On socialization, and such
Say I've got a friend online who sent a message to me. It'd be something simple, just like, "Hi!"
Okay, this message was sent.. half an hour ago. I missed it, because I wasn't on Discord or Twitter or email or whatever their client of choice was. Oops. Now I've got two options:
Respond! Duh, one of my friends said hi, so I'll say hi back.
Procrastinate. Wait, what? Well, they sent the message half an hour ago.. so it's not that bad if I don't get back to them right now.. hold on, why am I even thinking about this? But still..
Alright, so, I imagine most people would go with the first option. Right? Because it makes sense to go and respond when someone says hi, plus typically conversations are good, anyways. They're enjoyable!
..But I procrastinate. I know it's true that having a casual discussion with someone is basically always good, but I choose to wait, anyways?
And I'm not even doing anything! At that point in time I'm probably just sitting around, doing nothing of particular interest. I know it'd be more fun (and productive) to have a chat. But I delay it, for some reason?
And this is consistently something true of me.
I got an idea to work on a project with somebody the previous day.. and now, even though I know I'd still like to work on that project with them, I delay.
One of my friends said hello a while earlier. I choose to ignore them.
One of my friends said hello now, while I'm online. It's a lot less easy to ignore someone when they're talking to you while you're basically present, so, you know, I go and respond ("Hi!"), but there's still a bit of a feeling of "no, no, hold on, ugh."
(This is true for whenever I'm talking to someone in a direct/private message online, mind you. It's not just some one person in particular!)
We've got visitors; they only visit once or twice a year, so it's pretty special for both us and them. But before they arrive, there's a little feeling of dread.. even though I know their visits are always completely enjoyable! Once they get here, though, that feeling disappears.
(Again, this is true for any visitors. Some people had come from quite far away - across an ocean, in fact! - to visit us, and, you know, that feeling of uncertainty (I guess?), before they arrived was still there.)
It doesn't even have to be related to socializing, actually. Drawing art is another example of when this is an issue for me. I know I enjoy drawing! And yet I procrastinate. It doesn't seem to me like there's any reason to delay the inevitable enjoyment I'll get out of making a piece of art, especially when I tend to delay many other unrelated things I also enjoy.
I know this is also a problem for others. It certainly doesn't seem like it's an issue for most others, though!
I'm not entirely sure how to deal with it. It's frustrating, because it is a bit of a real problem for me. It seriously does get in the way of my drawing - it's definitely the reason I haven't made much of any art in the last few weeks. It's gotten in the way of lots of projects I want to work on, with myself, or with others.
Open your browser. Check what's new on Twitter. Check if anybody's uploaded an interesting video to YouTube. Catch up with Facebook. Check the notifications you've got on any forum you browse. See what people are up to on that one subreddit. (Maybe even check the /new section.)
Doing what you want to, doing what you need to, socializing - it's all hard. Procrastination is easy. Why would you bother doing something that takes any effort or willpower when you could do something that doesn't?
And it's so easy. One option is tough; one isn't. You don't even need to make the choice consciously; chances are your brain will for you. And then go with that, right?
Chances are you don't even want to do that one thing you claim you do. Oh, yeah! You know how there's that one person that just messaged you? And how you've meant to talk to them? ..But you don't. Responding is hard. You tell yourself you enjoy discussing things with people.. but that's not a simple task; do you really enjoy it?
Maybe don't even respond at all.
It's not easy to get out of those thoughts. You've literally already convinced yourself that it'd just be easier to stick to procrastinating, to stick to that consistently easy, simple, internet ritual. They aren't even always conscious thoughts; it's just, "oh, hmm, may as well check what's new!"
But they're intrusive. Obviously they do get in the way of your life, and the things you do enjoy. Before talking to someone, it's easy to convince yourself that you don't really enjoy it. But you clearly do like talking to people; it's quite possible that you've talked to this very person before, and enjoyed it!
They get in the way of doing other things, too, of course - why create something when it's so much easier to just.. not? And yet I do love drawing things! It's the best feeling I get!
It's now been a week since I wrote the first section of this post. The other day I was talking to a friend of mine about all this; that lead to me making the decision to kill the so-called internet ritual as best I could. So I've been working on that, myself.
Will that magically solve all my problems? Will it make talking to people much easier, suddenly? Probably not! But maybe it'll help. I think it will; it's been somewhat helpful so far. I've gotten a bit better at following my basic goals since I did, and I think I've also felt a little better about myself i general.
Call it all a placebo effect if it is, but I guess it's enough, anyways. If I'm feeling better about myself and finding it easier to do what I want and need to, it's working. Who knows how it'll go from here?
(PS, while writing the later parts of this, I've been listening to Dief, which I've found to be shockingly appropriate background music for this post!)