Saturday, October 22, 2016

Where is everyone?

Am I spending too much time alone? In effect, I think I am. My effective social circle has shrunk, for various reasons.

There are a few difficulties in making new friends, or just talking to people. New England has a kind of reserve to begin with, that doesn't encourage talking to strangers. Smartphones and other devices have added fuel to the fire, or whatever the opposite of fire is. On the street or in any public place, the majority of people by themselves just aren't there, and you aren't there for them. A charming extrovert might be able to get through, but that's not exactly me.

Since this is partly a technological problem, I'm applying some sort of technological solutions. Today I emailed an old friend who's been out of state for a few years, and with whom I'd fallen out of touch. Now we're back in touch, which is nice. And in terms of seeing people face to face, I'm in the process of joining more Meetup groups. I'd already been in a writing group. Knock on wood being in touch with more people will help with that too.


susan said...

I'd guess it's generally true that most of us develop our social circles when we're young - college age is typical - and then those various reasons for drifting apart come into play.

I remember when cellphones and then smartones first came into average use it immediately became difficult to strike up those casual conversations that used to be the norm. The talking out loud was annoying enough but at least you knew the other person was interacting with someone; now that people text or play games or whatever it's next to impossible to break in. Yelling 'Fire!' at a crowded busstop won't win us any friends.

I'm glad you've reconnected with an old friend and the meetup group idea is a good one. Meetups sound very good and I suspect the approximate 50% of non-extroverts may well be found among them.

Ben said...

I'm trying to reconnect with a few different people. With some I'm having more success than with others. I guess it largely depends on where the other person is in their life.

Yeah, buses are especially tough for making conversation now because time is limited to begin with. If people don't want to engage, they won't. It doesn't seem like much of a way to live to me, but it is habit.

There are good ones and bad ones. I went to one last week that turned out to be a pretty bad fit, so I cut my losses. Better luck next time.