"[TTC riders] often couldn’t articulate why they used words like “brutal” to describe the system, [said Steve O’Brien, Chair of the TTC's customer service advisory panel]" (Tess Kalinowski, The Toronto Star, 2 September 2010)Loneliness is the most prevalent disease in North America, infecting Torontonians in droves, yet people continue to blinker themselves from each other. It's like North Americans want to be like horses with blinders on, only looking ahead not at each other, not at how they affect each other, or what's happening around them.
Social media exploded because real life is anti-social.
Online, people build up the hurting and successful. In real life, people seem stuck in pre-6-year-old mode with the world-centres-around-me attitude and so shun the hurting, tear down the successful.
Online, people build communities, like the #amwriting or #nanowrimo or #hcsm ones on Twitter or blogging communities or many Facebook groups. In real life, people build fences, literal and metaphorical, shutting out others, keeping people at bay, sitting in the middle seat of three or putting their feet up on seats or surrounding themselves with bags, all the say stay away.
Online, people are happy to see you, converse with you. In real life, people say "let's meet for coffee" as a way to seem social knowing coffee will never happen; or they grunt too busy to chat, to invite, to be polite to the soul-trying bus driver.
"O’Brien, who grew up in Etobicoke, says he always understood the TTC’s role in the city’s culture.We want to fix the TTC, we need to fix ourselves first, to fix this anti-social society that we've willingly, unthinkingly created. We want to fix the TTC, we need to bring the virtual world (minus CBC.ca comments) into the real world.
“It’s part of everybody’s life. You think Toronto, you think TTC. The interesting thing is the passion people have — positive passion, negative passion,” he said. (Tess Kalinowski, The Toronto Star, 2 September 2010)
For the TTC is real life.