Social Wasteland

sand dunes scenery

I’m sitting here writing this and watching a couple of YHT (younger, hotter, tighter) drinking and dancing on Facebook Live. They are listening to an eclectic bunch of music, everything from Fleetwood Mac to Type O Negative, and they are really getting into it when Tool comes on.

Ah, the goth scene. Where everyone dresses in black and the music bleeds like heroin and melancholy. I remember those days. Apparently there is a revival going on, goth is trying to make a comeback.

Watching these YHT dancing and drinking in front of the camera makes me a little sad. Sad for the fact that I’m reading the comments and listening to the girls interacting with the chat, and none of these souls know how to communicate with each other.

It would be fun and sexy, these girls have great moves and the curves in the right places to match, but they don’t know how to honestly interact with others. They are the very definition of “socially awkward.”

And it’s not just the girls on the video stream, it’s the entire chat. It’s their “friends” on Facebook. Nobody knows how to flirt. Nobody knows how to give or receive a compliment. Nobody knows how to communicate. And they want to. So fucking bad. Everybody wants to genuinely engage, they want to actually communicate with one another, but it’s like they don’t know how.

It’s something like:

“Hey, you’re cute.”

“I like corn bread and music and flowers?”

I sat and watched this for a while, watching those girls, and by girls, I’m talking about late 20-somethings. I watched them dance, and laugh, sometimes sing but mostly lip sync to their favorite songs. And I got sad. Sad because these girls were lonely. I could see it in their eyes. I could see it in their behavior. They weren’t drinking. They were medicating. They so desperately wanted to connect with someone and they didn’t know how. And the chat wasn’t any better. There wasn’t as much “thirst” going on there, since this wasn’t a public performance, but nobody knew how to really interact with each other.

It’s a malaise. No wonder people do the drugs they do. No wonder we drink to excess. No wonder anti-depressants and other SSRI use is off the charts.

We live in a time of relative peace, plenty, and prosperity. At no other point in history have we had it so good. We are living longer in general, we have the best medical technology to date, and we literally want for nothing.

And yet we do. Want. We want for something. We want for connection. We want for some form of intimacy and understanding. I saw all of this in those young women’s faces. I could see their lives of quiet desperation by the fact that they were “trying too hard.” Trying too hard to look like they were having fun. Trying too hard to get inebriated as quickly as possible so that they could be numb.

Numb from their malaise. Numb from their fear. Numb from life in general. Numb from the fact that things don’t always work out the way that you had intended.

That’s part of the problem though, being numb. You medicate away your pain, longing, and loneliness and all that is left after a brief high is numbness. And then that numbness becomes a sort of “pain” itself.

I stopped watching the video shortly after one of the young women decided to flash her tits. Of course she flashed her tits, it’s part of the script, it’s part of what you do when “you only live once” and “fuck the world” and give it the finger while sticking your tongue out.

I really worry about younger people today. They aren’t just starting at zero, they are starting at a deficit, a negative. Who is to blame and what is to blame doesn’t really matter because it’s not going to change the situation that they are in. Pointing fingers isn’t going to solve the problem.

I’m glad that I am where I am in my life and that I am who I am. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.

Someone asked me what I thought about dating these days compared to when I was younger. I think dating has gotten easier as I have gotten older. In many ways I have more options now than I did when I was in my 20’s or even in my 30’s.

I know how to flirt and how to communicate and it blows women away when I can carry a conversation with them and it just flows. This isn’t just younger women who say these things to me, this is women in my own age group as well. Maybe that’s part of my “edge.” I don’t know and I don’t really care all that much.

It seems that at least with the younger crowd, the women don’t know what they want, and guys are too scared to speak their minds and say things that could be considered offensive. Basically guys don’t know how to communicate and I’m not talking about that tired trope of “communication is everything,” but I am talking about being able to not give a fuck if somebody doesn’t like what you have to say, but you’re willing to say it anyway.

It’s like watching two magnets where the “north” ends are pushing away from each other instead of a “north/south” dynamic that pulls them in together.

Where does all of this go from here? I honestly have no idea. It was a little bit of a shock to me to watch these videos of these young women and see them literally baring their souls for the whole world to see. To see their loneliness behind the booze and the sexy dancing. To see their awkwardness as they fumbled with communicating with their chat and to watch the chat fumble around as well. And to think, these were people that were in their mid to late 20’s, possibly into their early 30’s.

They were having a “not-conversation.” They were doing “not-flirting.” It was like fumbling around in the dark trying to find a light switch, because you could tell they were looking for it, everyone was. And yet nobody could find it and turn the light on. It was like they knew they were looking for something (the light switch) but they couldn’t describe it or knew what it looked like.

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