With a new year on the horizon, its only natural for most of us to sit down with a pen and a pad excuse me, this is 2007 in front of our computers, and script out New Years Resolutions. Some of us are looking to expand our business, save more money, work-out more consistently, and the #1 answer on the Family Feud board is to lose weight.
Well, Id like to add one more resolution to your list from the past five years, and it is to become more social.
Weve picked up bad habits as a society over the past five years. People have become so comfortable networking online and in the clubs, that in everyday situations like coming across one another at a bookstore or the coffee shop, we transform into counter-productive magnets that push away from greeting one another and were suffering for it.
With online communities such as MySpace and Facebook, or even the online gaming communities and match-making services dominating our free-time, weve become less personable and more digital. We are avatar-like figures who are able to be who we want to be to whomever we choose, whenever we choose.
On average, members of these online communities are spending anywhere from two to six hours a day online; anywhere from 14 to 42 hours a week in front of a screen. In other words, we are spending at least a full day a week living our lives as SIMS characters and/or through the eyes of a web cam.
The downside to digital networking is quite obvious. After a few weeks or a few days of talking to someone new, eventually you have to meet up in-person. These meetings are hit or miss, because youll either witness a mirror reflection of your online admirer, or youll be unpleasantly surprised by their avatar description that falls short of their actual presence.
Now even if you both hit perfectly on the visuals, you still have to open your mouth. More often than not, people who can type a good one online clam up in a face-to-face scenario, because they dont have all the time in the world to think up the perfect line before expressing themselves.
I understand that the internet is one hell of a drug, so its my job to try and make you go to rehab.
I suggest that you first step away from your computer. Call up a few friends in your area that you would normally chat with online and meet up for dinner, go to the mall, hit up the local coffee spot frequent public settings where you can be amongst actual people. Here is a tip for you: Smile, nod your head and smile, wave hello, or most importantly, verbalize a hello.
The internet is a beautiful place to meet new people or maintain current friendships, but at the end of the day, we are still human beings. Physical interaction is the medium that we can learn the most about ourselves from.
Id like to speak on a public place that is frequented by many, but doesnt necessarily mean that its the best place to network - the nightclub. After a long days work or a hectic week, going to the club is the universal solution for the urban lifestyle. Dont get me wrong, the club is a nice place to mix and match it up with your peers. My only concern is how these meetings take place.
First of all, a majority of nightclubs serve alcoholic beverages, blast eardrum shifting music and provide a place where the common stranger can grind one another. Just one of these features alone can be pretty distracting. To have all of them working as one for anywhere from four to eight hours can easily separate a patron from their normal train of thought in a snap.
Ok, ladies, so youre sitting at the bar knocking down your favorite drink and your song comes on. Youre either going to do one or two things; youre going to neck the rest of your drink or leave that drink with a friend as you rush to the dance floor.
Lets say you take that drink to the neck, find a dance partner and turn it out. With each shake or pump, the alcohol mixes in your stomach. Youre becoming aroused by the sexual gyrations in progress.
Your dance partner says something to you that is hard to hear because of the music. So he places his lips near your ear - your spot - and whispers sweet nothings to you. The alcohol is mixing, your hips are in overdrive and your sweet spot has been overthrown. The next thing you know, its morning, in an unfamiliar setting. You wake up next to Sasquatch, and well, you get the picture.
On the other hand, you decide to leave the drink with your friend, who is obviously toasted. While youre gyrating and percolating, your friend is approached by a guy who takes her attention away from your drink. The guy who was sitting on your right waits for the bartender to walk away and then sprinkles something into your drink. You come back to your stool believing that your friend watched over your drink, only to be drugged by smiling eyes. The next thing you know, its morning, in an unfamiliar setting. You wake up next to Sasquatch, and well, you get the picture.
Heres some advice. I suggest that if youre going to the club as a means to forget your worries, do just that. Its a natural occurrence that most people leave the club with more worries than they came in with, so be aware. Also, have a designated club buddy in place. Designating doesnt have to end with driving. It can begin with having someone whos watching over you and your crew, monitoring drinks and pointing out nightclub stalkers.
Gentlemen, I suggest that you take the Bell, Biv, Devoe approach to not trust a big butt and a smile. Im sure that you may be going to the club to take someone fly home, but understand the consequences of your pipe laying. Patience is a virtue, and it will steer you free from the 18-year garnishing engagement.
To both genders, if youre lucky enough to find someone that you connected with under these circumstances, exchange numbers and meet up at the public place in the near future. In other words, get your dance on and go home, by yourself.
The Socialites Pointers
Step away from your computer, allow for the sun to locate you and get out there to meet actual people
Smile and say Hello. People have some nerve to question Janet Jackson on her choice in men, especially her current beau. But I bet you this much, Jermaine Dupri was confident enough in himself to say hello to Janet.
Always have a designated club buddy who isnt lost in all three distractions of the night. The one person on your team who doesnt dance as much or drink as much, but sure knows how to say, Im finta leave, and since Im driving, youre coming too.
When drinking alcohol, be responsible and if all else fails, pray that Sasquatch wrapped it up.
Patience is a virtue. Just because you met someone on Friday night doesnt mean that they should have your social security number by Saturday morning. Life in the fast lane usually ends in a five-car pile up.
Conversation on a consistent basis is always key to healthy relationships. Never become too fixed on one avenue of communication. Making phone calls, text messaging, instant messaging, frequenting online communities, online gaming and match making services are all important forms of social build. However, all of these choices combined can never replace the magic of being eye-to-eye in a calm setting going line-for-line until youre asked to leave by workers who want to go home.
Stay strong and motivated
Next time on The Socialite, we will walk you through the complexities of a first date. Yes, people still go out on dates or maybe its just me.