On a recent episode of television news-comedy The Weekly, contributor Kitty Flanagan put together a funny but telling story about road rage. She asked the question: Why is it that we are so ready to lose our cool in the car, while we almost never do so as pedestrians?
I’ve thought about this before and I believe a major contributor to road rage is a lack of eye contact. When someone cuts in front of us on the road, we don’t see another person. We see a hunk of metal with an invisible driver. There is no emotional connection between us and the other driver. That connection exists on the footpath and guess what? Little or no ‘path rage’.
Our eyes are an incredibly powerful tool for making emotional connections. But what does that have to do with writing, where clearly eye contact is not possible?