When I greet people, I often will ask “How are you?”. From my background, it really was something that we always asked and actually expected an answer.
I recall getting a very bizarre answer from a colleague once. We both got to school early in the morning and, on this one occasion, exactly at the same time, so it looked like we were going to walk in together.
So, I greeted him. “Morning. How are you?”
HIs response was to stare at me almost puzzled and said “Why? Do you care?”
I don’t think that he believed me when I said that I did but that was OK. I just filed it under “interesting conversations never to forget”.
I had a notification from Quora this morning for something I had posted and got another one to check out. It was actually entitled “What are great responses to the question: How are you?” The post had generated over 30 responses giving suggestions – some serious, some worthy of creating a smile. The responses are worth checking out.
Even Ontario Twitterer @JAVAJ9 had weighed in so I knew that I was in good company.
Well down the list of suggestions was a link to a website that was even more enjoyable! “Have you ever wished you could remember Norm’s greetings on Cheers?” This really was a walk down memory lane to one of the best television comedies ever to hit the airwaves.
Who could ever forget?
“How’s it going Mr. Peterson?”
“It’s a dog eat dog world, Woody & I’m wearing Milk Bone underwear.”
Thanks, Caitlin Ragan. cc – Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
If you remember the show Cheers, there always was an acknowledgement when asked “How are you?” or “How’s it going?”
Ah, but this has come a long way from my original premise. “How Are You?” It doesn’t seem to mean anything anymore…at least in the real life. Today, I went to Sobies, Walmart, and Tim Horton’s. All three times, the counter person asked “How are you?” and proceeded to do their work. They didn’t wait for a response, look up for a physical response, and it didn’t seem to make any difference that I was going to tell them that I had a sore foot.
It seems that element of social interaction has just been assimilated into normal human conversation.
But, I think back to some interactions that I had online. There are some Twitter users that I always seem to have an early morning exchange. Inevitably, after the “Good morning”, there’s a followup “How are you today?” As I look through the responses, they’re not ignored; they actually generate a response.
So, I have to ask – are we better at simple social interactions online than off? What about you? Do you react differently to “How are you?” face to face than you do online? Why or why not?