As I drove to work today I saw a young man sitting on the side of the road, staring off into the sky, smoking a cigarette. Without the cigarette he would have been weird. This is the thought I had even though I have never smoked anything in my life. Yet the lack of anything would make the simple action of looking to the sky seem like someone who was planning something terrible. Because that is the paranoia that rings through us these days. Everyone is going to do something bad to us if they are not doing something acceptable. Even if that acceptable thing is an unacceptable thing. A person has no need to stare out at the sky these days. Almost gone entirely is the proximity-based friend. I do not talk to neighbors not for lack of good will but for lack of genuine reason. I can get my social interactions many other places. I do not need to make friends with my surroundings just so I do not feel alone. There is a constant mocking of excessive cellphone use, but the reason seems very clear. We have finally gotten to the point where we can fill our lives wth actual things we want instead of looking for ways to fill them with what is around us.
Which makes it weird if someone wants to fill their life with what is around them. Just imagine how many people started smoking because they were lonely.