In the US, certain things are ritual greetings that follow a standard script. Deviating from it is considered a bit weird (but it’s also common, and possible to get away with. I deviate from it often).
“How are you?” is not usually intended as a real…
A lot of time the answer to what’s up, is what’s up. You don’t even answer, you just ask the question back.
Oh yeah, I forgot that sometimes you don’t even answer. I remember when that started to be the case - it really weirded me out.
But yes, sometimes the expected answer is just “What’s up" back. Does it bother people when you answer “not much, you?“ and they’re expecting “what’s up?” repeated?
Is “Watcha doin’?“ a variation of “What’s up?” Because when I’ve been asked “Watcha doin’?“ by people coming up to me I’ve responded with “Talking to you,” which was Not Right judging by their reactions. Now, I respond with “reading/listening to music/whatever I was doing,“ but is that wrong too?
I think answering briefly with what you were just doing is fine, but the expected answer often involves a question in return. For example “Listening to music, how about you?” Many people feel more comfortable when they feel like you’re inviting them to speak. :)
Is there any polite way to indicate that you’re busy and would rather *not* have a conversation right now when someone asks what you’re doing?