Social Problems in Norway

I am living in Norway now since a few years and here there is quite a strange problem with Shyness in 80% (My guess) of people here in Oslo. I meet many new people everyday at work and I have seen it would have become a problem since a while now, and it has built up so much that on the public transport there are posters hanging up pretty much telling people to talk to each other or at least be able to greet each other.

Sounds insane doesn't it that a country needs to have a mega advertisement campaign of the general public feeling lonely because nobody talks to each other.

Its actually been going for a while now, the posters started on the bus and a few days later there where then huge ones stuck all along the wall on the tube platforms.


Every poster say's the same thing, just with a different person on it. I haven't seen Pooja before because I'm sure I would remember, but Carl on the other hand, I have seen before..

The text translated..

_ feels lonely. She/He is not the only one who feels like that. Remember that a smile or a Hello can make a difference.


These were taken on the bus and are also on the trams and most likely on the trains too but I don't use trains much. There's not much advertisements on the transport like in other country's, and here was the view from my seat, I was relieved that they did include a white person there on the two poster at the front of the bus, they must be twins!



Its certain that once more than 51% of people become shy and introvert, then the rest just follow because it becomes normal. Any outgoing person that moves here can very easily find themselves becoming also more introverted. Just today I spoke with an English woman who has lived here for 11 years, and when she went back to England she caught herself getting frustrated if a stranger spoke to her on the bus whilst thinking "Why are you talking to me, I don't know you" (her words) and then soon realizing that she had become conditioned by the surroundings after 11 years in Oslo.

Its very very sad to see parents my age with their young children and the parents are blanking people that greet them, because how will the child learn social interaction if the parent doesn't talk to other people? Learning and social problems with the children? My hypothesis is that this is the start of the government getting worried that the next generation will be socially disabled and what would happen then? (Luckily they wont need humans soon and they will be Obsolete a nice title of an existing documentary to be watched)

  • They have money..

    .. which is another huge problem

Consumerism is huge here, and study's have already proven that consumerism creates depression and anxiety in people because it creates an environment of competition in everyday living. Judgement of not being good enough or the reverse of thinking that being better dressed than someone else means that you are doing better in (what most people call) life will both lead in the end to depression and loss of self love and worth.

In a society where physical objects are adored, study's in materialism have found that it (could) lead to social isolation. If you ask me Oslo is living evidence that this study is true and the (could) should be erased.

  • The country is very big in mass..

    PixBay Image.

.. and the population very few in numbers

Its already been proven that everyone's private space (that distance of which you feel uncomfortable for someone to come to) is different on the basis of where you were born. It depends on how many people were in your house whilst growing up and also the size of the house.

If you had many brothers and sisters and not a very big house, your private space would be much shorter compared to someone who was born and grew up on a farm with the closest neighbor some kilometers away, who would feel very uncomfortable with anyone getting in their larger private space.

Norway is a huge country with a small population which would mean that everyone has always had plenty of space per person, so that is a huge factor why people get nervous, agitated and ignorant when (if)they sit next to you on a bus.

Public Transport..

On any bus in Oslo and I guess other parts of Norway, its just normal that one person sits on a chair on the window side, and then they place there bag or coat on the other so they take up two seats. Suddenly a bus built to seat 44 people has no more room after 24 people have sat down.
You wouldn't ever really believe it but the others entering the bus scan the people, judging them in some way i can imagine, to see who they will dare to sit next to. The tension is always so thick and I cant help but to sit with a huge grin whilst slowly shaking my head in disbelief.

I love it when someone come on the bus and has heavy things on them and they realize that the bus seats are all taken, or even some free where the person didn't put a bag there, they go stand in the wheelchair and luggage section, EVEN THOUGH there are spare seats to use. They then take out their phone and scroll a bit but you see they are glancing up to check out the people who they might go sit next to, and the phone is just to buy time.. is its so hilariously STRANGE - Some people will stand the whole 30 mins because they are too shy to go sit next to someone!


A Joke that I made up 10 seconds ago...

Boss: "POOJA, why are you late for work again today?"

Pooja: "Sorry Boss, I missed my stop because I took the window seat and someone came and asked if I could move my things so they could sit there, but then I was trapped and had no way to just say that I needed to get off the bus.."

Boss: " Its fine Pooja, I have the same problem most days myself"

  • Technology..

    .. Even I had to get my first smartphone to use dating apps as that is the only way to meet women here (or try your luck in the city pff..)

Its very easy to say that we have our social lives all online since years already, and obviously if you don't practice something, you eventually forget how to do it. The same can be said about being social. Its very easy to feel lonely when no one is talking to each other, and then soon enough you yourself find that you aren't wanting to talk to others because firstly they wont reply and "they are boring" and secondly you can just whip out that smart device and find conversation on there instead.
Over 50% of commuters in the morning are walking along with earphones in, most for music and some for the hands free. If they are already pretty much mute, then now they are also deaf by music, or in a sly way, they can ignore people with a reason and let them think they are listening to music even when they are not, just to avoid social interactions..

Dating here is just completely alienated. Imagine a nation with social problems that cant even talk to each other, how they find dates? I was told when I first arrived that they only date people they already know. How boring and weird is that! Tech-No-Logi (c) might enslave our minds, but at least apps like tinder help the social interaction problem a bit by sweeping the problems under the carpet, although this is also fuelling the self obsessed selfie century and making matters only worse.

In the city Fri & Saturday night..


When I came here I decided to go to the city with the guitar and play for money. I was new in the country and had noticed at once the shyness of the people but I will never forget the first time I saw Oslo on a weekend. I got off the bus and boarded a tram, and instantly I felt I was in another country completely.

There was a vibe. There was noise and loud laughter, singing and people smiling everywhere. What the hell is this I was thinking and then I soon realised this was normal people rewarding themselves..

They were all drunk.

It didn't take long before people saw me with the guitar and I was bombarded by request of shitty songs that you would here at an English wedding and also the weirdest thing was that I was touched by strangers! and even hugged and approached by a couple of Norwegian women!

I didn't stay long in the city that time to play, I had after all just an acoustic guitar and not much tolerance for drunk people chatting complete shit to me pouring our their sorrows as usual..

Hope you enjoyed a not so spoke about subject on Oslo. I have been told also that if you go a bit further from the city it gets even worse! Its a nice place to visit or if your fed up with social interaction then its also quite suited for you for longer periods of time.

Have a Great Day and remember to speak to strangers!

Big Love, @movingman

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09.10.2019 08:21

She has a very well balanced face on the poster. Hahaha.

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09.10.2019 08:28

Who, Pooja?

09.10.2019 21:59

Maybe, yes.

10.10.2019 08:14

Wow that's crazy at least most in Australia will say hello and often strike up a conversation.

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09.10.2019 08:30

Its definatly the tech 😔

09.10.2019 21:59

It sounds just like Dublin these days except instead of posters telling us to greet strangers, we have notices telling us how racist we are!
When I was growing up here it was a very friendly city. You could go for a short walk and have 10 conversations. Now everyone is either not from around here or they have earbuds and a blank stare. I'm old school and still greet everyone, though I'm sure one day soon I'll be reported to the police for over-friendliness.

09.10.2019 11:37

Dubliners still chat to strangers (although it has been a few years since I last visited). The contrast with Norway is staggering..

09.10.2019 18:26

I have been told also that if you go a bit further from the city it gets even worse!

Maybe you have a point about "personal space", but I don't think your hypothesis that low population density generally causes "anxiety to talk to strangers".

When there are several kilometres to the nearest neighbour, it's dead natural to stop up and talk with each other if one meets, even if the person one meets is a total stranger. Actually, just go out in the Oslo-forest, by feet or by ski, on a day or on a place when there aren't too many people, and it's natural to say "hello" to every person passing. Or go out in the fjords by boat, we quite often wave to each other when passing on the fjord (just not when there are too many boats at the same place).

I remember our first crossing over "open" sea, from Kristiansand to the north-west coast of Denmark, it was a pretty lonely journey, and with no wind that day it was a pretty long journey too. Close to Denmark we met another boat. And of course we waved and some person at the other boat waved back. Distance too big to say anything, but still - after not seeing any other boats for so long (well, not really that long - but anyway, our longest single lap up until then) - it felt like such a heartwarming wave.

At the other hand (and I've covered it in a blog post) I really had a feeling of being lonesome when staying in Copenhagen without the family for one week.

09.10.2019 12:31

I love it when someone come on the bus and has heavy things on them and they realize that the bus seats are all taken, or even some free where the person didn't put a bag there, they go stand in the wheelchair and luggage section, EVEN THOUGH there are spare seats to use.

Well, some years ago I had severe problems with my back, and I couldn't sit, I had to stand.

By now I can sit, but I don't mind standing. If I'm going a short distance, I will most likely stand even if there are plenty of free seats. I do mind that there is too little space for standing on our public transport, particularly our local trains.

But yes, the one-empty-seat-between-each-person is real. I used to be annoyed with it in my childhood and youth (like, if travelling with my mother, there would usually be no free double-seat for us, only single seats). Today, I mostly go with the flow - but when/if the transport is starting to get full, I do tend to pick up my bag from the neighbour seat and put it on my lap, or move from the outer to the middle seat.

09.10.2019 12:49

Ive had a bad back since a week, hexen skudd, which luckily didnt happen since last year around this same time. I think actually I should stand on the bus instead as after 10 minutes its uncomfortable to sit hahaha

10.10.2019 08:20

In a society where physical objects are adored, study's in materialism have found that it (could) lead to social isolation.

I've been to Manhattan once ... and it was much worse than Oslo. If someone would speak with you there, it was only for one reason ... to sell you something.

09.10.2019 17:42

Hahaha 😆 The only place I have lived before where it was socially awkward, was a place called "The Meadows" in Nottigham Uk. I was the only white person in my street and everyone thought I was a policeman (i had not the hairstyle i have now back then)

Nobody spoke to me for the 3months i lived there and it was worse when I arrived and asked the locals if I could get some weed. Because I was white and from the south, I had to be a policeman apparently 😂😂😂

09.10.2019 19:14

The whole issue of shyness got worse when cheap and powerful smartphones became available to everyone some years ago. So now, a normal random interaction on the street/bus etc has to compete with an abundant world of music, videos and information.
People some times tend to forget that asking someone a question is not the same as googling something. Even the simplest human Interaction has many minute layers of meaning to our subconscious. Feeding ourselves dat from a small screen will never makes socially smarter.

09.10.2019 18:38

Insane isnt it. Im watching tonight documentrys on social engineering, people are so dumb 😂

some background noise, presearch 'starbucks engineering' its funny

09.10.2019 19:08

Not only that the random interaction with a stranger has to compete ... but even when meeting friends or colleagues on the bus, the conversation often has to compete with the telephone. And I'm often guilty myself, glancing on my phone during a conversation to see if the last message I got was urgent or not ... or desperately trying to figure out of my next meeting or transport in the same time as I'm trying to keep up the conversation.

10.10.2019 10:14