This is an opinionated article on the need for social interaction.
The other day I got a message from Sandro, telling me he's in The Netherlands and asking if we could meet for a coffee.
I'm always up for a coffee, so let's do it.
I took the train from my town to Amsterdam, which is roughly 2.5 hours of travel. During this time you see so many people.
And most of them are in their little bubble, their minds in different worlds, listening to a podcast, music, or watching a series.
You'd even think they wouldn't notice it if you decide to enter the train fully naked.
(I didn't try that)
Arrive in Amsterdam. You quickly notice the same behavior. Everyone is walking around with AirPods, overhead earphones, and just zoning out.
The interesting part is that you even see it with groups of people that came to Amsterdam together to enjoy the city.
Considering this state of solitude, I took it one step further and looked at some overall trends.
- Twitter Spaces are becoming more and more popular.
- Individuals wanting to host coffee chats to meet others
- People wanting to meet up in person
- Tech events are starting to catch more traction
- Live youtube/twitch/Instagram interactions
And thinking about it, it makes sense. Most of us have been in lockdowns, no longer in the office, and no longer meeting up with friends.
So we crave some social interaction to counterbalance our solitude.
But this makes for complicated behavior, one side of us wants to make that genuine connection, but on the other side, we don't want to get bothered by the outside world.
So what do we need?
I think we all need that social interaction in some way. We want to talk about our professional opinions in the real world with people who understand.
This can have multiple reasons of which some could be:
- validation of knowledge
- discussion on topics
- learning from others
And it makes total sense. These were things you would generally perhaps get from an office.
You would quickly chat to someone before work even started. This has become a bit more difficult. You're not going to plan an online meeting to discuss non-project-related things with someone.
So that's why I think these fundamental world interactions make a lot of sense. It's an excellent way to ask questions, interact with others, and spew your ideas at people.
And we should!
It's a great way to improve, grow and make a genuine connection.
Thus opt for some more interaction! But don't limit yourself to just your field of expertise. Perhaps try and talk to that random stranger on the train!
Who knows what kind of interesting people you meet like that.
We seem to have become more to ourselves, zoning out from the world around us, yet crave real-time engagement to verify and discuss with people that share the same beliefs.
How do you feel about social interaction in this day and age, considering we spend two years in somewhat solitude?