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Old 11-17-2018, 05:33 AM
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Reading Where My People At?

While I was at the local bookstore tonight I noticed a book signing was about to start, so I Googled the book and author and both looked interesting. The book is ďBelongĒ, by Radha Agrawal, and is subtitled ďFind your people, create community & live a more connected lifeĒ.

Given that my big plan for Friday night was to find a book to read over the weekend, I thought I might as well find out more about what she had to say. Iím really glad I stayed because Radhaís comments about the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation really resonated with me.

She made the group do a little social interaction exercise in the beginning and (as I told her when she signed my newly-purchased book) it was more interaction with strangers (who I didnít work with) than I have had since moving to Austin over 10 years ago.

I've been feeling pretty alone in meatspace for a long time so I'm hoping to learn a thing or two about how to find/build community.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2018, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

My friends' dinners have been petering out somewhat lately after one key person went completely around the bend I had to uninvite her, but just having a set date and time when you do something with a group of people can really help. If I didn't have a standing commitment to that, I would never get around to it. I've never been very good at socializing properly, even when I didn't have the internet as a substitute, so I need a little extra discipline.

There really is a huge difference between online and real life interactions. There's something kind of grotesque, really, about online social networks--it's not unique to :ff:--that's just super not good for humans. Especially when they supplant actually interacting with people in person.
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Old 11-17-2018, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

I think that's why I'm not around here as much as I used to be despite having extremely limited social interaction in meatspace. The limitations of my virtual relationships here has a tendency to make me feel more lonely and detached than not being social at all. I think if I had an SO or even a group of local friends with whom to share meals, shows, etc. then I could appreciate the interactions we have here a lot more. It helps somewhat that my nephew lives with me now; we have conversations, watch TV together some, and occasionally go to a movie. But of course it's not a replacement for friends.
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

It feels weird at first, but someone has to start it, so you should. Bring food into work, invite people you meet for dinners or potlucks or board games or something. If you're not busy for Thanksgiving, you could probably even come up with a last minute Thanksgiving dinner and just let some coworkers know on Monday if you go in. Board games and stuff are good, too. Meetups, stuff like that. I guess you could even use Facebook to troll for local people the first time before you delete your account. It really helped me to have a standing thing, so I don't get lazy. You just have to get it started, and it'll get easier once it's just a thing you do. So you can say to a new person, "Hey, you want to come to my Tuesday night board game thing at my house?" instead of, "Uh, hey, you want to hang out sometime?"

You're not the only one going through this. You probably already know a lot of people who are lonely too. Don't worry about being awkward or anything, because that's inevitable and everyone is.

That said, I think FF is much better than the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. because it's smaller and not algorithm driven. It's those high churn, low attention span sites that are really the worst. People TL;DR here, too, of course, but it's not nearly as bad. The internet trends toward short bursts of stupid black and white keyword signaling, and rewards lowest common denominators of acceptable communications, all driven by corporate interests. So it's just a barrage of hot takes and emotional outbursts that get rewarded with attention boosts, and that's not normal. We humans do not have the mental and emotional capacity for that. We're designed for long, relatively uneventful low conflict interactions punctuated with infrequent high drama, not for the constant barrage of realtime drama from thousands of people at once.

So I think you should be brave and go make real life friends but then get off Facebook and whatever other dumb sites you use and come around here more instead.
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

Haha actually I use :ff: far more than any other social media site, believe it or not!

Those are some great ideas, thanks. I started a new job about a month ago that has a monthly board game night and many other social things so there has been improvement, but rumor has it I'm the second or third oldest person in the company, so yeah. That.

The "Belong" book is a workbook of ideas for how to build community intentionally so I'm hoping to get some good ideas from that too. :)
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

Actually I accidentally lied. I do spend a lot of time reading (and sometimes tweeting) on the Twitters, but I don't really consider that 'social' since it's 95% one-way.
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

I've been getting increasingly bothered by short form hot takes these days, so I will happily blame Twitter and/or literal telegrams for 25% of what's wrong with the world. Everyone's attention spans and fuses have been bitten to the quick by keyword filtering and tweet sized 'pinions. It's making us all stupid and mean. #STOP
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

Well, VM, fwiw, Iíve always really liked you, if liking someone online is meaningful, and Liv, too, and Iím sad that you two donít post more. The last post I recall from Liv is saying she was curling up into a fetal lump on the night Dump was elected. :sadcheer:

I donít really have any advice to offer, because Iím mostly a loner, but I like it that way. Most people scare the shit out of me. :freakout:
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

Thanks Mr. M, same to you. At least liv is still blogging, so you and the universe need not be deprived of her contributions entirely!
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Old 11-20-2018, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

Yeah it's harder as you get older to meet people and connect with them.

I did enjoy meeting many of you. I agree that this form at least seems like a long form and the fast and dirty facebook/twitter et al, is depressing.
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Where My People At?

helping to create a tight online community that you never meet in person is a weird thing. i feel ya about how it makes you feel more lonely, though it's not quite lonely...not sure how to explain it.

anyhow...you seem like a good dude. i'm sure people would like to hang with ya.
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