How many people do you think you interact with on your average day?

Jessica Lin
May 6, 2016 · 3 min read

Let’s first define interaction. Let’s count everyone whom you speak to and who speaks back in one way or another as an interaction. Can be as simple as one word exchanges. Oh, and online interactions don’t count. I mean face-to-face, in-person conversation.

Okay. So it’s an average work day. First person I interact with is usually the security guard at my apartment, either on my quick walk with Link or on my way out to work. A simple “Morning” exchange.

When I arrive at work, getting from the bike parking to the elevators always requires me to pass the front desk of the building, and so I also exchange the same “Good morning” courtesy with the man working the front desk. Incredibly charismatic guy, by the way. I like him.

At work, let’s say on average I interact with:

  • 1 office manager
  • 1 manager
  • 5 coworkers on my team
  • and let’s throw out an average of… say… 4 other coworkers throughout the day

So now we’re at 13.

Let’s try to go for your average day with maximum interaction, so let’s assume I went out to buy lunch (I do that 2–3 times a week /shrug). One more point for interacting with the cashier.

Okay, so work day ends and I head back to the bike parking, again passing the front desk. The evening shift for the front desk is a different man, so the daily “Have a good night” brings me up to 15.

Oh and at some point throughout the day, either at work or at home or both, I interact with my roomie. 16.

I always take Link on a long walk in the park after work, and if you have a dog you know that having a dog means you interact with a lot of random people. On a given walk you might interact with no one, but you also might interact with 2, 3, even 5 or more people. I think on average there’d be at least one person who says to me “Cute Scottie!” and I reply “Oh, he’s actually a Westie.” And then at the park, on average Link interacts with around 2 or 3 dogs, meaning I have to do the usual “Aw, cute dog! How old is he/she?” and the awkward “Oops, Link, stop getting tangled…” with the respective owners. Let’s be modest and say that I converse with 2 other dog owners on average.

Dinner is usually up in the air but, since I never cook, let’s just say I ate out, so interacted with another waitress/cashier. 19.

Hmm, so now we could either take the “date night with boyfriend” route or the “climbing night with friends” route. Since “climbing night with friends” elicits more interactions, let’s go down that route.

I’m a lazy shit so I Lyft or Uber to and back from the climbing gym. That’s 2 drivers to add to my count. Interacting with drivers is always interesting. Some really fascinating people in this city. And really talkative ones too…

I always climb with 1 friend at least. If you’re a climber though, you know that you don’t just interact with friends at the gym. Like walking a dog, climbing also means talking to a lot of random people. So. Many. Random. People. Sometimes you get their name, sometimes you don’t. Either way, if you are working on a similar problem, if you catch a glimpse of their sick send and congratulate them (or vice versa), if you ask them for their beta (which is a climbing term that means “solution to the climbing problem”) or they comment on how your beta is weird because you’re so short… Point is: climbing is a social sport. I’d add on an average of 4 more interactions, give or take 4. Heh.

Okay so we end at 25.

That’s kinda interesting to consider. 25 other lives I’ve impacted in just one regular work day. How many of those people are actually friends, more than just strangers? 11 from work, 1 roomie, 1 climbing buddy = 13. Half. That means the remaining half… I don’t even know their names. I don’t know anything about their lives outside of the few minutes — or even seconds — I speak with them. What do they think about? What would they write in their Medium posts or diary entries?

How many people do they interact with on their average day?

Jessica Lin

Written by

I like fruit.

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