So I’ve changed my mind. I had promised to do a post on the tube, but there is just so much to cover with the tube that a series seems to be the only way to cover it all off.
Today I’m going to focus on the snooping. This ranges from phones to books to the good old free newspaper picked up before jumping on the tube.
Let’s start with the newspaper. I’m pretty sure the point of the metro or standard is that it is read multiple times. Picked up, read and left. I’m not sure if they account for the fact that most copies are read by three people at once. Part of the problem here starts with the people who don’t want to read full stories, but those around them do. The tube isn’t the kind of environment where you can ask them to wait so you can finish reading up on the big news of the day. So secondary readers are left to wonder how the story ends.
Phones. These are lethal. I don’t think anyone sits next to someone and can resist the urge to look at what the are looking at on their phone – this can range from writing a LinkedIn article to checking out all their own pictures. One of my personal favourites is to watch people who are playing games to see if I’d do it differently – word games are the best for this one. I have to admit, though, I once missed my stop as I watch a man play games on his phone. There is also a special privilege for those who are catching up on a tv show and making use of subtitles so you can watch and “hear” it too.
I get concerned by some of those who are reading books. I’ve seen a fair few standoffish titles in my time. “I love dick” wasn’t a title I expected to see when travelling underground but turns out a woman proudly read that as she commuted home. Books, however, aren’t as easily dipped in and out of as other forms of tube entertainment so are not the most likely snooped on source.
Personal space on the tube is somewhat a luxury and yet we’re now in a position where we are so on top of each other that we can’t help but read what those around us are reading. This is something I’m guilty of too – probably not helped by the fact that I don’t really use my phone underground to give me a distraction from the excitement of my neighbour’s reading. Then again, I’m so nosey I’d probably have my phone in hand and still read up on the person next to me.
I’m not sure this is a problem that will change any time soon as the tube remains crowded and people are in need of stimulation for their journey underground. I am probably more of a snooper than snooped so I’d like to thank all those that had a good story to read in the metro that sparked my interest enough to pick up a copy and see the full story.