Avoiding the human yawn contagion...
I love watching a yawn travel through a chain of strangers. You can avoid eye contact and turn up your iPod as high as you like, but buddy, when my yawn comes your way, I'd like to see you stifle yours. Nice try, I saw your nostrils flare.
So why resist it so hard? Why not just enjoy the pleasure of the yawn, look at me to acknowledge our human sharing of the yawn, and then smile to eliminate any awkwardness? Wouldn't that be the natural reaction?
Well, maybe once upon a time. But today, we work hard to ignore eachother. We prefer to take our Samsung Galaxy S3 to bed at night than share space with another human being on public transport.
And just when I thought we couldn't get any more disconnected... BBC's tech show, Click, reports a story last week about nightclubs where you can choose your own tunes by using individual headphones, thereby allowing you to remain in your bubble and, despite sharing physical space, avoid any actual human interaction.
...Ya, mmkay. I don't know about you, but personally, I think we're in pretty big trouble. This isolation illusion is not a good look. Does it make us feel protected? Our hearts safe from spontaneous emotion, our minds shielded from ideas that might call into question what we think we know?
As kids, we're curious, excited, open. Once we think we've matured, learned enough about the world to know how to avoid its perils, a lot of us shut off. If you're anything like me, you probably thought you were pretty clever when you figured out you could put up walls to block out negative emotions after being hurt one time too many. Yes well, you may have eventually realised that this strategy also prevents you from experiencing anything deeper than surface-level discovery, joy, friendship, love. You're either open or closed, there's no filter option available for the human heart. And there's no growth to be had in this closed off state.
So if you're still stubbornly resisting my yawn, then dude, you're a) disillusioned because no one is above the human yawn contagion and, more importantly, b) totally missing out.
So go on, take out your earphones. And in the words of Zhané, listen to the Vibe.