Category Archives: General

Just a Thanksgiving Wish

So today is Thanksgiving. As most of my readers are American, you’re probably stuck inside, avoiding the Pandemic, trying to make due.

I just want to say I’m thankful for all of you out there that read my blog, my books, my newsletter. I’m thankful for your reviews and feedback and kind words. We probably ought to like do some actual thing on zoom or email exchange or something.

You’re probably tired and it’s OK. Just remember the good things on this day, provide good things for others, and let’s do our best to survive and thrive together.

  • Steven Savage

Connection Exhaustion

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

When we first started sheltering in place, I was pleased how fast my friends, family, and I used technology to keep in touch. This includes:

  • Zoom for meeting face-to-face and gaming.
  • Discord for chats, videos, and gaming.
  • Duo for video chats.
  • Facebook for some meetups.
  • Phone Text.
  • Plus miscellaneous technologies.

For all the challenges of Shelter In Place, we were all doing pretty good. I was thrilled and impressed – in fact, some of us were more connected than ever!

Then it began to become a drag. It was hard to get enthused, or schedule events. Sometimes I just wanted to be alone.

So what happened?

I began to realize this social shift had it’s side effects and wanted to share why I found this initial chance to connect exhausting.

First, I was doing plenty of meeting technology at work. After awhile, the thrill was kind of diminishing when you’re on four Zoom meetings a day. Everything began to feel the same.

Secondly, we were so connected and had so many options it was hard to know what to do or use or schedule. Old social rhythms were gone, and we had to construct new ones.

Third, the benefits of socializing had changed because we used different ways to connect. The joy of watching a movie with someone online is different than in person. A chat in text is different than a voice chat. We have to find “what works for us.”

Fourth, well, there’s a Pandemic and political change going on. All of this kinda complicates the above factors.

I’m trying to address these right now. I’m asking what I want, find what works for me, and pace myself. Oh, and keeping in mind this is going in a time of challenge and change.

So if you’re trying to connect socially these days, and at times it seems exhausting or not fulfilling, think about my experience. Ask how these factors affect you – and how you can figure what works for you.

Steven Savage

Making Friends As An Adult

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

I saw this fascinating Tweet thread when @itsashleyoh asked how people make friends as adult. This is something that’s often troubled me after college, and is an issue in ever-busy Silicon Valley.

Its hard to make friends past a certain point. You get busy with work. Some of your friends have kids and some don’t. Some of you are married and some aren’t. So I read the Tweetstream and added a few suggestions of my own. Think of it as my own way of combating some issues of loneliness all face.

Most of these are face-to-face, but a lot of this applies to online.

Here we go. Please add your own.

Hobbies

  • Have a hobby and follow it. This is good for you personally, and of course makes you more interesting.
  • Use that hobby to meet people with similar interests and go to meetups, drinks, dinner, etc.
  • Help people get into the hobby.
  • Hobbies also keep you from being boring and work obsessed.

Clubs

  • There are all sorts of clubs out there you can find via meetup, game stores, hobby stores, etc. Find some and go try them out.
  • When you can, help out at your club.
  • Take a position at a club.

Causes

  • Get involved in good causes, and help out. This is also good for you mentally and emotionally.
  • If you get involved in a good cause, you may want to be “on staff” – that means reguarly meeting people.

Conventions

  • Go to conventions and socialize.
  • Speak or run events at conventions.
  • Get on staff at conventions.

Go to places and hang out

  • Start hanging out at coffee shops, the library, gymns, etc. other places people gather. Sure you can write and read, but also its a chance to meet people.
  • Many places have regular events, bands, etc. Look for those.
  • Places you hang out may also have event boards, where people post different things going on.

Events

  • If you go to events, go early so you can meet people in line, getting drinks, etc.
  • If you go to events reguarly, help out.
  • Go to events people you know throw and make new connections.

Specific events and organizations

  • Many pubs and places have trivia events and other great social opportunities.
  • Game nights are popular at various establishments, including game stores, bars, and meetups.
  • Libraries have lots of events, including book sales that you can go to or help out with.
  • Museums have events and need volunteers.
  • Writing groups and various creative groups often do a lot of events.

Throw events

  • Throw open houses, writing meetups, etc. If necessary, used Meetup.com.
  • Do events for your club, church, work to nextwork with people you know.
  • Start your own Meetup.
  • Try doing “creative jams” at your place or nearby, where fellow writers/artists/musicians socialize.

Work

  • Your job may have events that connect you with others, not just those at work.
  • Find people you like at work and hang with them if you’re comfortable.
  • Places of work often have charity connections that you can get involved in.

Pets

  • Pets are a common shared interest. There’s parks for animals, clubs, and more.
  • There’s often social events for pet lovers.
  • There’s charities focused around pets to get involved in

Be prepared

  • Have business cards or “social cards” to connect with people.
  • Choose the social media you use to connect with people so you can network.
  • Meetup.com is invaluable.

Psychology

  • Be ready to reach out to people.
  • Rejection is OK. It happens to all of us.
  • If you’re seeing a therapist for whatever reason, they may have advice.

Be a good friend

  • Take an interest in others. It’s not all about you.
  • Help people out (don’t be used, just lend a helping hand)
  • Invite your friends to things. even if they don’t always show up, it helps.
  • Remember some people are in the same boat as you.

I hope this helps out.

Steven Savage