Monday, July 14, 2003

I've found a flaw in my plan to quit quiz bowl. During grad school, qb has gradually become the cornerstone of my social life. This summer is the first time I haven't had qb practices to go to in ages, and I've basically been without outlets, just the usual array of plans floating around that never materialize. I was thinking of volunteering with a theater of some kind, but haven't felt comfortable making the time commitment when I'm not even sure if I would like it. All well...grad school is supposed to be monkish. I just wish I wasn't so much of a people person.

ADDENDUM: I feel like I should update this so it doesn't sound like I'm moaning so much. I guess what group activities cure is the sense that you're operating inside some sort of closed box. I actually socialize a fair amount, but in reality 90% of it is on-line. That just isn't the same. Sometimes tone is lost...a few days ago there was the possibility of going to an art fair with someone, who decided they just wanted to go a little piece of it, the same as I did. Had it been an actual conversation, I would have picked up on the tone indicating it was backing out. Instead, I took it as the tone of discussing what would happen. Then there are the people you don't really socialize with so much as use. I was playing Literati last night and had an amazing come-from-behind victory to win by one point. The person then booted me from the table. This is a form of aggression you generally don't have to deal with in real life. There's also avoidance...trying to make plans over e-mail and wondering how long you should wait and at what point you should just assume they've gone and decided on something else. In RL, you just know, as people deal with each other more directly.

I guess that's my contribution to the on-line socialization debate =) It probably explains why I'm so resistant to the idea of on-line dating, too. But there's no help for it - especially when people scatter around the world, its much better to have a way to keep in touch than not. Even on the argument about whether its appropriate to tell people about your day via blog, I find it helps when otherwise you'd just miss people, and haven't seen any evidence it encourages laziness in keeping in touch. So I guess the foibles are something we'll all eventually develop reflexes for as time passes.


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