Highlander II
01 April 2012 @ 12:45 am
socializing -  
While 'socializing' typically refers to 'meeting a group of people in a public location - such as a bar or party' it doesn't have to be that. It can also be talking on the phone to friends or using an IM client to do the talking. It can even mean participating in some other form of online, non-face-to-face interaction. (Bear in mind, this non-personal type shouldn't be substituted for all social interaction for the younger generations who need exposure to facial expressions and personal interactions of that type for development. That's a whole other discussion that I'm not remotely qualified for.)

Here, I'm talking about people who have already engaged in the 'typical' form and, for one reason or another, do so on an infrequent basis.

For me, doing that 'going out with friends' thing isn't off the table, it just requires a bit more preparation than for others. I need to know several days ahead of time that I'll be going out with a group of people so I can prepare for it. Large-group social interaction tires out my brain and, in some instances, causes me more stress than my day job.

See, that much stimulation is more than I can manage, given what my over-active brain is already processing. Let's say there are five of us out somewhere - myself and four others - well, that's at least three conversations going on at the same time, plus deciding what to order if we're at a bar or something, plus all the things my brain is processing in the background - a solution to that ridiculous process at work that makes no sense, but that I haven't yet figured out a viable solution for yet, the fifteen fic ideas I've gotten over the last several days, whether there's a new episode of show X coming up in the next few days and who knows what else. And yes, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

All of this leaves me mentally exhausted after about an hour. If I'm prepared for it, I can probably stretch it for two. If it's a quiet gathering and we're watching TV or something, I can do a bit more, but any place that has lots of external noise - music and voices - two hours is about the max for me.

As such, I tend to stick to the more online variety of social interaction. It works better for me. It's far less taxing and also gives me the opportunity to walk away w/o feeling that I've missed something or without need of immediate response, since IM'ing, while mostly 'instant', allows for some thought processing before making a reply. Ditto with online RPGs - at least the text-based type.

That is all the long lead-in to - when you tell me that you're going to do something with me online, treat it like an arranged trip to the movies or dinner. If we're going to RP a thread or two - that's the 'where' part of the 'when & where'. Keep in mind that when you blow me off for an online social interaction, it's the same as leaving someone standing at the movie theatre w/o a text or call or smoke signal that something's come up and you can't make it. If you would notify me in advance of not being able to make it to the movie, do the same if you can't make it to the RP thread. B/c, yeah, it's upsetting when the plans are in place, then the day comes and - nothing.

Online RP is my recreation - my 'happy fun time' space. I enjoy it. So when I'm geared up and ready to play and the other players don't show up, it makes for a very un-fun time.

If you've done this to me in the past - I'm not going to tell you 'it's okay', b/c it's not. I will tell you that you're likely forgiven if you've made amends, but it's not okay. Just like it wouldn't be okay to blow off a friend who's waiting at the movies. So, if you make plans with me - keep them or let me know that you can't. It's polite and less hurtful.

This took me nearly two weeks to put together and write. I don't typically talk about 'me' like this, but this has been bugging me for a while.

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Hugh's Mood: anxious