.
Make sure to maintain some dignity and a sense of decorum.
You don’t get any points for blocking sidewalks while you take a hundred photos of the same point of interest. Besides, who wants to be an obvious tourist?
Americans, that is. Well, we may not want to be awful, but we sure do think we are. In a recent international, self-ranking poll regarding who has the worst tourists we put ourselves in the number one spot.
What’s worse? Canada and Australia agree with us. I’d make a crack about American pride, but I think our willingness to bash our own travelling skills makes that a moot point.
This is a surprisingly humble national moment that I think needs to be acknowledged…and we’re done.
Don’t we know that we’re supposed to be tooting our own horns…literally… in the faces of the people whose country we’re visiting, while we butcher their language, and make them take pictures for us, of us in front of sites older than we can comprehend of historical significance greater than our young nation can possibly understand?
My goodness, what have we become? Where are the ugly Americans of yesteryear? What would they say? After they made sure we removed the lens cap of course.
Perhaps this new-found capacity for, dare I say, self-analysis could be applied to other aspects of national discourse? But how?
“World’s Worst Tourists? Americans Say…Americans”: MSNBC
Smartphones have been getting a lot of good press lately. What with hurricanes and earthquakes and history altering rebellions using them for good.
Storm warnings, emergency procedures, and communication loopholes in totalitarian regimes have all benefited from this handy little device, for the betterment of humanity.
Even this skeptic (and begrudgingly humbled smartphone owner) has to admit there might be some truly beneficial aspects to the little demon droids (…yes, the ones you are looking for, that includes you iPhones).
Having said that…You! Yes, you! The one meandering down the sidewalk taking in the enchanting beauty of the graphics on your phone. I think it’s safe to assume that you are not checking up on some sort of life-saving procedure.
I see no treacherous surroundings which you are alerting others of via text message.
Unless of course you’re posting about the chaos and carnage behind you as your fellow pedestrians attempt to avoid your unawares, unpredictable, and otherwise wandering path of destruction.
I know you are not alone, you have friends on the escalator, train platform, front of the line, and (my favorite) stationary in the middle of a crowded sidewalk (you are so close to doing the right thing buddy…so close).
Have we learned nothing from the lady in the fountain? It’s available via your YouTube app, so there’s really no excuse. Unless you wandered sideways into a moving bus while attempting to watch it (true story, don’t worry she was fine).
So while millions of lives may be saved by the capabilities of these tiny little beacons of hope for the future, that does not excuse you from using common sense or your eyes.
Take a moment, put the phone away, and enjoy your surroundings. Who knows, that extra battery life may come in handy later, during a real emergency, like rush-hour on the CTA.
“Smartphones, Tablets can be a Port in the Storm”: MSNBC
“A Wireless System for when Disasters Hit”: MSNBC
…best enjoyed while seated: