I was kind of expecting a twist at the end of your post, bad things have happened to some people, you know. When I found out there is no twist after all, everything is positive, I was a bit shocked and relieved. Yes, the society is changing, but we hope the changes go to the right direction.
Surprisingly, I don’t recall I’ve ever seen a thumb-up pointing to my way, I would definitely stop for that hot girl (nice pick, btw) and hitchBOT too, other situations, I would do so if deemed safe. :)