The paradox of social media.
In a world where we are more “connected” than ever before, I have never felt less connected to those around me, especially as we aren’t seeing each other as we used to.
I know what my friends had for breakfast, where they last traveled to, and their favorite place to get avocado toast. I know where my old classmates live and where they hike, but not how they are liking their new jobs.
I can tell you about the lives of people I follow on YouTube, but have never met. I am part of mass book clubs (like Reese’s), but have never conversed with another member face-to-face. I can tell you that the woman below me has three kids, the man above me plays the drums, and my hallway neighbor is a smoker, but not their names.
This is the strange paradox of our time, and particularly, of social media.
And I don’t like it.
I am tired of feeling disconnected from the people around me. I want to ask people, “How are you?” and get more than a “Fine” or “OK”. I want people to ask me, “How are you?” instead of assuming they know because they read my latest blog or follow me on Instagram. I want to have interesting conversations, ones that go past a quick reaction to an Instagram story.
I recently had an interesting conversation with a close friend that left me feeling so energized. We were asking each other silly and imaginative questions such as, “Who would your fantasy self be?” It was so fun to break the normal script and learn something new about a person I have been close to for years.
So in the spirit of that, I am going to use this post to break the script and share three answers to questions from The Hygge Game. In this “game”, everyone draws a card and picks one of the three questions to pose to the group and then everyone goes around sharing their answer. Everyone wins as everyone learns something new about their friends and, very possibly, themselves. All questions are meant to start fun, thought-provoking conversation. The Hygge Game is something my partner and I break out anytime we have friends around, and it is very likely that you have played it if you’ve been to our house.
And if you are wondering where you have heard the word hygge before, it was probably Pinterest or at that über cute Scandi shop you’ve visited in the past. Hygge is a Danish word that means enjoying the good things in life and living well. Learn more here.
Now, back to the Q&A:
What book changed your life?
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It was actually part of the inspiration behind this blog.
Have you ever had a really strange or memorable neighbor or roommate?
(Note: My question to this deals with domestic violence. Please take care when reading).
While I was living alone in Northern California back in 2014 or so, I lived in a duplex with a neighbor above me. We had never met, but I knew it was a woman with a young daughter. One night, around 3:00, I woke to the sound of a scream. It was unmistakable and I could hear the sounds of someone running across the length of the apartment above me, then more screaming. I immediately called the police and they arrived within minutes. A man left in handcuffs. At the time, that was all I knew.
Months later, the woman living above me was getting ready to move out. Before leaving she knocked on my door and asked if I was the one who had called the police all of those months before. I told her I had. She thanked me, explaining that her ex-boyfriend had used my patio railing to climb into her open window. She told me that she feared for her life and the life of her daughter, and that my call saved her. This was a conversation that has stayed with me for many years.
Would you rather be stuck on a desert island with your mom or dad? Why?
Sorry mom, but I am taking dad with me for this one! My dad is a total MacGyver. He is incredibly handy, imaginative, resourceful, and ingenious in his thinking. Honestly, we would probably end up making a pretty sweet camp for ourselves and maybe not even both getting rescued?!
Well, there you have it. Some super random questions that provide a launch pad to go deeper and into more creative or unexplored areas with those close to you. I want this blog to become more of a community space, one where we can get to know each other and have interesting conversations. So drop me a line in the comments. I would love to hear your answers to one or all of the questions, or pose your own!
P.S. My fantasy self would own a book store like this one in Edinburg.