From The Onion. Thanks for the link, Emmi.
Report: It's Not Okay To Just Start Talking To People You Don’t Know
September 19, 2012
STANFORD, CA—Citing how devastatingly uncomfortable it makes people feel, a new report released by the Stanford University Sociology Department revealed Wednesday that it’s never okay to just start talking to someone you don’t know.
The report, which analyzed numerous conversations that took place over a nine-month period from September of last year through May, states that approaching a complete and total stranger and saying “Beautiful day,” “That’s nice, where did you get that?” or “Hello” is, under no circumstance, acceptable.
In fact, the study confirmed that in 0 percent of cases do individuals ever want to be spoken to by someone they don’t know, and that it is “downright wrong” to put people who are just going about their day in the awkward position of having to be polite and feign interest in what you—an unknown intruder, essentially—are saying.
“We found that the only people it’s appropriate to talk to are friends and relatives—no one else,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Simon Gamble, told reporters, adding that dads, senior citizens, and “people who think they’re being friendly but really need to just mind their own business” are typically guilty of trying to relate to unfamiliar people.
“Ninety-five percent of the time, the people being talked to experience an extreme spike in anxiety. The only thoughts going through their heads during these unwanted conversations with strangers are ‘Stop talking to me. I don’t know you. Please go away.’”
“If you feel the urge to talk to someone you don’t know, the right thing to do is suppress the impulse and just leave that individual alone,” he continued, adding that cordially smiling at someone you’ve never met is also not okay. “It doesn’t matter if you both happen to be wearing the same T-shirt.”