Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thinkin' like a sociologist...

I've made it through high school. I'm basically almost able to refer to myself as an adult. However, I can say for certain that I know what childhood is like. At some point or another your parents let you go off and do things with other neighborhood kids you make some friends you do some wacky stuff and then you go to school and you meet people there and you do some fun stuff with them then you go to middle school and you meet even more new people and you do some cool stuff with them then you go to high school and you meet a lot of people and you do neat stuff with them.

What is the basis of these friendships? Why is society so addicted to having buddies, and where does this need come from?

I love friends. They're great, they make jokes, they provide alternative perspectives, they offer interesting life anecdotes, they make you feel better by appreciating your personality. Yeah they do all that stuff and we like that. But there's different ways to view friends. Some people go through phases, are outsourced by a group of friends or they outsource a group of friends and move on to the next one. Some people create close bonds with a select few, the quality-over-quantity kids. Some people seek approval like an election vote and just want a general yes from as many people as possible. Personally I don't want to categorize myself into one of these groups right now, I'm sure you can do it for me. Done? Okay, cool.

I believe the asset better known as friendship is based on the purpose of experiencing things together. Which seems kinda shitty compared to how much time we invest into our friendships and social networks. But really, if you think about it, there isn't much more to it. When you need friends most: when something really awesome is happening, when something really shitty has happened. The important thing is that people know from experience what life is like. I believe it explains the basic appeal behind a lot of things. Thousands of people go to music concerts. Millions of people watch the Super Bowl. Everyone and their mom sees epic movies like The Dark Knight. Is it because these things are the best that human life has to offer? I think not. They are interesting and definitely have appeal, but the life experience that you can share with so many others is worth so much.

Experiencing shit brings people together. Everything like a job to a class to a shitty Catholic school system known as Sacred-Heart Griffin to liking a football team to reading a book. You wanna know which people have been brought closer together than any people in the world? Comrades in war. One of the most profound experiences in which one can partake would logically warrant the closest relationship between two people.

So you see what I'm saying. In life, I feel that a phobia that so many have along the same lines as the basic fear of death is the fear of being alone. There are some who go off into the woods and become lumberjacks never to be heard of again, but those people are worthless. Human nature incites us to search out companionship and flourish in it. In high school we are practically immune to loneliness just due to the amount of time we are forced to spend with so many others. Eventually, though, we have to see this world for what it is. We don't want to be in this alone. So we want to have friends. To experience this phenomena called life along with us. That's why you do stuff with your friends. You experience a movie together, a show, a restaurant, a run, a video game, you experience drinking smoking and other mind altering substances. Doing that shit alone is possible, but it just isn't the same.

Are we afraid of being alone or is it just a preference to be with people? I say the former, because this world is big and life is scary. And when we go through it we want others to be there. There is a tendency for us to get wrapped up in friends and forget about ourselves. We need to remember who we're really here for. Ourselves. That's why everyone needs alone time. Take some. Back to the point, though. Your friends are proof not only that you are a likable person, but also that you've done what you've done. When you lose friends, you lose the experiences that you've shared with them, at least in a way.

Crossing the gender line really complicates issues in this aspect. If you start thinking of boy/girl friendships and how we dance around the blurry line between platonic friendships and love interests, it opens up a whole other complete file of questions that we don't know. Why is there a need for a boy and a girl to fall for each other after finding happiness in platonic friendship? I say it's to experience the love rollercoaster, the same as experiencing a day at Six Flags. Just another thing to do, only with higher qualifications. What is the root cause of the dissatisfaction that leads to the end of most relationships? Is it that being in the relationship with that person makes you truly UNhappy? My vote is cast under the category of NOT EXACTLY. The reason behind this being I think people just know they need to budget their time. And you want to spend more time sharing different experiences with new people rather than doing the same-old same-old with whomever night after night.

Boredom is a really misleading term. People often see it as having nothing to do. That is what we perceive boredom to be, but that's not what boredom is. Boredom is losing interest in doing the same things again and again. We are bored of playing piano or bored of listening to that same song over and over again (Conor). There's never really time when you have nothing to do. Only times when you get tired of experiencing life the same way more than once. That's what boredom is. Other than reading this post. (Self-deprecating joke? He IS still funny!)

So when we get "bored" with friends, we move on from them. If we can no longer experience new things, things need to change. They often do, oftentimes at a price. But the important part comes when the friendships are created. It starts at an experience. You both go to the same school, or the same church, or you both play basketball, or you both smoke weed or drink. Friendships stem from the experiences we share and they grow based on the experiences we continue having. I hope you can all love me now for experiencing this blog.


--Eliot Sill

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