Online social skills
Here's something else I've had in bubbling around for a little while. I think there's more for me to think about here, but here goes:
Once, when I was a wee lad in the 80's--probably around the time when the original source for my "When I Grow Up" graphic down at the page bottom was scrawled by my tiny hands--I was on a trip with my Mom and Grandma to visit relatives in Baltimore, MD.
Well, one of the people we visited was a Great Uncle, a nice older man whom I barely remember now. But, what I do remember--and what gets brought up at least once a year at family gatherings--is this:
At the time, I was so all-consumed by my beginning obsession with computers that it was all I wanted to talk about. After awhile, I'd figured out that most people didn't know much about computers or didn't want to talk to me about them. So, by the time I came around to meeting this Great Uncle of mine, I figured I'd save some time--having begun my love affair with these clean and logical machines, I considered efficiency a virtue.
The first thing I asked him, then, was, "So, do you know anything about computers?"
To this, he responded, "No, sorry, I don't really know anything about those."
"Well," I said, without missing a beat, "there really isn't any use in me talking to you, then."
Of course, my Mother was mortified, and although I don't really remember it, I've been told that my Great Uncle was gracious about it, both surprised and amused. I think I did end up talking to him about some other things, but this conversation is the only thing which survives in my memory.
What reminds me of this story today, though, is a sort of inversion that popped into my head a few minutes ago:
"So, can I talk to you with computers?"
"Well, there really isn't any use in me knowing you, then."
Like my Mother years ago, I feel a bit morified that this bubbled up from my subconscious. I'm afraid of just how true this is about me, and it doesn't seem very good. In fact, it seems downright dysfunctional to me.
Then again, no one's ever accused me of being any sort of social dynamo.