A post about being social.

There was a time in my life when I cared very deeply about being social. Making friends, being the life of the party, being ‘cool’.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that this didn’t matter much, what others think of us shouldn’t matter as much as what we think of us.

However, I think I made a slight overcorrection. I started to actively avoid social media, and all that entails. I’m in this state where I both want to post on social media and hate the performative nature of doing so. Instead of seeing it as genuine social interaction, I see it as a ‘trick’ of some sort. I’m trying to trick people into finding me interesting. What for? Who cares? I don’t care what they think!

It’s hard to deal with that when much of the joy of life is social. It’s having friends and being a friend. Why limit that? Why hold back?

Of course social media isn’t the only place to be social, but when you spend as much time on the computer as I do…

This also leads me to think a bit about the idea of “third places” and how that’s changing with remote work.

Third places is a term coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg and refers to places where people spend time between home (‘first’ place) and work (‘second’ place). They are locations where we exchange ideas, have a good time, and build relationships.

I’ve been remote for a long time now. Even pre-covid I don’t think I’ve done a good enough job getting out of the house, basically. It also takes effort to make it to your third place. Time traveling to and from, it’s not always easy!

There’s some argument that third places are moving online, and I can see that a bit. Some of my closest friends are people that I know almost exclusively online.

I love them dearly, but I still need to get out of the house more.