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I'm finding social media depressing  RSS feed

 
Will Holland
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
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I've found myself getting away from social media over the last several months to a year. I haven't even been as active here on permies as I had been. It's true that the internet can do so much to bring people together, but what I'm experiencing is that it shows me how isolated I am, or at least it seems that way. I KNOW that online interactions are no substitute for IRL human interactions. So I keep stepping away from things like facebook, message boards, etc and then it's just me sitting at home feeling lonely, bored, uninspired etc. despite being an introvert and being content alone, i crave interaction (and help!) from other people as a springboard for new ideas, intellectual stimulation and idea sharing.

My wife and I have been saying for the last year and a half or so that we need to make new friends, specifically gardening friends or ideally other permies. I've been feeling regret that we didn't move to another part of the country where there are people with similar interests to ours. We've tried some feeble attempts at reaching out to others, but nothing has really "clicked." To make matters worse, we just broke up the band we were both playing in for the last 5 years, causing some hard feelings in the process, and further isolating ourselves from that circle of folks that we regularly frequented.

so, what's a guy to do?
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1359
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Checkout Meetup, they list in person meetings for farming and pretty much anything else.
You can also volunteer, at a non-profit to be their gardener, plant some fruit tree and get a local group.
You could join some religious group and visit every, Wendesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday.
Pick any hobby find the local group doing it and then join, with a big colorful book. Someone will probably say, wow what a big book you have there.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Will Holland wrote: I KNOW that online interactions are no substitute for IRL human interactions.


Some people, like me, find real life human interactions to be so tremendously stressful that life is mostly better without them. I tell myself I KNOW that online interactions are no substitute for real life interactions, but that doesn't help the fact that I don't do well with real life interactions. Yep, total social loser. Oh well! Better luck next life. I took a stab at going to permaculture meetups in the city, but all the driving and then wondering if anyone would show up, and then the stress of having to interact with strangers wore me down so I gave up. I figure if I'm not social by this time in my life, I'm never going to be and that's going to have to be ok.

 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1474
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Are you rural or suburban? In the suburbs you'd be amazed how much human interaction you can get just working on a garden in the front yard. Particularly if you have a lot of joggers in your community.

I'm highly introverted (sometimes even this forum is too much for me, too) but I know all my neighbors and several people in nearby blocks on sight. Depending on how I'm feeling I can just have a short conversation, just smile and wave, or even just be too focused to notice people without causing offense.
 
Will Holland
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
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Casie Becker wrote:Are you rural or suburban? In the suburbs you'd be amazed how much human interaction you can get just working on a garden in the front yard. Particularly if you have a lot of joggers in your community.

I'm highly introverted (sometimes even this forum is too much for me, too) but I know all my neighbors and several people in nearby blocks on sight. Depending on how I'm feeling I can just have a short conversation, just smile and wave, or even just be too focused to notice people without causing offense.


Rural. Jobs are an hour away, and when we want to do some activity in the evening/ on weekends, it means driving back an hour the way we just came from work to go back out.
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1474
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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In that case, meet ups are a decent suggestion. My more extroverted mother often finds things that interest her there, but there is no pressure for extended social contact. You meet up, do your activity, and then any other interactions are decided as you feel up to it. It's perfectly acceptable just to leave. Of course, I'm not attending meet ups. I get my minimum requirement of socialization at work and in my front yard.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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We walk our dog on our rural road and sometimes get to talk to our neighbors, so that's a suggestion - get a dog.

 
Olga Booker
Posts: 96
Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
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I've never had a Facebook or Twitter account. My life is too short and too busy to waste so many numbing hours on a virtual reality, I'd much sooner get my hands dirty in the garden. I spend a couple of hours on Permies in the evening and that is the extent of my socialising on line. I am not especially sociable and enjoy my own company; sometimes, I even prefer the company of my dogs rather than that of certain human beings.

Having said that, in the last 5 years, we've being hosting WWOOFers from February till November (except for this year, as a fire destroyed half the house). We have met an incredible amount of lovely people, half of them we are still in touch with. It has been an incredible adventure. Some were youngsters who started their journey, looking for a cheap holiday. Some were a bit older, had dropped their jobs, sold their house, put their stuff in storage and decided to travel and see what they could learn before relocating to the country. Some just wanted to see a different horizon or wanted to meet new people and experience different cultures, some were students on a sabbatical. They've come from all over the globe, quite a few were your countrymen, but many more were from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Canada, Israel, etc...

WWOOFing is an exchange, not only of bread and board against work but an exchange of skills, stories, ideas, recipes, songs and love. We've opened our home to a multitude of people who wanted to experience life on the farm, life off-grid or the joys of sleeping in a yurt. We worked hard and played and laughed hard. "In a nutshell", they discovered and learnt about permaculture without us preaching or teaching, but just by sharing our day to day living.

We get a lot of emails from quite a few of them but what has surprised us the most was (in this age of social media), the amount of hand written letters we've received. Sometimes it's a student, 6 months later telling us that the impact the farm had on him made him change his course at Uni and is now studying environmental studies and going for a PDC. Sometimes it's a couple of friends who have now decided to move to a transition town and help with community gardens because they can't afford their own house and yard yet. Only last week we got a long letter from a couple who came to us about 3 years ago, they just wanted to let us know that they got married and had a baby (picture included) and were now keeping bees somewhere in Sweden. Some have beautiful drawings and pictures. They are so precious to us that we now have a special box for them.

What I am trying to say is that, although WWOOFing might not be something you'd want to do , or even suitable for your circumstances (I also understand it is not everyone's cup of tea) but it is one possibility. We are never lonely, we've made some long lasting friends and got a lot of hard work done in the bargain! What's more, we've spread a little love and unwittingly we've spread a little Permaculture.

 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Olga Booker wrote: My life is too short and too busy to waste so many numbing hours on a virtual reality, I'd much sooner get my hands dirty in the garden. I spend a couple of hours on Permies in the evening and that is the extent of my socialising on line.



My life is long and not very busy. I spend lots of hours online resting between digging tree holes or while working on crafts.

 
Kris Mendoza
Posts: 79
Location: New England USA, Zone 7a
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bee hugelkultur urban
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I could not bring myself to completely close the Facebook account, but I hear ya! Politics and news of late have just been so sad. The way that people are reading streams of opinion on FB etc and considering it actual news is very troubling to me. I have mostly cut myself off, having changed my password to a string of letters and numbers and left it on a piece of paper on the top bookshelf--it will be there for me to check in every month or so! Unplugging myself from facebook has led me to this current internet addiction (thanks, Permies) but at least I'm learning something!

I, too, wish I had some permie friends. I talk gardening with my mom, and occasionally with my tolerant coworkers--until I catch them checking their Facebook on their phones and I remember that they're not actually into this stuff the way I am!
 
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