Skip to main content

The social paradox

I noticed this today while I was eating lunch.  I've been eating at the student cafeteria.  But the faculty cafeteria just re-opened after some sort of break, so I went there to try it (surprisingly, they're the same cost).  It was so much fancier.  I really felt out of place.  But, the main point is that I was the only person in the whole room.  I ate nearly my entire meal in solitude.

While I was sitting there, I was on my phone.  Checking facebook, and other social networking apps and things that I have to chat with other people long distance.  What stuck out to me was when I considered the prospect of someone else coming into the dining hall, sitting at my table, and commencing a conversation with me.  It was a terrifying thought.

So, I spent the rest of my meal thinking about how odd it is.  In person, I believe I experience at least some degree of social anxiety.  Yet, online I do not.  I am the most extroverted and outgoing person I know while online.  I comment on every Facebook post, "like" everything, text people, email, chat, flirt, and really put myself out there.  Yet, in person I am rather shy.  I can be outgoing around people I know well, after I've warmed up.  But around new people, I do not strike up conversation.  In fact, when I came in to my new job to meet the department head and the other new faculty members, I was looking at a display on the wall when another new professor came up next to me and started looking at the same display.  I didn't say anything to him.  I left the area and when down one flight of stairs to avoid him.

So, why is it that I'm so sociable online and so anti-social in person?  I find it to be quite baffling, really.

Popular posts from this blog

What's a gainer?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading this one.  It's sort of an introduction and gives the motivation.  Also, by way of disclosure, this post is not sexually explicit but it does touch on the topic of sexuality and how that relates to the subject at hand.

So, what is a gainer?  I'll relate, as best I can, the experiences I have gone through myself to help answer the question.  I remember when I was a young boy--perhaps around 6 or 7--I would have various fantasies.  Not sexual fantasies, just daydreaming about hypothetical situations that I thought were interesting or entertaining.  I had many different fantasies.  Sometimes I would fantasize about becoming very muscular, sometimes about becoming very fat.  
These fantasies varied in degree of magnitude and the subject of the fantasy.  Sometimes I myself would change weight--I would become muscular or fat.  Other times, I would do something to make other people fat or musc…

The scientific method vs the religious method

I find it interesting when people cite the fact that science keeps changing as a reason to disbelieve it and to believe instead in the "eternal" doctrines taught by some church or other.  Let's examine why science keeps changing.  Here's the scientific method.

Develop a hypothesis (this means "have a belief").Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.Conduct the experiment.Determine whether the hypothesis is believable based on the results of the experiment. This is why science keeps changing--because people notice flaws in it and correct them.  People once thought the solar system was geocentric, but now know that it's heliocentric.  How did this happen?  By using the scientific method.  Scientists are willing to admit that they're wrong.  They're willing to give up a bad idea when they see evidence that it makes no sense.  Contrast this with the religious method (simplified version). Have a belief.Look for evidence to support that belief.Ignor…

Cancel the gym

After I went to the gym this morning, I pulled in to the McDonald's drive through.  While waiting for my food, I played out in my mind a possible conversation I might have with someone concerning just this.  In fact, I have had many real conversations of similar nature.
"How was your morning?"
"It was good.  I went to the gym.  Then I grabbed a late breakfast at McDonald's on my way to work."
"Won't that cancel out?"
"Cancel what?"
"Going to McDonald's after the gym.  Won't that undo all the work you just did?"

I understand the humor.  I laugh about it.  It's funny.  And I think humor is an important thing, and that we should all laugh a little bit more and be offended a little bit less.  And so I write this not up-in-arms, but in the attempts of perhaps reaching some of those who literally believe this line of reasoning.

To the person who asserts that eating "cancels out" going to the gym, I ask just this…