I find behavioral science and economics fascinating, and fun to read. Just sharing a link to David Brook’s column today entitled, “Why Your Social Life Is Not What It Should Be”
One day Nicholas Epley was commuting by train to his office at the University of Chicago. As a behavioral scientist he’s well aware that social connection makes us happier, healthier and more successful and generally contributes to the sweetness of life. Yet he looked around his train car and realized: Nobody is talking to anyone! It was just headphones and newspapers.
Questions popped into his head: What the hell are we all doing here? Why don’t people do the thing that makes them the most happy?
Boredom, to seek help, to help, but online debate/chat/forum can never replace real life. I enjoy much more talking to people face to face. I am the type that would talk to strangers on a train if time allows.
I love chatting to people and making new friends. But if somebody starts talking to me on an MRT or a typical train journey (maybe I’d make an exception for a long-distance train journey), I am not happy. Especially if I’m reading or listening to headphones. I don’t see anything startling about this. Different contexts are more suitable than others.
Communication, context means something. You’ll never get the same context of a verbal communication through online forums or social network. Unless you write a damn research paper but even that, most people don’t have the attention span to care to read or bother to fully understand.