Is it just me, or does it seem like this generation struggles with socializing? As the generation that invented Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and every other app created to do the same exact thing, why is it that we suck at communicating with each other?
In our age, there doesn’t seem to be much variety in our interests. People either want to “Netflix and chill” at the house, go clubbing every other night and get wasted (seriously, do y’all not have jobs?), or we make plans that seem fun but don’t actually keep them. I’m not going to lie, as true as my intentions are, I tend to fall in the last category more frequently than I should. But my point is, our ideas of being social have changed over the years.
Maybe we don’t socialize the way people used to because we don’t live the same social reality that other generations did. These days, we tend to have less disposable income to enjoy a lot of the things that we feel stipulate having a good time. Things like traveling, eating out, going to amusement parks, or going to concerts all costs money. And for many of us, by the time the bills are paid at the end of the month, we’re looking for the next check.
Which I guess begs the question, what do we consider having a good time?
For me, anything involving getting out of the house can be a good time; whether it’s karaoke, visiting a botanical garden, or playing laser tag. Anything can be fun…with the right people. So how do we know who the “right” people are, and how do we find them? In this social media driven age, we all long to have a good time, but I think some of us are afraid to actually dive head first into it. We tend to be so active on social media with our hundreds and thousands of followers, but how frequently do we actually talk to those people? And how many of those people do we actually even know in real life? While having a variety of people to communicate with virtually is pretty cool, sometimes we tend to neglect our social circle in real life.
Now I’m not saying you should try to hang out with 500+ people everyday, I mean when would you sleep? But I am saying that we should attempt to be just as social in the real living world as well. And one of the best ways to do that is to try pulling our faces away from the phones sometimes. Yes, I’m about to go full chastising-mother-mode on you. We spend so much time on building and engaging in our online communities that by the time we actually look up from the blue light on the screen, we’ve missed so much. How many times have you found yourself texting someone you’re sitting in the same room with? It’s because in this generation, we’re more comfortable behind the security of cyber privacy, rather than the full exposure that comes with live conversations.
Maybe we all had antisocial childhoods. Maybe everything is too expensive. Maybe we just like the comfort of our homes versus anywhere else. Regardless, we’re all on this lonely planet together; we’re kind of all we’ve got. This week, I challenge you to make more attempts to find social moments in real life and act on them. Smile at the person next to you pumping gas at the gas station. Comment randomly on the weather to a person you’re in the elevator with. You never know where these little interactions can lead to. They may even just uplift someone’s spirit a little.