Category Archives: Lifestyle

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



Random Thoughts On Commuting

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

I live in Silicon Valley. I commute (usually by car as I have someone to carpool with), and have been in a variety of commuting arrangements. This has led to Me Having Thoughts on commuting.

Oh and hearing about my friends in various cities also dealing with commuting has led to More Thoughts.

As The Bird Flies is Nothing

Though I shouldn’t be, it’s fairly obvious if you do any commuting and have gone over the best strategies, actual distance means nothing. It does not matter if something is closer or father in far, far too many cases.

This is, of course because roads, traffic jams, highways, buses, trains, etc. all change how you get from one place to another. Things may be “close” but boy one narrow street or one lousy bus schedule eliminates the value of “close.”

Can We Have More Buses?

You’ve doubtlessly heard about how fifty single-use cars can be replaced by one bus. I’ve taken to counting how many unfilled buses worth of traffic are in traffic jams. It’s very educational.

Mostly, it’s educated me to “how many damn cars do we have here.”

Bus lines can get weird, of course, because of the assorted challenges of setting them up. But whenever I see traffic jams in areas that we know tons of people are going to be in, I want to give more buses a try, especially for local traffic.

Oh, Hey, Trains

The “train family” (trains, trams, subways) are great forms of public transport. You can haul a bunch of people, and the good ones allow you to eat on board and make a fun trip of it. The latter is a hint, public transport.

Anyway, I may want to see more buses, but trains are vital to good public transport for sheer volume. Honestly, more places need to ask what people’s schedules really are to maximize their use.

Oh, and on that subject, more high-speed limited train schedules. You know the kind that only hit major stations and thus allow for fast trips to major hubs?

The Amplification Effect Of Public Transport

One thing I’ve become painfully aware of in Public Transport is that certain locations vastly amplify the ability to use public transport. This is because many locations allow access to multiple forms of transport, but also that some forms of transport let you use other forms of transport.

If your apartment is near a train station that takes you to a major bus terminal, you know what I mean. Or if you can get on a bus that passes two major train station. Or a tram that gives you multiple options of where to go.

When dealing with commute, don’t just ask about your transportation options. Ask what options those options give you.

Man, All The Cars

Sure, we know the US is way, way too dependent on the automobile. But my latest commute has me going through some thick traffic, even though it’s pretty reasonable. When you see how crowded roadways get – and think of all the options – it’s hard not to feel many cities kinda messed this transportation thing up.

The car has become something so ingrained into our life, there’s lots of economic power behind the car, that it’s hard for us to think of other ways to travel. We kind of need to.

Hell, the environment aside, the sheer stress of the modern commute should annoy people into action.

More Work From Home

Working from home won’t solve every problem of transportation. I know some jobs make it hard, but you know, we really need to encourage more work from home. I’ve been lucky to be able to do it on many of my jobs, and its a sanity-maker.

And it’s great for reducing traffic. Just imagine if the traffic in our big cities went down by, say, 20%. Think about it.

Random Rants Over

Well that was cathartic, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on the modern commute and ways to deal with it.

Steven Savage



Geek Bar Chicago – David Zoltan Talks The Dream

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Imagine a bar for geeks. Food and drink, events, a library, games, and more. Sound like a great idea? Well David Zoltan and his group made it a reality with Geek Bar Chicago, which has exactly that. So of course I’m going to ask him how they do it. Continue reading