I prefer when meeting people or in general that we discuss other things without saying this robotic exchange... Others avoiding this social pleasantry? There are worse things in the world than politeness but rarely does someone answer honestly to this, and the body of the discussion itself should bring out whether they want to reveal what's worrying or pleasing them etc, rather than forcing them to say either "Fine thanks" or "Terrible!"
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I think the meaning can be different with new people (or essentially strangers like checkout servers who say "How are you?" without time for an answer..). I think it's good to check in with family that way..
True at the store it is just something they are forced to do they normally don't care,
Yeah- though when I worked at a department store including some work on checkouts I was compelled to speak with customers- but you couldn't really! A friend of mine lamented saying, "Do you have a rewards card/would you like one?" all day..It's life!