Sunday, 11 September 2011

Can you supplement social sub-functioning?

If you're moving to Africa and you happen to be a Caucasian, wear sun cream. If you happen to be particularly predisposed to eating all the crap you can find, take vitamin tablets and start exercising. In this modern world a lot of what was previously deficiency, can now be eradicated with simple daily habits. Is it the same, however, with our newly created social deficiencies, in this day and age? Could it be that this has already happened - that the various media out there are essentially, or at least in part, to do with the lack of social contact some of us may now experience away from the village lifestyle? Is it possible to make up for a life with few friends, for those of us who are socially inept, with the ease of sitting down, watching TV, and getting back to business? I've been wondering about this for a while, for the simple reason that it is personally something pretty key to my existence. You see, the thing is, at about the age of 10 or so - when I started REALLY watching TV, I realised slowly, that I didn't feel loneliness anymore. It just didn't come. Now while it's pretty easy to simply attribute that to the general emotional numbing I've felt over the years, the issue is still quite poignant, in that with my general misanthropy and Superiority Complex, I seriously consider, as pretty much a weekly thing now, whether it would be better to completely disconnect myself from all non-necessary social interaction. Or at least, from the people I don't find particularly all that fun to be with, which is probably about 95% of people my age. This isn't just a pipe dream by the way. I have this opportunity, what with doing university courses next year from home. In any case, what I mean is, my special little disorder makes most, if not all, of the social interaction I participate in, barring that which I perform online, horribly annoying. It grinds my will to live into dust. There comes a certain restlessness, I suppose, when I'm alone for weeks, say when I'm on holiday. But really, if I could somehow plan a routine - like how bodybuilders regulate what tablets they take - and stick to it, it being specific forms of entertainment that mimic the social stimuli I expect myself to be looking for, then it should be possible, nay even comfortable, for me to live a hermit's life (well, almost). So what do you think? Is it another pointless endeavour, a dream and only a dream, or is it another one of those benefits of living in a technologically advanced society? My gut says former, my heart says the latter.
 
I would post something less self-related by the way, but as you know, I have no real content left to share with you. There'll come a day, I hope, that maybe that tag-cloud will have antinatalism outranking everything else by far. But that day is not this one, ha.

7 comments:

  1. I really don't see how television can compensate for human friendship, but to each eir own.

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  2. Estnihil, allow me to recommend J.K. Huysmans' novel "Against Nature". It's the greatest ever novel of withdrawal, retreat and world-renunciation ever written. Check it out!

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  3. To really make it work, you have to surround yourself with distractions. It can work. Slavoj Zizek talked about something like this, he said that by watching sitcoms, they almost laugh for us (in the laughtrack), we feel good by having laugh, though actually we didn´t. It works pretty much like every other show on tv.

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  4. This is a little morbid, but I wonder what studies have been done on preventing people in solitary confinement from going batshit insane?

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  5. Sadly, preventing secondary harm from befalling prisoners is not much of a priority, at least not in the U.S. (v. rape jokes, etc.).

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  6. It may be worth trying, to see how well you can palliate your suffering.

    How do you feel about being around animals? Either the kinds you pet like dogs and cats, or the lower-maintenance ones like fish or hamsters.

    Temple Grandin, a high-functioning autistic, said she understood the emotions of non-primate animals sympathetically, and she understood the emotions of primates (including humans) intellectually. She was at ease around cows and pigs, but not around humans. Perhaps this may apply somewhat to people generally for whom social interaction is taxing. Personal experience is that when I'm in a social setting I'd rather not be in but am not allowed to just leave, I get some comfort by petting the dog.

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  7. Karl - will definitely read it (eventually). And Jason, I've been thinking about animals a lot these past few months. I don't really understand exactly why I, or maybe people like me in general, seem to have a strange affinity for animals over humans (you were spot on about that one). For some reason I feel that my actions with pets are just so much more worthwhile. I would get bored playing ball with a human in seconds, but with my dog I can do it for up to about an hour. I would write more here, but I actually might just make this the topic of my next post.

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