Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Inside And Outside Of Social Interactions

I sometimes reflect on my social interactions. Okay, I reflect on my social interactions pretty frequently.

Last night while I was lying down I thought of something. I thought of an interesting distinction that sounds a little opaque and inadequate to me, but one that I'll put out there anyways.

The distinction is between the inside and the outside of social interactions. By inside I am referring to an interaction that involves primarily mental engagement, such as conversation. By outside I'm referring to something outside of the mind, something more physical. Often social interactions are facilitated by some kind of outside activity: we watch videos on the internet together, we play video games together, we watch a tv show together.

But then there are interactions that are facilitated almost entirely by internal engagement. I guess the best example is an emotional or intellectual conversation. You are sitting there with somebody and all you are doing is swapping words that give you a clue into their 'internal' mental world.

It can be really hard to always engage in this internal way. Sometimes I feel like it is easier to rely on external things to facilitate socializing.

This is a very underdeveloped idea of mine. But it is something I am somewhat curious about, no doubt.

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