Communication has always been one of the building blocks of life. Without it, life as it is now would not be as progressive. But nonetheless, communication still has its downside. Nowadays, communication with people whom we are not acquainted with beforehand is very tricky with the underlying tone of judgement, awkwardness and lack of intimacy between the two parties.
The activity was to ask strangers in a public place some weird and random but personal questions. The fact that students like us were to ask for interviews is not really new to people in general since it is in this stage of schooling where research papers and other papers require different methods of data-gathering and interviewing people is one of the most common methods. So the first thing we thought about the activity was that it wouldn’t be as hard to do it since we think a lot of people would be willing to set aside some minutes for our “project. they’d help because we know they’d understand what it feels like because somehow we’ve all been there. But then we thought about the details of the activity, and considered it with our circumstance of having two non-Ilongga members of the group. It was going to be in a public place. It was going to be with strangers. Strangers from a place some of our group are still not very familiar of. This becomes somewhat of a significant factor for the two non-Ilonggo members of the group because they are not from here. They speak a different language from the people around here. Even though they’ve been in this place for four months, they can’t assure myself that they’re going to be successful with communicating to Ilonggo strangers already. They thought of the inconvenience it might cause the stranger, to have to adjust to the language they’re going to use (and ofcourse it’s gonna be the lingua franca: filipino), and they’re already the one who’s gonna ask to favor of interviewing them. Even though we know there would still be people willing to help, it made them uncomfortable to just even think of the inconcvenience the favor would be to the strangers they’re gonna have to interview. Plus, the fact that the questions are even just personal and random, they might think that our “project” is just some kind of childish joke. An insignificant paperwork that just completely wasted their timeand effort to answer. Ofcourse, the rest of the team, the ilonggo ones, are willing do the talking, but then again we’re gonna have to do this as a team. They insisted to have a significant contribution. And so, we first thought the activity was gonna be quite difficult to do, mostly because of the unsettling feeling we’ll have with the thought that it might cause such inconvenience to complete strangers.
But we made found a way to make it better. So the place we made our interviews was in SM City Proper, Iloilo City. There were tons of people by that time because it was the middle of the day, it was the biggest mall in Iloilo City, and the fact that it’s almost Christmas time which means people will be around for the christmas promos on shops or for the start of the christmas preparations in their homes and all that. We decided to seperate into pairs, or teams. The plan was we interview seperately so as to save time and double our data gathering method, rather than going all together as a group. We also figured that strangers might be creeped out if a bunch of kids just suddenly approached them for an interview. They might feel cornered and be just forced to answer, which would make them uncomfortable, which would make us uncomfortable. We wanted to avoid inconveniece and uncomfortable settings as much as possible. Also, the data we can gather, the experience that we experience would be more than what we could have if we have gone together as a group. For instance, my team might have a hard time to interview and be humiliated at some point, and the other team might have success with interviewing kids and maybe even have fun. With that, we can have a lesser objective and a more considerably multi-perspective conclusion.
Most of the respondents showed awkwardness and uneasiness throughout the interview, this may simply imply that, people find it uncomfortable or an inconvenience if random and unfamiliar people approaches and asks them random questions.
For the first few parts of the questionnaire, many chose to answer but still find themselves in an awkward position for casually spilling information. As we progress across details and go deeper to their personal details, some of them were hesitant to answer and some chose not to say anything as they felt like it was crossing boundaries. In most cases of the people that we have interviewed, they were all comfortable in answering the questions at the start if the interrogation. But once we got into the deeper part, they started to feel discomfort and masked it mostly by giggling or like fidgeting in their position. Religion, political views, favourite alcohol and sexual fantasies in life were the questions that the respondents have to think twice before actually answering. As we were interrogating them, these were the questions that we felt the most hesitation from the respondent’s part.
The activity had a significant effect on all members of the group. We found our differences, our strengths and weakness, and our peakpoints and limits to the social skills we have towards strangers. Some of us learned how to have confidence and realized that it was easy to do. Some of us had to really push guts to interview the strangers and yet still have the unsettling moment of causing inconvenience, nevertheless, they realized that the activity wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be.