Sociability

posted 27 January 2005

Various discussions of house-moving and housemates, both from where I am now into my new place and for choosing a replacement for me where I am now, have made me think about sociability in general and my own in particular.

"Am I a sociable person?", I ask myself, as I sit alone in my room talking to friends via the Internet and pouring my soul into my blog, ignoring my flatmates in the next room. But still, I don't think I'm antisocial -- after all, I *am* socialising, currently directly with three people simultaneously, not counting the indirect contact with the hundred-odd regular readers (really!) of this blog. I go out regularly, text constantly, and email during the day the people who are out of reach of the other methods.

To be certain, I don't spend an awful lot of time physically in the presence of other people, apart from going out. I'm not one of those people who turn up at a friend's house and hang out the whole day doing not much, or who kill the hours in the evening chatting to housemates. I tend to regard time when I'm not doing some specific activity (like shopping, or clubbing, or going to a movie) as regretfully wasted down-time, not something to be enjoyed in and of themselves. I don't think that's really antisocial so much as it is hyperactive.

I also draw much less distinction between "real-life" interaction and online interaction than most people seem to. I find it quite hard to remember if somebody told me something online or in person, and when the last time I saw somebody "in real life" was, separately to when I last chatted with them. But I regard that as a positive thing -- my online and offline lives are thoroughly integrated.

I like communicating with people. That's my definition of socializing. I just don't necessarily like spending time in the company of people, because it's so much more efficient to socialize while doing other things as well.

I'm not sure what my point is here -- another half-finished thought. But I'll leave it here anyway.

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