The Couch

Walking in lines

Comments on Walking in lines

libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 05/03/12 - 6:09 PM:
Subject: Walking in lines
More oddities of human behavior.

Before I moved to the big city, I had never observed this phenomenon. Now that I live in a densely populated place, I have had many occasions to observe people walking together, side-by-side, forming lines.

Naturally, it makes sense when you have 2 people walking together that they should walk side-by-side. When there are 3 people walking together, they will most often walk side-by-side, too. Seems logical considering that each person in the group wants to be able to see and hear what the others are saying. No one wants to be "left behind", either literally or metaphorically.

The only problem is sometimes the sidewalk or hallway in which these groups of people are walking are so narrow that by insisting on walking in a horizontal line, they are blocking the way for others to pass. It has happened on many occasions that either I myself have approached such a group while walking, or seen someone else approaching such a group, and the group seems to hesitate for a long time, looking around at each other, not knowing how to break the formation in order to let the outside party pass.

It seems like a simple matter for one person to just step out of formation, to fall into a single file if need be, but the solution just does not seem to readily present itself in many cases. Instead, the other party either has to forcefully break through the line by pushing through and saying "excuse me" or else wait for the herd to pass.

I'm kind of fascinated by it because it almost has the appearance of people attached to each other like magnets. I see it as a kind of metaphor for social connections in general, and to me it reveals something of interest about people's personalities, how they behave in such situations.
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
Posted 05/04/12 - 3:35 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
More oddities of human behavior.

Before I moved to the big city, I had never observed this phenomenon. Now that I live in a densely populated place, I have had many occasions to observe people walking together, side-by-side, forming lines.

Naturally, it makes sense when you have 2 people walking together that they should walk side-by-side. When there are 3 people walking together, they will most often walk side-by-side, too. Seems logical considering that each person in the group wants to be able to see and hear what the others are saying. No one wants to be "left behind", either literally or metaphorically.


The only problem is sometimes the sidewalk or hallway in which these groups of people are walking are so narrow that by insisting on walking in a horizontal line, they are blocking the way for others to pass. It has happened on many occasions that either I myself have approached such a group while walking, or seen someone else approaching such a group, and the group seems to hesitate for a long time, looking around at each other, not knowing how to break the formation in order to let the outside party pass.


I have observed it, not just in big cities, but also in narrow pasages, in cafeterias, in school/college galleries; and my 'I need some space' posting partially referred to it. I observe it on a day to day basis at my workplace, in shopping malls, in cinema halls. But I never actually discussed about it with anyone because:

1. I feel that I am too sensitive and that is why it bothers only me.
2. It seems to be almost a norm with every person in the groups I have been too; I have even insisted to not to form such walls for others and to walk only two persons together at max, but it does not get support from others in my group usually as they don't seem to care much about others not getting passage or space.


lib wrote:

It seems like a simple matter for one person to just step out of formation, to fall into a single file if need be, but the solution just does not seem to readily present itself in many cases. Instead, the other party either has to forcefully break through the line by pushing through and saying "excuse me" or else wait for the herd to pass.


At least in this regard, not only the experience but also its intensity, as well as its expression matches completely for two of us. But what you have expressed so easily, with composure and eloquence, would have come out in a peremptory tone from my mouth. But I always have been shy to talk about many such things. I get irritated and peevish because of my inability to make change in this regard.



lib wrote:

I'm kind of fascinated by it because it almost has the appearance of people attached to each other like magnets. I see it as a kind of metaphor for social connections in general, and to me it reveals something of interest about people's personalities, how they behave in such situations.


This is where I feel that though people might be attached to each other and walk side by side, they should be sensitive enough to respect space of others and they should give passage to others, whenever needed. laughing


Very good to take initiative to explore this one, as I have never been able to discuss it. thumb up
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 05/05/12 - 10:56 AM:

To be honest, this topic has been on my mind for a very long time. It was a similar sentiment with the "keepers of the (elevator) buttons" observation. Watching people behave in such a way, time and time again, and not quite knowing how to comment on it myself. On the one hand, I do find it a bit annoying that such an obstacle appears so regularly when the solution seems so simple and obvious. On the other hand, I find it endearing to see people connect to their peers in such a way. There seems to be a sort "group-protection" element involved, do you think? It makes me think of early tribal cultures and the intense need to form a group in order to literally survive. I wonder if this "wall" creating behavior might be vestiges of that. Keep the insiders in, keep the outsiders out. What do you think?
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
Posted 05/05/12 - 11:27 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
To be honest, this topic has been on my mind for a very long time. It was a similar sentiment with the "keepers of the (elevator) buttons" observation. Watching people behave in such a way, time and time again, and not quite knowing how to comment on it myself. On the one hand, I do find it a bit annoying that such an obstacle appears so regularly when the solution seems so simple and obvious. On the other hand, I find it endearing to see people connect to their peers in such a way. There seems to be a sort "group-protection" element involved, do you think? It makes me think of early tribal cultures and the intense need to form a group in order to literally survive. I wonder if this "wall" creating behavior might be vestiges of that. Keep the insiders in, keep the outsiders out. What do you think?



It might well be so, but usually 'we don't care about space of others' as an atitude comes to my mind whenever I observe it. It's not that only young people indulge in such behavior, or anything is wrong with it if there is ample of space around you. I have observed some parents walking with their kids hand in their hand, a group of three, or sometimes four people. In such cases, you could say that there is no 'arrogance' thing involved, but more of affection, care and bonding; it's really hard to let your spouse and young kid go ahead, in a crowded place, because fear of their getting lost or getting hurt is present. That makes me think--it's many a times problem of space. We humans have very little of space left at many public places and reasons vary. At some places things were not planned carefully and we have overpopulated them.


What annoys most is: Lack of sensitivity for others. The internal dialogue which is ever on-going in our heads is projected onto others because of lack of awareness. Creating noises which don't let others study or sleep, not giving others passage to pass, throwing garbage here and there on your whim( common in India), scribbling on walls of public/workplace toilets(Such scribblers are certainly not mathematical geniuses like John Nash, because all they leave is, phone number and their girlfriend's name!), is all because of lack of sensitivity in my opinion.

Group protection is involved as an element because for most of those involved in such groups, sensitivity for space and comfort of others is lowest of priorities and a sense of belonging to the group and being on top of the things matters most. The persons who form such walls on passages are the very same persons who think that it's not necessary to return something they borrowed until the owner asks for it many times.

I am more inclined to think that individual freedom should be respected in all situations unless it is hazardous for any of the stakeholders. Some all sweeping zealots in schools, colleges, offices, churches, temples and in other places of worship, in social gatherings and in excurisons for fun assume that just because a person belongs to the group or frequents the place, he should, with all his might, contribute in group activities and comply with group activities, because an idea that individuation, even in most public of places or most social of gatherings might contribute to betterment for someone, never crosses their mind.
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 05/05/12 - 12:03 PM:

Thinker wrote:
What annoys most is: Lack of sensitivity for others.

agreed. in some cases, arrogance perhaps, a sense of self-entitlement. this attitude is manifest in countless different ways all around, in every day life. in other cases, may be a simple lack of awareness - some people are not as perceptive as others.

i don't know if the sense of self-entitlement has become more pronounced in recent years, or if maybe it was always there and i'm just more aware of it now thanks to being able to communicate with a broader spectrum of people over the internet, but i speculate that some of it has to do with widespread caffeine consumption making people more aggressive and more insensitive.

nowadays it seems like we live in a very strong caffeine culture. people gobble up caffeine everywhere - coffee, chocolate, soda, tea, energy drinks - not to mention that caffeine is now added to dozens of products that didn't use to have it. for example, shampoo, soap, lotion, beauty products, etc etc. for christmas, a large majority of the gifts i received contained caffeine. i feel like in such large doses, it reinforces the attitude of self-entitlement and also contributes to bullying behavior.
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
Posted 05/05/12 - 12:08 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

agreed. in some cases, arrogance perhaps, a sense of self-entitlement. this attitude is manifest in countless different ways all around, in every day life. in other cases, may be a simple lack of awareness - some people are not as perceptive as others.

i don't know if the sense of self-entitlement has become more pronounced in recent years, or if maybe it was always there and i'm just more aware of it now thanks to being able to communicate with a broader spectrum of people over the internet, but i speculate that some of it has to do with widespread caffeine consumption making people more aggressive and more insensitive.


I think, it's not a new thing and as you hint, being able to interact more across the globe is one of the reasons why we know more about this these days.

lib wrote:

nowadays it seems like we live in a very strong caffeine culture. people gobble up caffeine everywhere - coffee, chocolate, soda, tea, energy drinks - not to mention that caffeine is now added to dozens of products that didn't use to have it. for example, shampoo, soap, lotion, beauty products, etc etc. for christmas, a large majority of the gifts i received contained caffeine. i feel like in such large doses, it reinforces the attitude of self-entitlement and also contributes to bullying behavior.


Might be a good point to ponder.
Search thread for
Download thread as
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5



Sorry, you don't have permission . Log in, or register if you haven't yet.



Acknowledgements:

Couch logo design by Midnight_Monk. The photo hanging above the couch was taken by Paul.

Powered by WSN Forum. Free smileys here.
Special thanks to Maria Cristina, Jesse , Echolist Directory, The Star Online,
Hosting Free Webs, and dmoz.org for referring visitors to this site!

Copyright notice:

Except where noted otherwise, copyright belongs to respective authors
for artwork, photography and text posted in this forum.