Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Common Courtesy and The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl has come to Indianapolis.  We are typically a rather football crazed town, but the frenzy has reached new heights this week.  Kevin works downtown and came home on Friday with reports of a transformed city.  So, last night we loaded the kids into the car and decided to spend an evening soaking up the Super Bowl village.  

We could have made it a date night and left the kids at home.  But we thought it would be a memorable experience for the kids so we took them along.  They loved it.  They loved the excitement and energy.  They loved watching the zip line antics.  They loved playing the little kids' games set up for the event.  They loved the Colts' Cheerleaders.  They loved getting a doughnut at the end of the evening.  They loved it all.  

Pushing the stroller through the crowds, however, was not the brightest idea I have ever had.  Actually, it was downright stressful to navigate the stroller through the throng, and try to keep up with Kevin and the older kids at the same time.  

People were extremely rude.  In fact, they were so rude, I could not even believe it and I'm still stewing about it 12 hours later.  Out of the thousands of people I encountered last night, there were maybe TWO people who didn't try to shove their way in front of me.  

I don't expect preferential treatment, but common courtesy would be nice.  Whenever I am without kids and see someone with little kids, I try to help them by holding the door, etc.  I always let a handicapped person go ahead of me.  There are just certain principles that apply when it comes to interacting with others.  All elements of decency seemed lost on the masses last night.  

Six years ago, I also pushed a stroller through a thick crowd.  I was in D.C. while Kevin attended a conference and I navigated the Metro during rush hour while pushing Meredith in her stroller.  At the time, I couldn't believe how kind and considerate people were.  I had never experienced so many helpful people.  They held the door for me, let me go first, offered to help me look for an elevator, etc.  

What has happened since then?  This morning I had coffee with a friend and she said, "Ever since the iPhone was invented, people have become more self-centered and less considerate."  I think she might be onto something. 

Although I greatly appreciate the thousands of ways that the iPhone helps me stay organized and research and communicate more efficiently, what is it doing to my society?!  It has made the world a better place.  It has also made it worse in some ways!  It enables people to be a lot more self-centered.  When they are out and about, they don't have to converse with people and interact with people.  In fact, they don't have to think about anyone else at all ... unless they want to check Facebook.  But they certainly never need to think about strangers or be considerate or kind.  

Some of those Super Bowl fans need to leave their iPhones in their pockets now and then, and take a look around them at the world that is beyond themselves.  


Heather L. said...

I agree! What a shame people were so rude. Wonder what society will look like in 10 years?

Diary of an Autodidact said...

Interesting observation. I wonder if there is something geographical (or demographical) about it?

Amy K said...

Tim-yeah, I wonder if it also has something to do wih the contrasting subcultures too. Football fans vs. business commuters. I'm sure that's part of it as well, no offense to sports people!

Anonymous said...

Amy--Don't get me started on phones.
G Ma S

Anonymous said...

You can just say "smartphones." Just specifying one model of smartphone out of the dozens out on the market is just silly.