Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: people are more friendly in the past than today.
Some will say that the past is undulyromanticized as a friendlier time—that people couldn't have been muchbetter-disposed than they are today. But I’m not so sure. There are a number ofreasons why people may have been more genial back in the day.
For one thing, people in the pastinteracted with each other in person more than we do today, and this naturallyresulted in a comparatively higher level of friendliness. The reason peopleinteracted more was because they had fewer technological distractions. Backthen, it was both routine and enjoyable to shoot the breeze with others whilewaiting for a trolley or sitting on your front porch after work. Socializingface to face with complete strangers was commonplace. Nowadays, however, peoplehave all sorts of devices like smart phones, e-readers, and iPods that drawthem into their own private worlds even while out in public. While taking thesubway to work, you’ll rarely see two people strangers talking unless it’s toyell at each other. More likely, they’ll be totally absorbed by the miniaturescreens in front of them.
For another thing, the pace of life todayis much faster than it was in the past, and as a result, people today are muchmore hurried and much less friendly. Those living in modern society tend tohave little patience for idle conversation, as they are always on their way todo something or see someone. The leisurely daily rhythms characterizing pasteras have been replaced by a frantic rush to accomplish as much as humanlypossible. This has led to friendliness, and often even courtesy, taking abackseat to efficient and mechanical interactions.
Granted, people today are also much moreconnected via non-traditional mediums than they were in the past. Thanks tocomputers, the internet, and social networking services like Weibo and Renren,people can keep in touch with each other no matter where they are in the world.However, this type of connection is a poor substitute for face-to-faceinteraction and does not necessarily encourage friendliness. In fact, it maymake us even colder towards others because we become accustomed to viewingpeople as remote, disembodied data. The shallow interactions facilitated bytechnology may actually deepen the divide between us rather than bring uscloser together.
Peoplein the past moved through life at a more leisurely pace, and they didn't havethe technological distractions that we have today. Though technology is oftenseen as a tool that connects people, it may in fact have the opposite effect.For these reasons, people in the past were probably friendlier than people today.