A few weekends ago, I was sat in Starbucks in Paddington Station waiting for a train to take me and my belated Christmas greetings to my sister’s house. I had my earphones in and a book to read and was quite happy minding my own business, until the girl sat opposite me decided to drape herself over the boy sat next to her. She then sat idly stroking his hair while they watched videos on his laptop and he fed her plastic spoonfuls of muesli. Tender? Cute? Reminding us that romance isn’t dead?
PDAs, or Public Displays of Affection, make me feel incredibly awkward. Maybe I’m just too British. But these glimpses into people’s private lives are unwanted; I don’t want to know about the personal details of total strangers, regardless of whether they’re pashing on the tube or screaming at each other outside a pub. Holding hands, a kiss goodbye on a train platform, an arm around the other’s shoulders in the pub – these are all fine, in fact I heavily encourage it, it’s lovely to let somebody know that you care. I’m talking here about situations like my Starbucks encounter. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just about teenagers sucking face in public. I’ve been stood next to people on a packed train who are in a state of perpetual nuzzling, sat behind couples in the cinema who ignore their popcorn and nibble on earlobes instead, and the worst, walked smack into a pair who stopped in the middle of Tottenham Court Road to go at each other. Be in love, find someone attractive, but have some consideration for people who are just trying to get on with their day!
It’s the same way I feel about over sharing on Facebook. Why would you tell anyone that you’ve just had sex, or that your boyfriend has cheated on you? We live in a world of oversharing *sound the klaxon for ironic blogger* but it does stand to pick and choose exactly what it is that we tell friends, family, and total strangers. Let’s share these things with the people we value and trust, those ones who value our words and actions and actually give a crap. Surely when a moment is kept between those who have a connection, it makes it even more special?