ON THE ROAD in 2018 is so different from the 1990s. One of the things that has been hard to get used to is the social media thing, the way someone can google you while you are standing there, right after ‘What’s your name?’ It becomes an incredibly strange dynamic, suddenly, when this happens (in line at an airport, on the bus, in a cafe), so I’m more careful about sharing details now, and I tend not to give out any kind of contact info. I guess I just don’t care that much about ‘keeping in touch.’ Especially if there isn’t much substance in the first conversation. Which is often. [More on this in Part 2.] I’ve been musing on why, and I think, after about two months out here in Malaysia, bumping into things and catching up with my old notes (mounds of paper, a suitcaseful), I’m seeing why it’s so awkward to be here, now, moving. And this is what I think it is…
INCONGRUITY. When the thing you meet doesn’t really seamlessly flow into the thing you thought you met, there is an incongruity. And that’s is dissonant. It creates a feeling of unsettlement, within. I meet people who act super interested in what I’m saying, or lean in, and try to make serious connection happen, and it would normally be like, yeah, this is conversation, real life, what I say I care about, for the S P A C E programmes and popup ateliers. So why is it so uncomfortable, then? Progression takes time. Developing a real relationship takes care. If you have neither time nor cRe, nothing interesting comes out of the engagements. Plus, people feel like they can just call or write or add you, on into the future, indefinitely. When you are the most interesting option.mbut what about now? I forgot that the urgency of this here, this now, is a huge part of the quality of my kind of S P A C E. Which is why I’ve kind of gone back into hibernation mode, and writing here, too.
Rare us the person who is who she says she is, who cares about one thing completely honestly, who is ttrying to package himself for you to ‘like’ on those in real life encounters. Rarer still is the one who can see this, discern that you are not into the weird selly first date they seem to be putting you on, and change gears, change key, adjust. I miss the 1990s. When eye contact told you information, when cues came from body language not emojis, when we would sit for hours and you would see people laughing, now, they text and message and someone else, or a slew of options, are always in their pocket. Is this quality? You decide.
Tell me what you think?… Contact page is here. In Part 2, I’ll share what some people I just met said when I asked them to read and respond to this, in real life, just now.