February 26th, 2019 by Jan

Remember how Marty Stuart opened his TV show way back when?

“Somebody say howdy to me!”

I’ve noticed lately, that there is a particular age group, that seems to have no interest in saying howdy to anybody.

When I’m out and about, and cross paths with other people, I say hi or nod my head.

Sometimes, men won’t acknowledge me until I say hi first.
Kids have to say hi to me first, and people who are closer to my age, just offer up a greeting, easy peasy. Older folks will usually stop to chat.

But, young adults, walk by with heads down. Most never look up. They may answer a hello, but rarely offer one. Worse if they are in a group, or even two walking together. Nothing.

I’m not talking about walking by on a crowded or busy street. I noticed the same is true on a hiking trail. I’ve actually had young 20 somethings, walk right past me in the bush without so much as a nod or tip of the hat.

When Ken had surgery, at UBC hospital this month, we spent several nights at The Carey Centre. This was a dorm like place on campus; about a 15 – 20 minute walk to the hospital.

I walked through the heart of the UBC campus, sometimes four times a day, while we were there.

On those walks, I noticed, no one ever said hello to me.

No one even caught my eye. I was looking too, because most of the time, it was me who had to jump out of the way, or be bumped into. Student had their heads down, ear buds in, and eyes on their phone.

Okay, fair enough, no need to give a hello to an older lady on campus, in big the city. But the super weird part was, I noticed, no one was talking to anyone else either. People walked solo and in silence.

Literally, I passed hundreds of students each day. I never saw anyone in conversation. I watched them walk to or from the bus, and to and from a class en mass, all by themselves.

I wondered how anyone would be making the life long college friends, you hear about. I even walked through the student union, the campus Starbucks and the pizza joint.


Students were sitting at tables, or standing in lines alone. Most stared at their screens or read while eating or drinking. The background noise in these places, was a coffee grinder, not conversations.

It was weird.

I am a person who says hello. At times, I’ll stop and chat. I definitely, pet other peoples dogs, and usually comment on the weather.

I also watch young adults walk by.

When I say hello, I notice their surprise. Sometimes I’ll get a greeting returned, more often I do not.

It’s weird.

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