The unexpected social situation

I have a theory. A two-part theory. The first part of this theory goes something like this: “People approximately my age and younger do not like to be drafted into unplanned social situations.” The second part of this theory goes: “The reason we don’t like these unplanned social situation has to do with the role that the Internet and cellular technology plays in our lives.” Because we became adults just as the Internet and cell phones were becoming dominant in our culture (or for people younger than me, because the Internet and cell phones have been prevalent their entire adult lives), we primarily negotiate our social lives through these media: we interact and make plans through the web and through texting and social apps, which adds a layer of remoteness to our communications. Rather than having in-person or (if on the telephone) at least real-time discussions about plans, we are able to cushion our response times, allowing ourselves the luxury of really controlling where, when, and whether we interact. The cushion of space, the bubble of isolation, has become an expected aspect of our socialization. We like the control over our lives and our schedules that it gives us. We like the space. For introverts (which I mostly am), we like the mental preparation it allows.

WE HATE TO BE DROPPED IN ON.

Contradict me if you will, but I really think I’m on to something here.

This has all been precipitated by the fact that I got a call from a family friend this morning saying she’s in town and wants to see me today. This puts me in a panic, and my insides are all, “NO NO NO NO NONONO!!” Not only does this mean I have to put off doing some other things I had specifically planned to do today, and not only does it mean I have to suddenly and quickly clean the house, but it means I have to be mentally ready to interact with a person who is not in my immediate circle, and that is the worst thing of all. And it’s not like I don’t want to see her; I do! I just…need….time…to prepare. GAH!

 

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