There is an anguished outcry across the land.
“Woe is us! We can’t be social and hang out with friends while staring at our electronic devices. How will we pass the time? What will we do for entertainment?”
If you are not chuckling, you may be part of the troubled and isolated masses, yearning to leave their abodes. You may be part of the group unable to fill their time without the illusion of socializing.
Are you unclear on the meaning of socializing? According to the Dictionary, the word can be a noun or an adjective. “The action or practice of participating in social activities or mixing socially with others” (noun). The adjective form is equally muddy: “Causing someone to behave in a way that is acceptable to their society.”
We cannot speak for you, dear readers, but this writer intensely dislikes definitions that use the root of a word to define the word or action.
Quite frequently, the revered Thesaurus (the Big T) seems to add some clarity to the muddied waters caused by dictionaries. According to the Big T, socializing includes mixing, mingling, partying, entertaining, or getting out and meeting people.
The problem lies in the interpretation.
Let’s look back on our troglodyte friend, Ug’s, life. After a day of hunting, everyone gathered around the campfire eating and telling tales of their activities outside the cave. Perhaps grunting and miming stories of the hunt would be more accurate. You decide on the preferred mental image.
With the evolution of man and language, the campfire or dining table gatherings became an essential part of human life. Folks still looked forward to telling exaggerated tales of their hunting or work prowess, but they thrived and sought the camaraderie. They craved mealtime and family time. In other words, they talked, they laughed, and interacted.
Today’s “technologically evolved” humans rarely raise their eyes from the myriad devices in their hands long enough to look their companions in the eye. Instead, they sit side-by-side, texting to each other. They are evolving or perhaps devolving into Pod People.
Such is the state of the “social” lives folks crave. People may reach out and touch long enough to hook up, but their souls and minds are rarely engaged. Socializing has become another way of describing our virtual existence.
Even a usually solitary soul, such as this lady, must admit she gets cabin fever. But her problem is different from the wretched masses yearning to leave their hovels to gather. Her enemy is the weather.
She often immerses herself in books only to look up to find another day has passed. While she worked, there rarely was time to shackle herself to any television series. She even neglected her beloved Star Trek. But the enforced isolation now leads to Netflicks.
Binge-watching season after season of all the Star Trek series suits her impatient personality. There is no need to wait for next week’s or next season’s episodes. All of the series are there, a smorgasbord of the Star Trek world.
Her main problem is Spring has sprung, and the incessant rain drives her a tad crazy. You may reply, “Rejoice. We need the rain because the summer drought is around the corner.” That may be, but she can only stare out her kitchen window watching the weeds flourish with wild abandon.
“I have to get out and battle the weeds with my weedeater and my riding lawn mower,” she cries in dismay. But the supersaturated ground forces her to stay indoors and seethe in frustration.
Finally, after a couple of days of sunshine, she rushes out of the house wearing a tank top, a grin on her face, and gardening weapons in hand.
Then comes the shocking discovery. The pale-skinned female has turned red. Who knew the March sun could cause a moderately severe sunburn?
Since this writer remains isolated on the Funny Farm for a week or more at a time, driving to the Post Office or picking up a restaurant order is disorienting. It feels odd to leave and be out and about in this alien new world she rarely visits.