Gransnet forums


People watching

(64 Posts)
WOODMOUSE49 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:33:50

I've had a weekly, now fortnightly, hospital visit for nearly three months so I have had lunch in town after/before the appointments. I used to read my book whilst waiting for food but people watching is fascinating.

I nearly put this in the PET PEEVE thread but ...

Seeing a family or group of people having a meal in restaurant, cafe or pub. Some not engaged (and this appears to be mainly children) with the conversation. They are glued to their phones. Not talking but texting or game playing. Only time they put it down is to eat, if they need a knife AND fork. Quite often the phone is still being used whilst the other hand holds the fork. I think to myself, is this killing the art of face to face conversation or discussions or standing in front of others to give a presentation etc. What a pity the adults don't involve them in the conversation.

I know teachers plan in opportunities for children to discuss or stand up and talk but are children coping well with this.

Any way, the thread is really about watching others as well as what we notice about them. Does anyone else do it?

b1zzle Tue 13-Aug-19 13:21:11

Sitting at the till in a charity is a great opportunity for people watching!

Musicgirl Tue 13-Aug-19 13:25:45

I've always done it. People are endlessly fascinating. I try not to stare though.

GrannySomerset Tue 13-Aug-19 13:31:01

My (Irish) mother made any journey shorter by the stories she invented about fellow travellers. It was a great gift and I wish I had inherited it.

Glammy57 Tue 13-Aug-19 13:34:14

I’m another people-watcher! 😊

Jacks1 Tue 13-Aug-19 13:36:19

I enjoy people watching too, its fascinating. U can learn about body language. But try not to watch for too long or u get funny looks!

MissAdventure Tue 13-Aug-19 13:38:53

You're spot on, Diane.
My life is sad and boring.

I never stare though, that would be rude.

Rosina Tue 13-Aug-19 14:18:56

Ladies; 'people watching,' and in fact 'watching' anything that goes on around you is not, absolutely not, nosy. You are taking an interest in the world about you, and your fellow humans. This indicates lively intelligence and healthy curiosity. There is a sociological term for this practice, which I learned when studying; it is called 'Empirical Research', so next time you twitch the nets to see what is going on outside, remember that you are carrying out a recognised scientific practice, and improving your mind.

marpau Tue 13-Aug-19 14:35:01

When I used to car share with 2 other ladies we would make up stories about the other drivers and try to guess their occupation. We even had names for them based on registration plates the slow moving traffic into the city allowed a close up view as most were regular commuters. It was a tad embarrassing if any appeared at my place of work as I had to struggle not to use their fictional names.

Notsooldat75 Tue 13-Aug-19 14:58:21

I often look at the contents of other peoples’ shopping trolleys. Fascinating trying to work out why they have bought two bottles of gin, an aubergine, Bath oil and bleach?!
Does anyone else do this, I wonder?

MissAdventure Tue 13-Aug-19 15:05:48

Yes, I do that too.
I wonder what they're having for dinner, and who they're cooking for..

Theoddbird Tue 13-Aug-19 15:16:14

I love sitting having coffee outside a seaside cafe I go to. It is on a slope looking down to a big green and then the prom...perfect for people watching which I love to do.

KatyK Tue 13-Aug-19 15:23:29

I love people watching and, like Pantglas people earwigging. Sometimes when we are leaving a restaurant or somewhere, DH will say to me "I saw you listening to those people.grin What was their story?' Then I tell him what I heard. Do you think we need to get a life? grin

Tamayra Tue 13-Aug-19 15:33:10

I remember taking some visiting American friends to an upmarket restaurant on Sydney Harbour during the 2000 Sydney olympics
I said to them very quietly “Don’t look now but Princess Anne & hubby are sitting just behind you”
They immediately both jumped up & announced they needed the ladies room
Better than just turning around I guess !

Hilarybee Tue 13-Aug-19 15:42:58

I would use the phrase ‘interested in people’ rather than ‘nosey’. It sounds a lot better to me

Amagran Tue 13-Aug-19 15:49:49

Yes, I am a people watcher too, but after reading the posts on this thread, I realise there are a lot of us around......I am now afraid to leave the house!! grin

Destin Tue 13-Aug-19 15:56:06

Really wonder what appeals to folk about sitting and people watching - it’s such a passive isolated activity! Sitting alone, watching everyone .... who you don’t know or where they have come from or where they are going to! Completely conversation-less, just making up little mental fantasies without speaking! Maybe the appeal is that it’s a hobby that just comes with old age and inactivity when there is nothing better to do!

MissAdventure Tue 13-Aug-19 15:58:53

I'm 56, (still working and bringing up a child) so not sure 'old age' or 'inactivity' has anything to do with it. smile

annifrance Tue 13-Aug-19 16:08:22

Best place for people watching is a Parisian pavement cafe.

Fennel Tue 13-Aug-19 16:49:08

I don't see any harm in it.
Except I sometimes find myself being judgemental, which isn't a good thing.
Going back to the strange man I saw in the supermarket with all the tattoos and devil's horns - he was buying a huge vacuum cleaner. What was he going to do with it? Maybe he was just a regular husband buying it to give his wife a present?

KatyK Tue 13-Aug-19 17:12:08

Nothing to do with old age. I've always done it.

dogsmother Tue 13-Aug-19 17:18:54

Me too, I love traveling and the time spent on the transport or in airports or train stations for that reason is fine by me as it provides wonderful people watching opportunities.

Amagran Tue 13-Aug-19 17:24:21

Sitting alone, watching everyone .... who you don’t know or where they have come from or where they are going to! Completely conversation-less, just making up little mental fantasies without speaking!

That's right Destin, just the way that creative people in the arts have been doing since time immemorial: playwrights, authors, scriptwriters, actors, film-makers, painters, sculptors......I could go on. But of course, if you do it once you're over the age of 60, you're clearly just a wrinkly old saddo.

GoodMama Tue 13-Aug-19 17:29:42

Oh Destin, lighten up. No one here has mentioned hurting anyone or judging them.

In fact they are taking about the joy of seeing people out and about. Appreciating the diverse world we live in. Enjoying being out in the world, content to observe at times not always being the center of attention.

It’s wonderful to be content with your own life and be able to just sit, quietly observe the world around you and be happy to just watch the world go by around you.

The only person negative and judging here is you.

Pantglas1 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:34:00

Nothing to do with old age Destin, been interested in folks all my life and hope never to stop!

FarNorth Tue 13-Aug-19 17:47:24

Fennel maybe he was actually about to do a lot of hoovering, himself.