Prior to the explosion of the computer era there was an age-old phenomenon called social interaction. People would enjoy sitting down and having conversations and showing interest in each other, listening and even laughing together. When in public places, we would look at each other, smile and even say hello. Eye-to-eye contact was once very common and one did not glance away as if ignoring or being distracted.
Social interaction has been displaced with social distancing II. The android and iPhone have displaced the other person. It has become more important to interact with the phone rather than people around us. Social media, video games, and 24/7 connectivity has distanced us from others.
I first became aware of this phenomenon when I encountered younger generation store clerks. The normal greeting smiles have been replaced with a millisecond glance and then they looked at their phone, the floor or even the wall as if it were more important. It is now very common to see people in restaurants peering into their phones instead of enjoying conversations across the table. I now put this type of behavior into social distancing II. People — especially our younger generations — no longer establish eye contact with others, smile and converse, but instead avoid it by looking away. Practicing social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be gone someday, but unfortunately social distancing II is here to stay!