Why is there the awkward silence, you may ask yourself? Endlessly rising like a sky-scraping concrete block escalating towards infinity. A silence that is lasting so long, it actually becomes the status quo – our modern day modus operandi. So useless that it has become the purpose itself. The unnecessary awkwardness is a substantial part in our lives.
Advancing and perfecting our societies, we strive to better our situation and environment continuously. Our idealistic minds are set for the future and further improvements for our lives. But what are these improvements really? A bigger flat-screen, a faster metro connection, or yet another muscle-building workout that makes us work better and more efficiently?
All this comes with a price – the unnecessary awkwardness. These awkward moments when you step into the elevator and the other person already occupying it pretends best to not have seen you enter. A seemingly insignificant moment, but actually embodies the entirety of non-recognition. It is the moment when you walk along the street and the oncoming person suddenly gazed into the other direction when passing. It is a moment in which individuals recognise their sheer existence. But no sign of communication is exchanged and no existence except one’s own seems possible.
Contemporary life seems to be filled with these moments that appear as an un-necessity. These are moments in public spaces – spaces that are meant for interaction in the first place. However, one increasingly encounters the opposite. It is a moment in which one should be recognised as an individual being, but simply is not. These moments are not the result of miscommunication or misunderstandings, but are rather pure forms of neglect.
We excel and perform and improve and master and better and …
And neglect each other heavily.
Do we need the unnecessary moments of awkwardness? Well, if these moments are awkward, then they must be noted by definition. So why not make them less awkward? Why not say hello?
Why do we need to not recognise each other as individual? Why do we need moments that feel like an endlessly riding escalator in solitude? The answer might be: we don’t.