I took notice of this a while back. Back when I was in college. This ties in a lot with my dad's advice about how people usually only talk to you out of the blue when they need something from you. Good advice dad. I've had numerous discussions about this with people as well, so this discussion may get a little deeper than usual.
Remember being in school and the teacher yelling at you because you were passing notes? Then as the cliche' goes, the teacher reads the note out loud to the class and after they were done you'd get a stare and then told to knock it off, or be sent to the principal's office; depending on how often you got in trouble. The other day I was reminiscing about passing notes, strangely enough, how I used to fold those notes. Which almost led me to calling up my sister to ask her, but distraction got the best of me.
It wasn't until last night that I realized my usual rants about the flaws of society were a good topic to touch on in regards to relationships. It's not notes children in school are writing anymore, it's texting and using social media, but it isn't just children either. College adults do the same thing. To test this idea out I conducted little social experiments of my own. I made an effort to smile to more people I passed, even if I had headphones in. I would hold doors open for people behind me, smile at them, or when leaving a strangers company I would be sure to tell them to have a good day. The results of this were odd to say the least. In elevators, walking by people or just holding the door open, these people would take notice of me at least, but what they failed to do was to meet my smile with any friendly response. It usually consisted of snarks of disgust, the chin scrunch of embarrassment looking at their phone, fiddling with their clothes; anything to avert eye contact. Of course I was guilty of this at one point to.
Here you are, in contact with another human being, and for the briefest moment your paths cross there is really no conversation to exchange. You feel that if it were fate, they would start up a conversation with you at the most. But what isn't understood is that communication is a two way street. Real life isn't meant to be like the movies, that's why we go and watch something that's scripted; simply because it's fantasy. It was why people went to movies in the old days and why they go to the movies now; to escape reality for the briefest of moments. Or perhaps movies provide a similar effect of Shakespeare's comic relief. Life is a drama.