Hallway Blockers

A study including 9,000 people in 42 different countries found that people in Argentina and other South American countries have less personal space than those in Asia. For the United States space tends to be known as more precious. However, the study finds that we do not require as much personal space as other countries. In fact, we are only 13 from the bottom of the chart, which means 29 other countries require more space than we do when we are around strangers. Is this lack of personal space causing us to not care about our surroundings?

When it comes to Wheaton Warrenville South High School, personal space seems to have decreased in the last few years. People are choosing to not only walk closely but also to walk wherever they want with no regard to those around them. Whether that’s due to lack of respect, not caring about personal space, or the increased use of technology, it has definitely become an issue. Due to this increased use of electronics, people can be seen with their heads down looking at the screens they hold in their hands. A survey taken by more than 50 students found that 40.4% often find themselves bumping into others in the hallway. Of these students, 68.4% said of those times they bump into people, it is due to them walking on the wrong side of the hallway.

Annie Vail, a junior at Wheaton Warrenville South, says that she has very far walks to all of her classes and that it is hard when, “I’m getting stopped, stuck behind, or running into people all the time it makes it much harder for me to get to class on time”.

She also talked about how it especially does not help when people walk in big groups in the hallways. This is brought up in an article by the Atlantic as well. They state that in a 2010 study by PLoS One, they found that, “70 percent of walkers travel in groups — a custom that slows down pedestrian flow by about 17 percent”.

If this was a problem in 2010, one can only imagine how it has increased since technology plays a more important factor in our everyday lives now. In fact, 19.3% of students that took the survey said that they found the reason they were ran into was due to someone using their phone.

According to an article by Healthline, recent studies indicate that the number of accidents involving distracted pedestrians is rising. Whether this is from using a phone while walking or simply being distracted because of talking to others, it should not affect which side we walk on or how closely we walk next to others.

Connor Pollina stated that his thoughts were that, “It’s a violation of a well known social norm”.
Along with Pollina, Paul Thalmann, a senior here at Wheaton Warrenville South believes that “the concept of walking correctly in the halls isn’t rocket science”, and he says that when people break this norm it, “annoys and frustrates me”.

When researching this topic, an article about ‘proper hallway etiquette’ came up on a school’s website. This school, Magnet High School, has rules that they want students to follow in the hallways. One of these rules is to not be a ‘salmon.’ By this rule, they mean that we should not go against the flow of people. This is not only aggravating but also can be dangerous. By paying attention and walking on the right side of the streets and halls, we can avoid all this annoyance and any potential danger.