flexibeast.space - gemlog - 2022-05-17

Re: The Disappearance of Sincere Conversations

“The Disappearance of Sincere Conversations”

A thought-provoking post. A while back i wrote a post about smartphones:

“The bemoaning of people's smartphone usage”

At least in my own case, i'm regularly having sincere and deep conversations (often referred to as ‘D&Ms’ here in Australia, for “Deep and Meaningful”s) with people both via social media and as a result of social media, some of which has involved my smartphone. This Friday i'm meeting someone in person for the first time, having met them via the Lex app[a] - we've been having great chats over the last few weeks. Yesterday i met up in person with someone i'd previously had a limited amount of meatspace interaction with, but who i've been connecting with via reactions and comments on our Facebook posts - we ended up chatting easily for several hours, in a way i certainly felt was sincere and deep, and are planning to meet up in person again.

That said, i've had quite a bit of experience with social media by this point, and so take care in how i use it. My FB timeline is friends-only, and overwhelmingly consists of people i've actually met in person; i rarely accept friends requests from people i've not physically met, resulting in having less than 100 people on my f-list. That does somewhat reduce the opportunities to meet new people by them serendipitously discovering my timeline and starting to interact positively with me. But it also reduces the likelihood of having to deal with unpleasant people and/or unpleasant behaviours, and it means i can be more comfortable opening up (and i hope others feel similarly). Additionally, i also meet people via FB groups - some public, some private - which can provide some connection-building opportunities prior to meeting people in person, and those groups are often places where in-person social events are announced.

i'm sure i'm not using most social media as its owners want it to be used. Having adhd, i indeed seem to need added dopamine, but rage- and/or doom-scrolling doesn't provide it - quite the opposite. So i often don't ‘engage’ with multiple things on a given platform fast enough or heavily enough to be of value[b]. i get dopamine hits from making connections, from amusing people, or making them think, or just giving them some visual relief by posting a photo of a tree or waterfall. And not people in general, but the sort of people i want to get to know better, and possibly have in my life, as part of a community of people who support and care for each other.

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[a] “For queer lovers and friends”; i was introduced to it when socialising - in person! - with a queer+tgd friend.

[b] Financial value, of course, because what other value has any importance in capitalist society? :-P Not to mention that my income is technically below the poverty line, although i've always tended to be a Bad Consumer from the point of view of The Economy™.

Image: “living in late-stage capitalism be like: ‘NOTICE: MUST BE CUSTOMER AT ALL TIMES’”