I must confess, I am a watcher. I watch the seasons change, I’m constantly chasing sunrises and sunsets, my eyes are always peeled for life’s delightful moments and yes, I am a people watcher. Not the perverted kind who peeps through bedroom windows or invade people’s personal spaces with a binocular, but I do enjoy harmlessly “watching” and “reading” people, their body languages and their mannerisms, especially in instances where my intuition tells me something’s off or different. Silence by itself speaks volumes but when combined with small gestures and peculiar behaviors, the things people don’t say can be just as telling as the things they do. I am a watcher of just about anyone, that includes the people I don’t know, and the ones I do, and in case you’re wondering, yes, I watch you too.
By watching people, I’m able to recognize the subtle signs of discomfort, the forced yawns of deception, the silent signs of disagreements, the feigned acts of confidence, that smirk you guys give when you’re digging a woman’s looks, and I especially pride myself on being able to “read between the lines” to get to the “real deal”. Still, that doesn’t make me unique or even creepy because let’s be honest, in some ways we are all people watchers. Technology and social media platforms have made it easier and more acceptable for us to pry into the lives and behaviors of others. For some, they even invite us to spy into their bedrooms without even needing binoculars. Now who’s the freak? The truth is we have become a generation of watchers. We love watching people. We watch the behaviors of real and fictional characters on tv, we watch what others wear, what they eat, how they live, what they think, say and do, and today all this watching is welcomed and even encouraged.
I guess there is nothing wrong with some innocent watching and exercising our “sixth sense”. I have used it to form relationships with people with whom I’ve observed and sensed we would “click”, and I have also used it to keep others at arm’s length. But when do we cross the line where “innocent” people watching becomes too much, especially on social media platforms? There is a difference and a delicate balance between watching others to get a sense of who they are and how they tick, versus watching them solely for the purpose of emulating or copying them. Watching and copying runs the risk of us compromising our identities and our authenticity trying to be something we see in someone else. Sometimes what we see is not even real because you don’t have to be a people watcher to see, the more we watch the more we want to see and those being watched, sometimes artfully and deceptively morph themselves into people they think we will want to see, just for the sole purpose of keeping us watching.
So, tell me have you watched anyone today?