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Big cities vs. Small towns: Which is friendlier?

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Big cities vs. Small towns: Which is friendlier?

Postby Winston » Sat May 29, 2010 2:32 pm

I have a question I've been meaning to ask. Why do some say that small towns are friendlier while others say that big cities are? Here are opposing viewpoints you commonly hear from both sides:

- Small towns and small cities are more warm and friendly cause people are more laid back and down to earth, not in a rush. People know each other on a first name basis (kind of like Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show) and are more communal and neighborly. The peace and quiet, and naturesque setting make people more calm, good natured, and easy going. Big city people on the other hand, are cold, impersonal, in a rush and have little time or interest to talk to strangers or socialize. Neighbors don't even know each other.

- Small town people are more backward, closed and conservative. They live in their own little bubble and world that is unfriendly to outsiders. They are more private and unsociable. These folks moved to the rural areas to get away from everyone. Big city people on the other hand, are more worldly, cultured, sophisticated and accustomed to different cultures and ethnicities. Therefore, big city people are more friendly and sociable and you will have a better social life in the big city. Plus there are many more people to meet and so you are guaranteed to meet someone like you.

Now, the arguments on both sides seem to make sense and sound valid. Many reasonable people have taken one side or the other. Yet they both seem to contradict.

Is one side truer than the other? What do you think?
Last edited by Winston on Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Are small towns or big cities more friendly? Arguments4b

Postby BellaRuth » Mon May 31, 2010 10:13 pm

I think it depends on the country, really.

Personally I'd say rural areas are more friendly, but that's just been my experience. City people can be friendly but they're all so damn busy and important and have no time. Country people are more laid-back and put more importance in just talking and getting to know one another. It often serves as the main form of entertainment in a village, which can turn negative (gossip).

I think as the world is getting 'smaller', country people are less conservative. It may be so in America or in other countries but in the UK I haven't come across a village being particularly conservative. Villages can be unfriendly to outsiders but it's not a rule by any means. If you have a very small, out-in-the-sticks village full of old people in say, North Wales, and you come and set yourself down there as an Englishman, you may find it hard to become accepted. But it's the extreme examples.

An uncle of mine quit the city to live on a remote Scottish island to raise his family. He loves it and had no problems at all fitting in, he knows everyone and everyone seems to adore him. Sometimes I come across someone who mentions the island, having lived there or visited, and once I mention my uncle's name they know him. He's really happy there, he's having a fantastic peaceful life and says it's the best thing he ever did. He's been there over 20 years now and is 'poor but happy'. I think that people who quit the city to go live in the country aren't trying to get away from everyone- in fact it tends to be the opposite. They want to talk to people again, join a community, calm things down, get back to the roots of life. It's hard to escape people in a village as they will all think you are antisocial and peculiar and need keeping an eye on. In the city it's very easy to live a lonely life and have no one know or care if you're not interacting.
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Postby Winston » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:34 am

Here's another way to put it.

In America:

- Small town/rural area people will say that, "Big city people are more cold, rushed, impersonal, materialistic, and not as kind or friendly. But small town people in the country are more warm, caring, kind, hospitable, down to earth, laid back, natural, genuine, easy going, and have better values and family values."

- Big city people will say the opposite, that, "Big city people are more educated, sophisticated, cultured, intelligent, worldly, cosmopolitan, exposed to more cultures, and therefore will be more open-minded and sociable with different types of people. But people in small town rural areas are more backward, hickish, rigid, closed/narrow minded, racist, uneducated, uncultured, unsophisticated, cliquish, and not friendly outside their little cliques."

Has anyone noticed this? It's interesting how both sides skew their perspectives to make their kind look better. I think there is truth in both perspectives, but I'm not sure which one is more accurate. I've always wondered about this for some reason.
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Postby fightforlove » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:17 pm

I've lived mostly around big cities. Big cities have some nice people but they definitely have lots of douche bags, yuppies, wannabe-richies and homeless weirdos. Small towns have some really nice, self-less people but also alot of people with that nasty redneck we-aint-like-you-city-folk! attitude.

It also depends what city you go to. Chicago in my experience is one of the "friendlier" big cities, San Francisco and San Diego are also pretty friendly peeps for the most part. Los Angeles is chock-full-to-the-brim with pretentious losers (the suburbs are nice though) and from what I've heard, New York is a haven for miserable assholes.
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Postby Winston » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:39 am

Why do young people always want to live in a big city rather than in nature? How do they tolerate all that cement, pollution, traffic and no place to park? That's crazy. It's so stressful just to drive around a city with so many cars in the way, and it's too easy to get annoyed by other people in a big city. Why would anyone want that everyday? It's not peaceful at all, but very stressful. Plus it's hard to park your car too. And driving around in a city is NOT an enjoyable experience at all, but a highly stressful one.

In our forum, Rock is one of those guys who thinks that life outside the big city is uncool and boring. He doesn't appreciate peace and quiet or solitude or meditation. I don't understand why. How come I can enjoy those things but people like Rock can't?

How is it that Rock is energized by the big city but I'm drained by it? How does he tolerate all that traffic, stress, no parking spaces, annoyances, and UNenjoyable driving with increased risk of collision?
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Postby Rayn » Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:47 am

Winston wrote:Here's another way to put it.

In America:

- Small town/rural area people will say that, "Big city people are more cold, rushed, impersonal, materialistic, and not as kind or friendly. But small town people in the country are more warm, caring, kind, hospitable, down to earth, laid back, natural, genuine, easy going, and have better values and family values."

- Big city people will say the opposite, that, "Big city people are more educated, sophisticated, cultured, intelligent, worldly, cosmopolitan, exposed to more cultures, and therefore will be more open-minded and sociable with different types of people. But people in small town rural areas are more backward, hickish, rigid, closed/narrow minded, racist, uneducated, uncultured, unsophisticated, cliquish, and not friendly outside their little cliques."

Has anyone noticed this? It's interesting how both sides skew their perspectives to make their kind look better. I think there is truth in both perspectives, but I'm not sure which one is more accurate. I've always wondered about this for some reason.


What's the point of being an educated, sophisticated, cultured, intelligent, worldly, cosmopolitan, blah blah blah when you are a workaholic social recluse who won't talk to anyone out of your circle? All the things in your brain counts as jack.

And besides these big city folk only think they are smart, but they are not. Trust me, I live in KL, a supposedly global city. With a lot of savvy educated types who have trouble naming the capital of Australia. Or what Chicago is (i'm not even asking where, folks, but what. Yeah things are that bad here).
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Postby Repatriate » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:26 pm

Winston wrote:Why do young people always want to live in a big city rather than in nature? How do they tolerate all that cement, pollution, traffic and no place to park? That's crazy.

I didn't know the appeal of it until I lived in Bangkok for awhile. It's great to be able to walk out of your condo and rub elbows with people at a cafe, get food at the corner, or hop on the subway and walk around the city. If you live in a proper city you shouldn't have to drive at all. Suburban areas are nice and green but way too isolated. When you live in the suburbs your social circle shrinks too. I believe when you spend too much time in those types of isolated bubble communities your world view also shrinks. That's why so many Americans are "limited" in their worldviews.

In our forum, Rock is one of those guys who thinks that life outside the big city is uncool and boring. He doesn't appreciate peace and quiet or solitude or meditation. I don't understand why. How come I can enjoy those things but people like Rock can't?

Well Winston you seem to be embracing the senior citizen lifestyle while you're in your 30's (or is it early 40's?) now. You live like you're in your 80's. Your recreational activities consist of computer time, nature walks, falling asleep on the couch, and buffets.
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Postby Winston » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:48 pm

In our forum, Rock is one of those guys who thinks that life outside the big city is uncool and boring. He doesn't appreciate peace and quiet or solitude or meditation. I don't understand why. How come I can enjoy those things but people like Rock can't?


Well Winston you seem to be embracing the senior citizen lifestyle while you're in your 30's (or is it early 40's?) now. You live like you're in your 80's. Your recreational activities consist of computer time, nature walks, falling asleep on the couch, and buffets.[/quote]

That's only in America, where there is nothing to do because you can't go out and meet people or hit on girls. Why would I want to be in a crowded area full of people getting in the way if they are not my friends and if they are not friendly? What a waste.

Yeah I would love Bangkok too, if girls were approachable. But if they weren't, what's the point of being in a big city? It's a waste. For example, what's the point of enduring the crowds and traffic in Taipei or NYC if I get nothing out of it? I could tolerate Moscow because at least I can hit on girls everyday there and have fun. So you see, it all depends on the culture and city.

Plus cost of living is too expensive in cities.

You forget that I'm a writer, and that I'm sensitive to noise. Big cities with lots of noise are annoying to people who are sensitive and creative and deep. I get overstimulated and drained easily, because my senses interpret stimuli more intensely than other people do. I feel things more intensely than other people. So a city would drain me out. Plus, introverts need more recuperation time than extroverts do.

I have a rich inner life, so I don't need to be in a city. I can understand that an extrovert who is empty inside and has no inner life would need to be in a city or else he would be bored. But I'm not empty inside like most people are.

Some cities are ugly though, such as Manila or Taipei. An ideal city that's not too big yet still charming would be like San Francisco or Denver. Mid-sized cities or small cities are best.

Just because I like peace and quiet doesn't mean I live like a senior citizen. I'm an old soul, so I have more wisdom than most. Why should I be like a typical young person who is always in a rush to be somewhere and cannot sit and relax? I don't like the vibe of people who are always in a rush to be somewhere else.

Hope you understand me and take into account all these factors. Try to make your view more broad and less narrow.
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Postby jamesbond » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:16 am

fightforlove wrote:It also depends what city you go to. Chicago in my experience is one of the "friendlier" big cities.


It is one of the friendlier big cities but it is still difficult to meet women here. The women here are scared of men and avoid even making eye contact with men. The only way to meet them is through your friends.

Also, Chicago has the highest murder rate of any city in the country! So you really have to be careful when you are out walking around especially at night time.
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Postby Jester » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:22 am

Repatriate wrote:
In our forum, Rock is one of those guys who thinks that life outside the big city is uncool and boring. He doesn't appreciate peace and quiet or solitude or meditation. I don't understand why. How come I can enjoy those things but people like Rock can't?

Well Winston you seem to be embracing the senior citizen lifestyle while you're in your 30's (or is it early 40's?) now. You live like you're in your 80's. Your recreational activities consist of computer time, nature walks, falling asleep on the couch, and buffets.


:shock:

jeez I like to pick on WW too, but... jeez

:shock:
:lol:
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Postby Jester » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:26 am


Well Winston you seem to be embracing the senior citizen lifestyle while you're in your 30's (or is it early 40's?) now. You live like you're in your 80's. Your recreational activities consist of computer time, nature walks, falling asleep on the couch, and buffets.




Winston wrote:
.......I have a rich inner life, so I don't need to be in a city. I can understand that an extrovert who is empty inside and has no inner life would need to be in a city or else he would be bored. But I'm not empty inside like most people are.

Some cities are ugly though, such as Manila or Taipei. An ideal city that's not too big yet still charming would be like San Francisco or Denver. Mid-sized cities or small cities are best.

Just because I like peace and quiet doesn't mean I live like a senior citizen. I'm an old soul, so I have more wisdom than most. Why should I be like a typical young person who is always in a rush to be somewhere and cannot sit and relax? I don't like the vibe of people who are always in a rush to be somewhere else.

Hope you understand me and take into account all these factors. Try to make your view more broad and less narrow.


Nice D!

+1
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Postby HenryGeorge » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:15 am

Cities can be pleasant sometimes, but there is something special about the natural world. Let us look at the American transcendentalist writers Emerson, Thoreau, far from viewing nature simply as a beautiful landscape, these three writers do identify and praise nature’s beauty, but they also look beneath the superficial aspects of nature in order to derive lessons about living in the world of men and the artificial institutions that they have made. Each of these writers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman disconnects temporarily from that world in order to return to nature and study it carefully. In nature, they assert, the order of the world is evident, and the patterns established there can and should be imitated in the society of men. The most important lesson, agreed upon by all three poets Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, is that the laws of man cannot govern an individual’s spirit, which is part of his natural endowment. While we must live in the world we have created, we can always look to the world that existed before us to find the direction that we need to live rightly.
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Postby Bane » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:52 pm

Mid sized cities are the best. You can still feel like you are living in a close community while not being so bored all the time because there isn't anything to do.
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Postby Winston » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:54 pm

After being in a lot of small towns here in America, I definitely would say that small town people are friendlier. They are more relaxed, do not drive like assholes, do not honk at you frivolously, and they will make eye contact and smile more, and start casual conversations with strangers more too. They aren't always in a rush like city people are.

Here is a case in point: In a small town, if you walk into a restaurant and ask to use the restroom, they will be glad to let you. But in a big city, they will be uptight and say that "restrooms are for customers only" or refuse or say they don't have one. That's a telling point right there of how much more friendly and relaxed small towns are.

A great example of this is Carson City, NV vs. Las Vegas, NV. Totally different vibe, and fits the above.
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Postby S_Parc » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:21 pm

I think even small towns vary a lot.

For instance, the small towns in the Adirondack region of upstate NY are less friendly (& open) than in neighboring Vermont, where friendliness is the norm. Of course, since Mel and I started traveling, that's completely changed, as *white couples in love* are accepted even by closed minded country folks.
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