Speak to anyone long enough and they’ll confess to some level of social insecurity. Whilst I feel I can objectively say that most people don’t feel as useless as the small social circle I inhabit, it is there nonetheless.
A brief Google involving two key words ‘social’ and ‘inept’ brings up a host of results, the top ones being how to ‘deal’ with social awkwardness and a test to find out just how socially awkward you are. It’s quite mainstream then, to have no idea how to behave like a human being, who biologists tell us, are social beings.
The odd thing is, if we all feel, to some degree, that we are socially inept why do we keep up the pretences? Why do clubs exist? Does the monotonous music played at a volume as to make conversation impossible work in our favour? Is it there to save us the bother of trying to connect intellectually or emotionally to other human beings? We’d be better served if they played some good music, save us the hassle of trying to think of anything of any value to say, whilst helping us connect emotionally, rather than just playing whatever drivel Drake happens to be spouting. I hate Drake. Every one of his songs sounds identical and yet each one has makes me feel like despairing in their own unique way.
How have we got to this stage? How has a race that’s managed to build the entirety of what we call ‘civilisation’ become so… useless? The one thing that apparently helped us get to where we are, our ability to work together, our innate socialness that constructed the pillars that hold up society as we know it, is in fact a very frail and fragile thing.
Have we become more self-aware? Has the internet connected us so well, that we’ve time to look at ourselves and find us wanting? Is it technology? Has technology made our lives that much easier that we have more time for self-reflection?
I was once working on a film. Which sounds fun to say and makes me sound like my life is somewhat interesting. I was to be an extra in a film, the filming date was cancelled due to wind, the weather kind, the director didn’t have a stomach ache, Colin Firth wasn’t farting like mad. Anyway. A load of us were transported to a warehouse to try out our costumes.
We were a rag tag band from various backgrounds thrust together by fate. Beautiful friendships could have been made. Love that echoes through the ages could have come about. If we only talked to each other. We arrived half an hour early and had to sit in a canteen somewhere. We could have opened our mouths and started speaking, but we didn’t. What we did was scoop out our phones from our pockets or from depths of bottomless handbags. We looked at these screens and tapped away endlessly to avoid any kind of interaction.
Well I didn’t. My phone was playing up. I was reading Catch-22, which makes me intellectually superior to anyone else there. It does. I mean it’s entirely possible that someone else was using their phone to read Catch-22 but to that I say ‘shh!’
Britain has been described as ‘the loneliness capital of Europe’, albeit as far back as 2014, which may not seem like a long time, but that was when I still had hope. Is a sense of social detachment ingrained in our DNA? Was the British Empire just a huge reaction to our overwhelming feelings of loneliness? Did our ancestors cross the seas and steal people’s countries, so we can feel less lonely?
You’ll notice I’ve thrown a lot of questions out there, to which I don’t have any answers. The truth is, I’m very drunk. I just left a club. I was with a group. I couldn’t take it anymore.
Someone I think I love was there. She disappeared. There was a long queue for the toilets. So I disappeared too.