A friend and I decided to try a little social experiment. How many people, when driving by, look upwards? We didn’t exactly keep records (which would have made it a little more scientific), but here was the setup. We stood on a balcony above a reasonably busy road for roughly five minutes (this was roughly how long it took for aforementioned friend to finish his smoke break). In traffic terms, we’d see perhaps 2 to 3 cars every 5 to 6 seconds, so it wasn’t too hectic, and we were able to observe. We decided to test the hypothesis that people mainly don’t look upward or around them while they’re in their cars, and to do this, we simply waved at the cars going by.
Result: We repeated the experiment twice, and with roughly similar results. The first time, we got two return waves in the entire duration, and the second time we got about 5 return waves. Mind you, The waves back skew the results, because we DID get a few looks of “what the hell are you two on about?” and two definite “frak you” looks.
Of the return waves, it seems that we got the best results from people in delivery trucks, most likely because the trucks afford them better views outwards. Women were also more friendly than guys and likely to wave back, but I suspect that the results might reverse themselves were a woman to join us. Mostly however, we were firmly ignored.
So what, ultimately, does this little experiment show us? Either that most people who drive by are unfriendly pricks, or that most people are keeping their eyes firmly on the road ahead. Which is either good, or bad, depending on how you look at the results.
So, if you were in the car passing by, and two random strangers are standing on the balcony waving at everyone, would you wave back?