Was there something on my face? Did a bird excrete on me? Was my pants wet? All I wanted to know was – why was everyone staring at me? Why were they staring at me with one eyebrow raised and their upper lip snared up? I was just standing there. What did I do to get those looks? Absolutely nothing. My roommate and I went to a park nearby my grandmothers house in New York City to complete my task for sociology class. The task was to stand back to back with somebody for thirty minutes and do absolutely nothing in a public place.
I thought of the point of this project to be one word, embarrassment, yet I was bold enough to actually do it. As we started the task, it was all giggles until we seriously stopped and did, nothing. At first, people wasn’t paying us much mind because in New York City they’re use to seeing people do weird stuff like this. In my mind, I was thinking that I was going to have an easy report to write by writing about the way I felt and how society just simply ignored me as I was doing nothing because they’re use to seeing things like this and they rather not entertain the “weirdness”.
Well, I was wrong. After a while people got nosey. People walked by and asked they’re company “what are they doing? ” (as if their company is supposed to know). The funniest things I heard that day was “they must be in a cult” and Williams 2 “they‘re possessed! ” . This old lady stood about twenty feet away from us and stared at us for about five minutes. While she was looking at us like we was doing something, about four more people stood around as if they were waiting for us to levitate. A little girl ran up to us and asked “what are you guys doing? . My roommate told her “nothing. ”. The little girl responded asking “nothing ? ” then my roommate kept her mouth shut. The little girl kept repeating “nothing? ” as if she was confused and she seemed annoyed that nobody was answering her. She ran away, whispered to her friend and they both turned around and looked at us in disgust. You would think that I found this amusing. I did. I also found it aggravating. Why? I found it aggravating because I was getting more attention by doing nothing, than I get when I am doing something.
Can you believe that something as simple as doing nothing could grasp a communities attention? Its ridiculous. People said things I didn’t like, pointed and stared at me just because I was doing something that they were not doing or use to doing. I wanted to ask people what were they getting out of staring at us but my task was to do nothing; not do nothing and say something. I didn’t feel embarrassed after aggravation came over me, I just felt confused. If I was in my audience shoes, I probably would’ve looked at my roommate and I standing there and kept on walking without even questioning it.
Especially since people do stuff like this all the time in New York City, it wouldn’t have been anything new to me. I would’ve never stopped and stared, point, laugh or question it because there are people out there who does not react well in situations like that and they would snap on anybody with violence. I would just think it’s your everyday weirdoes and leave them Williams 3 alone. This task taught me a lot about how society can look at a person who does not quite “fit in”. they believe that a person who is doing nothing is doing something that should become as big of a show as Broadway plays.
There is no reason for anyone to be concerned with a person just standing there unless he or she had a bomb strapped to his/her chest or a weapon in their hand. It id disrespectful, it can hurt a persons feelings, and it can alter the way they respond to a persons approach. After feeling what an outcast feels, I understand why some people are either antisocial or crazy. If I was to choose, I would probably become crazy because I would’ve began to question people and do what they have been doing to me just so they could feel what I felt.
My anger would’ve turned into hate and it would be me against the world rather than me being antisocial and either grumpy and don’t say a word or just sad and keep my mouth shut. I didn’t realize that something like this would be an issue in society until I experienced it for myself. A lot of people won’t know about this issue until they go through it themselves but most people probably won’t leave other outcasts alone after having that experience. Its just the ignorance in society.