Most people tend view themselves as outgoing individuals when socializing with friends or family, expressing who they truly are. Yet the same person who jokes and laughs at a friend's party may seem distant or shy sitting on the bus or standing in line. Why do people's personas alter so greatly in a confined area with strangers such as the Illinois 100 bus? Social settings, for one, affect almost every aspect of a person, from their mood and tone to their posture and bodily movements. A once funny or charismatic person suddenly turns quiet and introverted. But conversations and intimacy are not crippled merely by the environment, the relationship that two strangers have, or lack of, also acts as a divider. Why do strangers act so closed off and in a sense portray what they feel as "normal " compared to their usual selves? .
In an attempt to for answers to multiple questions we raised, we boarded the 100 N on a mesmerizing slushy Saturday bus, and weaved our way through the packed crowd, settling down at the very end of the bus in quiet observation. Obviously weather was no deterrent in stopping energetic college students from going out and having fun on weekends. The bus picked us up at one of the livelier parts of the campus known as the "six pack." With numbers came noise, and this group was no exception. Giggles from the young student body could be heard, conversations occurring outside the bus door, and the thudding of slush covered boots from earlier rainfall all mingled together in our ears. As the bus slowly disembarked from the terminal, a noticeable change, in the eyes of an observer, permeated its way throughout the bus. Conversations changed tones, with the volume intensity dropping to a near whisper. Headphones began emerging from coat pockets abundantly with their relative, the smartphone. An ocean of teens and young adults fixated on the glow from their phone composed the majority of the bus, and for those without the luxury of technology, staring at the ground or out the window seemed to suffice just as well.