Thursday, January 20, 2011


I hate how the simple yet most meaningful phrases of our language have become just "things we say." Things like asking someone how they're doing. Or even something as simple as a thanks. A please, a hello, an apology. Sometimes I wonder if when someone asks me how I'm doing, do they really want to know how I'm doing? And how many times when I ask someone how they are, honestly wanting to know, do they tell me they're fine, things are good, but really there's so much more they aren't saying?
One of the few things I remember from my intro sociology class last year is how we use cues and "scripts" to communicate. The gist of the lesson was that our conversations nearly always fall into a predictable pattern that we have become so used to that it is like a film script. When the conversation leaves the path that we are familiar with, we awkwardly try to bring it back to the designated form that we're used to. Supposedly we automatically use these scripts for all kinds of communication, whether it's a conversation with a stranger, an argument, a job interview where we have to be reserved and respectful, even conversations with the people we love the most, where you would think we would be more open and unpredictable.
I wonder, is this something our culture has invented? The only other possibility would be that it is an instinctual urge, and since when is man reserved, predictable and desirious to restrict everything into his comfort zone by nature? I hate the idea that culture imposes rules and restrictions on us, yet it does every day. As children we have to be quiet. As teenagers with boyfriends/girlfriends we have guidelines as to what is and isn't inappropriate to do in public. As adults we are fenced in by overwhelming rules that have become second nature to us.
Who decides these things? I don't mean to be anarchical, but the more I see of society, the more discontent I am with it.

I don't want to live a scripted life.


  1. Ah, Intro Soc. I totally know what you're talking about. I hate that so many of the things we talk about are just scripts. I hate that at work I almost literally have a script to follow with customers. I don't like social scripts. They suck.

  2. It's tough to figure that one out. But I do agree that people are way to well trained. More people should express what is inside. If it comes from their heart and they do it in a way that won't hurt others. People can't lead just a scripted life, they need to feel their true inner voice!

    Yeah, Dia