I recently experienced something that sent me on a path of meditation which brought about this post.
In my interactions with people, I have made some interesting findings. I have discovered that there are intricacies and dynamics that come with this thing we call a social life. In observing this social life, I have come to find out that the ol’ saying ‘No man is an island,’ is actually true. Whether you’re an introverted person or an extrovert, whether you’re the life of the party, or you’re the one who hides in the corner watching everybody else. We need people in our lives. We need people to keep us company. We need people to help us with accomplishing our goals. We need people to buy our products. We need people to build a family with. We just need people.
Even if you are the shyest, most timid person, you can’t escape people because, let’s face it—people are everywhere. So the sooner we find a way to deal with people, the better. If you are the sensitive, introverted type, then it takes extra effort to build a social life that you are at least comfortable with.
In my quest to build a social life, I have discovered that people expect certain things. For one thing, they want me to be interested. You can’t be the one who sits away from everybody else and expect people to be endeared to you. Sitting in my own corner all the time makes others feel like I am exempting myself from whatever everybody else is sharing and enjoying together.
Another thing I discovered is that I have to be able to take a joke, to laugh at myself sometimes. People love a good laugh. Taking things so seriously all the time ain’t gonna cut it.
Also in times like ours, a smartphone with all the social platforms on it will go a long way, since there seems to have been a replacement for face to face conversations with messages on the phone. If you don’t want to be completely cut off, you gotta get the hang of that too. And the list goes on.
But in all these dynamics; the messaging, the blending, the joking and laughing, I believe we need to understand the motive behind what we are doing. Are we building true relationships and friendships, or are we building ‘a social life’? We have people who laugh with us and sometimes even chat on the phone with us, but that’s where it stops. It just doesn’t feel real. Sometimes, in the name of having a social life, we pretend to be what we are not, we even pretend to like what we don’t, just so we can have a certain person around us. That means the other person’s befriending the wrong person. Are we building true friendships where we can really be honest with each other in a respectful way?
I have come to see that there are times when the so called social life can get really superficial, and does not impact our lives in a true way. It only keeps us busy. In this life, we need to have people who have truly got our back, not just someone to exchange messages with on the phone. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with chatting on the phone. I’ve had to learn that too. Sometimes chatting helps cover the distance when your friend is staying far from you. So you don’t feel like they’re so far away. I only mean that If I’m chatting with my friend on the phone, I’d like to be sure that I am chatting with my actual friend. I want the one I am chatting with to be a friend I am already building a real friendship with. Shouldn’t the technology be an aid, and not the centre of our relationships? Which do we want more? A social life or genuine relationships?