Something happened to me this weekend that i thought was kind of interesting. I went to the other laundry room. usually, i would go to the third floor laundry room but instead i went to the one on first floor. i was shocked to find that the etiquette of this laundry room was much more slovenly and much less caring. People took my laundry out of the drier when it was still wet. They pulled others cloths out and strewed them around carelessly. Socks littered the floor. Now, I may be dramatizing it a bit, but my point is it wasn’t as nice. Then, I got to thinking. Could one laundry room have more social capital than the other? So I started comparing.
Laundry room A (third floor)
Used by less people
Used only by girls
Closer to the dorms
Laundry Room B (first floor)
Used by more people
Used by boys and girls
Farther from the dorms
not as "nice"
Its a funny model. Even on such a small scale social capital suffers in a larger, more densely populated environment with greater diversity and more sprawl. And if it effects us in the dorms, with the laundry rooms, just imagine how its effecting the United States, or the world.
A typical day for me (when I go home to the Boro on the weekends) is heavily dependent on the transportation that motorized vehicles provide me. I was the first person out off all my friends to get a car when I was fifteen. And I used it, and still do to its full advantage. As soon as I get home I take off as fast as I can, my time is so limited, I only have 2 days out of the week to spend every moment with each and every one of my friends. And since I’ve been driving for such a long time, I still have that responsibility to “be the driver”. And having them drive is out of the question, I don’t feel like dying yet. Typically I will go and pick up my friend Blair, head over to Emma’s house, meet up with Whitney, they all get in my car. Then we head over to the boys house, Care Bear and Austin…they live about ten minutes away, we hangout there. Then we usually take two cars and go to a “get together” or two, after that around 3am we go to cookout, or ihop (five minutes from my house). There is nothing better than driving around during the night with the windows down, so we do some of that. Then I usually drive us back to my place. So I would have to say that most of our time is spent in a car, but not so much because of the fact that we are dependent on the transportation it provides us, but because of the enjoyment we have riding around together.
Without a motorized vehicle:
I think without a motorized vehicle in our current living situation…I’d be stuck at home on my butt all day. Everything is so far away and without these quick means of transportation I literally would get very little done. I have a pet horse, but after 2 or 3 miles of riding you get tired, they get tired. 3 miles nowadays isn’t going to get you anywhere. But if cars were to just suddenly disappear, I could see how it could become a good thing, we would have a lot to change, but I believe it could work. We would be forced to create tighter communities, people would live close together, we could walk to get our groceries, to see our friends, and go to school. (Sounds a lot like Europe to me). Overall people would be a lot healthier, in shape and not so obese. Could this happen? Yes. Would it happen? No. there is a constant demand for change, for technology to become more advanced, faster. We are becoming more and more impatient, and want instant results. We don’t want to “waste time” getting up and actually walking somewhere. Soon enough I could see are current cars not being enough.
In today's society the decline of social capital has lead to the average person having less close friends. by close friends, i mean friends that are reliable and trustworthy. Because of easy transportation, as well as communicative technologies such as computers, internet, and cell phones we know more people but take the time to truly communicate and connect with less. Also, the population rise in conjunction with media has lead to more crime and more knowledge of crime making people less trusting and less trustworthy. One could generalize that the issue is one of knowing too much about the surface of people and generalizing or creating prejudices from there opposed to getting to know and understand select amounts of people. Such a phenomenon leaves us at a social loss, not only because of the lack of the security and joy of a social base but also because of the lack of realizations and connections made with people. The acknowledgment of similarities and differences between individuals is an important part of social maturity. It helps people to understand those in their select group as well as those around them whom they may not know so well.
A few weeks ago i decided to go without my cell for a weekend. i was in Chicago visiting a school (Chicago institute of art). this challenge was made surprisingly easier by the fact that i was not constantly surrounded by my friends, although when i did turn on my phone at the end of the weekend i had a billion messages from people freaking out because they could not reach me. i was really at peace without my phone. i had no one to worry about except myself, and my interview. i spent a lot of my time meeting new people and talking to random strangers (safely mr milner). when my mother and i went out to eat, the restaurant manager even brought us free champagne because we were so friendly. it was nice ;p . in today's's world a cellphone is a necessity in order to reach people and to be reached. in general we are living much more hectic, busy life and it would be hard to survive without the technology we are so used to. i didn't have a hard time doing this lab it was nice to make time for myself and socialize with the people i was with in the moment and not worry as much about planning the day out or whatever. however my friends certainly didn't have the same positive reaction. because they couldn't reach me when they felt like reaching me they became extremely frustrated (i ruined their simple routine). if i was in that situation i too would be worried. I don't think i could live in todays world without a cellphone, unless no one had one....that could be interesting.