…and then I heard that typical background laughter that you hear, in sitcoms to make you realize which part was funny and also in movies sometimes to portray people laughing at somebody.
It starts with a group of laughters starting all together, not too loud, but loud enough to be heard clearly, and ends with all of those laughters stopping at the very instant.
I never usually hear such laughters in real life, but now I did, and the place where I heard it, it now seems obvious to be the place where I can easily hear them a lot – my office.
Well the trigger was something simple and not so funny. Someone got a text and that someone apparently had a baby’s wierd voice for his message tone. That usually gets some people going. For me, baby sounds are usually scary; that is something that can be discussed about later.
So yes, people laughed and they all laughed in that very typical way, that sitcom background score laughter, that tells you it is time to laugh. And you know what, I think that is exactly what was going on over there.
I mean such laughters are not always genuine. In an office when some wierd message tone goes off, you wont see everyone laughing, because
A. it is not a big deal, and
B. You are in an office, your workplace, where no matter how indifferent to work protocols you are, you are still a bit sober than your usual self.
But there are always some people, whose laughters can be triggered off by anything at all. You must have met such people. The kind whose laughter tresholds are so low, that many a time when you talk with them in a hotel, you have absolutely no freaking idea of whether they are laughing at what you said, at you, or the man who just moved three tables away.
Any way, so such people start laughing, because, well, that is what they do; which gives courage to people around them who were about to laugh but would usually restrain, to laugh. And the chain goes on till these laughter vibes meet people who are usually sitting alone and would not be looked and judged by anyone to not laugh or people who are usually indifferent to baby sounds for a message tone.
This reaction is so fast, you almost feel that these people started all at once.
But then the other question is, who stops first? The ones who laugh frequently or the ones who would have restrained to laughter had they not heard the frequent ones laughing first. Well I dont know that yet. Actually, both bunch could stop first.
The frequent laughers can stop first, because they did not laugh to prove to people that they could enjoy something that small, so they will stop soon enough, because given the context, if they laughed for a really long time for something that trivial, they need help. This leaves the restrained laughers still laughing and realizing that it is about time to stop and then they stop soon enough.
Or, the restrained laughers, even though started the laughter under social pressure, soon stop because they realize the triviality of the context and thereby are apprehended by the fear of looking stupid. And the frequent ones just stop soon after them, because they too, dont want to look stupid or be the last ones to stop laughing.
In the end, it is very much similar to those sitcom laughters in a way, in which the frequent laughers triggered the non frequent ones, and they as a bunch have made the other non involved bunch realize that the thing which just happened, was kind of funny, at least for some.
And it also shows a great deal about those movie laughters that happens to demean someone. It shows that crowd opinions are not always unanimous. It might feel that they as a whole consider something or someone is worth a demeaning laugh, but in reality many just give way to social pressure. In reality, you would almost always find a variety of opinions and colors even in an apparently monotonous group.