Here am trying to make some sense of a phenomenon I’ve been experiencing for years together. Am sure each one of you would have gone through it too. I call it ‘Slipping into auto-mode’. It’s amazing how your brain functions involuntarily and the potential to do such things really surprises me. Let me explain through few examples.
Scenario no. 1:
Riding a vehicle.
You want to go from A to B through a ‘familiar’ C route. You think of destination B, visualize the route C and start driving your car/bike. 2-3 minutes into the journey you start thinking about an upcoming meeting, or an incomplete work or that pretty chic in office…but you still drive, stop at signals, chat with co-passenger….and manage to reach destination B after an hour. Then when you think back, you have no clue how you reached B or the route you took or what you saw during the trip. This is what I call ‘slipping into auto-mode’.
Now this seems perfectly fine if it happens once in a while. But with me this happens 99% of the time. It usually is harmless, but sometimes while going from A to B through C route… I wanted to stop at an ATM between…but I never stops, it always gets missed. Thus I’ve to return from B and finish off the work in intermediate stop and then go back. Waste of time, money, effort.
Many friends of mine have confirmed that they also experience the same in limited numbers though. While doing long distance rides, auto mode becomes very long and prominent. I would say, to a great extent I love rides to experience this auto-mode for a continuous period. It definitely is a great stress buster and thought molder.
Scenario no. 2:
A, B, C and D meets after long. A starts talking and she goes on talking. B shows his apparent frustration. C gets into sleepy mode. D looks as if he is listening enthusiastically. But actually D is thinking of the same stuff given in scenario 1. He has slipped into auto-mode already. During the conversations he gives those occasional huh’s, oh-oh’s. At the end A gets a feeling that D is disinterested…she asks, Were you really listening to this whole thing ?…. Now the surprise. D asks A, a very smart question related to the whole conversation. A is satisfied and happy at the same time.
In reality, D never listened to the whole conversation…. he just picked up the most important bits and pieces of the content and asked a context based question which completely took A by surprise.
Auto-mode during conversations are very common. I’ve seen people doing it all the time when ‘chatter’ goes on and on and on gossiping. This particular piece was triggered by a discussion with @nithinkd regarding the same. He seems a master in it :P.
So have you ever experienced such slips ?…why do you think it functions that way ?
Would love to hear your views..