The Art of Socializing

I consider myself a fairly social person. My personality, since childhood, had always leaned towards the more social side of the curve. When I was a child, my parents were constantly involved in projects be it charitable or church related. They encouraged me not to remain aloof, but to get involved too. They also threw many parties and dinners at our home. My outgoing persona may have also blossomed because I grew up with a large extended family (many of my cousins grew up in the same home town). My cousins and I were always spending the weekends at one or another house. It felt a lot like having ten brothers and sisters in one house. Our social skills were developed through conversation and took work. We learned about personal boundaries, censoring our thoughts and reading body language.

Now it seems that building a social circle can be done in less than five minutes. One can build a profile on one of the many social networks available via the internet. Many of my college and high school friends have invited me to join, so that they can share their profiles, family photos and “what are they are doing now” statuses. Some claim it is easier to keep the communication lines open and is less tiring then writing a letter. I personally prefer an old fashioned letter, even get excited when a friend writes me snail mail. I feel that personally handwriting one’s thoughts on stationary is a long lost work of art. I use to be an avid letter writer, and one of my friends has said she has kept all of the letters I wrote her from the age of 10 until we were freshman in college (at that time, it was more important to buy beer than stamps).

Many of my friends have shown me their profiles and the profiles of our mutual friends. This hasn’t enticed me into the pool. My position on this topic remains unmoved.  If these people have news that they would like to share with me, they’ll send me a personal letter or email (or it could even be a mass, carbon copied one). I also don’t want to know what they are doing every moment of the day. It’s not that I don’t care, but knowing that they had a coffee and trail mix for breakfast is my definition of too much information.

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3 Responses to “The Art of Socializing”

  1. Peter Says:

    You’re so right! I don’t want to know when they fart or do other things. They don’t get it that my cell is only used for making neccessary calls, and that there’s no camera on it.

  2. BearToast Joe Says:

    I agree. But it IS a strange new world with all this stuff. hey, ten years ago, who ever heard of “texting” with a cell phone? It’s changing so fast . . . .

  3. Tim Says:

    JM, I stood firmly on your side a year ago. But, under duress, I put up my FB profile and suddenly was overwhelmed with renewed acquaintances of people I truly loved but had lost contact with. It actually led to real socializing; spending time together, enjoying dinner and drinks. If we let the networking sites become the be-all, end-all instead of a springboard into what’s gone missing from our lives, then we’re worthy of the stereotypes that have grown out of them. On the other hand, if we use them as a conduit to recovering what we’ve lost or renewing what’s gone stale, then they have some value.

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