I was on the tube yesterday afternoon with a dead iPhone and 45 minutes to spare before my stop at Liverpool Street station. I took the opportunity to simply watch people and noticed a few generational patterns — sadly however, the older you get seemingly the less you smile.
A few observations:
- Children are most always smiling — generally content, curious and happy to be alive.
- Teens, within a group of friends, are quite loud, boisterous and proud — not annoyingly either — constantly trying to impress and outdo one another with their whit and charm.
- Teens, on their own, have their heads so deep in their smartphone that they’re completely unaware of the world around them, nor do they care.
- …much the same with middle aged men in suits.
- 40's-50's the shift is noticeable — starting to look tired, less happy, less inspired overall. I noticed a few using the tube ride home as a place to shut their eyes.
- The elderly however don’t seem to smile at all — almost as if they’ve given up on life. A couple across from me, likely in their 70’s, were both staring into space for ages, barely blinking and looking completely lifeless — I wish I knew what was going on in their mind. I intentionally smiled at them just to see their reaction and immediately they both looked away. Obviously my smile scared them.
Why do we lose our smiles? I sure hope I don’t.