Opinions & Editorials

Having conversation is a thing of the past

Illustration courtesy of MCT
Illustration courtesy of MCT

Samantha Dennis/The Guardsman

The majority of Bay Area residents use public transportation as a means of getting where they need to go.

You would think that being crammed in a bus or BART train with so many people would cause a conversation to arise but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

We now have a computer in the palm of our hands with the invention of smartphones and the problem is no one can seem to put them down.

With so many different cultures brought together on public transit, the opportunity for conversation is extraordinary. That is if we can put our phones down for five minutes to start one.

Being a communications major, I know first hand how to strike up a conversation, and a good one at that. However, it’s hard to even start a conversation when I look around and every single person is captivated by their phones.

There have been incidents, like the senseless shooting of a San Francisco State student as he exited a MUNI train, where crimes have been committed and not a single soul witnessed it because they were glued to their phone and not aware of their surroundings.

That worries me.

Have we reached a point that we would rather stalk someone on social media from our phones than possibly meet a new friend?

Living in this wonderful city we are privileged to be around a vast array of different cultures. There is so much we all can learn from each other if only we took the chance.

Simply asking the person sitting next to you on the bus how their day is going can lead to an endless array of topics to talk about.

Who knows, maybe that person was having a bad day, but by just asking that simple question and showing interest, there’s a chance that you’ve made their day a little brighter. Maybe that person has the same interests as you or goes to the same school that you attend.

Not to sound corny, but there is a chance you could find love on BART. Relationships are blossomed in public settings all the time. You’ll never know unless you converse.

Next time you take public transportation I encourage you to put that smartphone away and start a conversation with someone. The outcome may surprise you.

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