Those who know me best know my personal credo: You live your life; I’ll live mine.
It’s not meant to be antisocial or rude. It’s actually meant to be polite and unobtrusive. And it’s one reason I personally love what technology has done for civilization.
By “you live your life; I’ll live mine,” here’s what I mean: Move on with your life. Even if you see me in your lines of sight, don’t involve me in your life. Inflicting yourself upon others is what I consider to be the definition of rude.
I see what you’re doing by holding the door open, or holding the elevator, or slowing down to a stop in your car as I’m walking by (as not to startle me, I guess?). But don’t. It’s a very kind gesture, but think about it…by having me run 20 feet in heels, holding my bag, coffee and phone, to the door you’re begrudgingly holding open, you’re really just inconveniencing me – and you (see [humorous] video demo here).
And here’s where we you-live-your-life-I’ll-live-mine’ers really see beauty in mobile technology. I read everyday how Blackberries, iPhones, email, Facebook and the likes are creating a society void of personal interactions, blah, blah, blah. But I see Blackberries and iPhones as liberators and tools that bring me closer to those with whom I want to interact.
You’re holding the door open? Fine, I’ll stop and look down at my phone until you let the door slam. I’ll open up Facebook and see what article my best friend just posted. You want to chat it up in the elevator when I don’t even know you? Nope, I’m busy checking a very important email from a client. Instead of interacting with you, I’ve put technology to good use to interact with people with whom I have some sort of relationship.
Yes, I know I sound like a complete curmudgeon and the epitome of antisocial, and I will admit that there’s a difference between holding the door open and letting it slam in someone’s face. But I think I’m just saying what we’re all thinking.
While so many complain about how much technology can keep us apart, don’t we all thank it for that at the same time? Come on, I work really hard to get my clients into stories that end up in people’s inboxes or on Facebook or retweeted. So please, people, let us use our elevator time to read them.