When do people say ‘Hello’

I was recently out for a walk on a lovely beach not far from Edinburgh. There were plenty of people out walking their dogs or playing with their kids. Not a single person said ‘hello’ to anyone else, even as they were passing.

At the end of the beach, the sand ended and a path lead us away from the shore. The narrow path cut through some bushes and across grassy land. Suddenly everyone started to say ‘hello’ to one another.

It was really noticeable to me. I guess it was something about the increased level of proximity. On the path the space was shared and people had to acknowledge one another.

It started off on interesting conversation between my mom and me about how public space is changing because so many people aren’t really ‘present’ in public space when they are off in their own virtual worlds (aided by smartphones). However, I’ll leave that for another post!

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