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CFI Vancouver (Skeptics & Humanists) Group Message Board › The social one night stand

The social one night stand

A former member
Post #: 539
The social one night stand!

I have been in Vancouver for 1.5 years, during this period I have met a variety of people both in a business and social setting, there is something common to most of my meetings here, people would befriend you for an hour, 2 hours or as long as the event takes place, but as soon as it is over, they all run like wild goose!, some of the people I meet would leave without even saying goodbye despite the fact that minutes earlier we were talking like old friends!; I call this phenomena the “the social one night stand”!.

Basically very few people in the city are looking to build genuine and real lasting relationships or friendships, it seems if no material gain or some benefit is involved most contacts you will meet here will likely never meet you again.

The irony is everyone is into social networking: Twitter, Facebook .. etc , but somewhat they forgot about the real social networking, the real face to face contacts, the contacts that you can’t defriend in a click of a button or replace with a new contact at will.

I am not sure if this unique to Vancouver, or unique to Canada and I am uncertain to the cause they behave in this way, perhaps they are selfish, rude or simply ignorant about the way to build true social relationships, but whatever the cause as a community we need to work to introduce a bit more “real” and cut on the phoney smiles and fake laughs.

Good luck and welcome to Vancouver!

user 6037895
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 2
But you also have to keep in mind, that nowadays there are also things like this site, where people who, chances are, wouldn't possibly meet eachother in any kind of regular social setting, who get together for drinks and discussions and all sorts of things, and know automatically about the similar interests that both people have. From there, there are things like facebook and such, where, if you just have someone's e-mail address, then you have access to not only basic information about them, but also the types of things they'll be doing now, and in the future.

I've found this kind of direction to be great, I've been able to go to shows and events that I wouldn't have known about otherwise, as well as had my own with great turnouts. At the same time, thanks to the direction of communication via the internet, I've gotten to know people from other cities around the world, or I can stay in touch with friends that moved far away.

Perhaps it's these kinds of things that have led to people being much more easily a "social butterfly", going from one person to another and just disappearing through these social one-night stands. Social interaction has stopped being just something towards the direction of face-to-face interaction with people you know nothing about, to discussing and keeping up with people in more forms, where you can communicate with eachother even when the both of you are far away.

These kinds of discussions are a great example. We've never met eachother before, but because of our similar interest on the matters of this group, we're interacting in a whole other way. If someday we meet face-to-face, we'll already know eachother better then each of us being, "just some dude".
A former member
Post #: 541
Chris, I grant you that is a bit different since it opens the possibility of meeting in person, however other groups such as facebook seems to be pushing people toward a superficial relationship building model, basically like the old saying goes ” it is about quality and not quantity”, how many of your facebook contacts will be there for you should you be in need? Could you message a facebook friend and ask them to come with to the hospital at midnight because your wife is giving birth?.

As usual I don’t think the issue is with the technology but with how people use this technology, facebook is great in keeping in touch with friends and relations around the planet, getting updates from them and let them know about what you are doing, but I don’t see it as an alternative to face to face relationship building; all valuable accomplishments in life takes time to take place and likewise with building lifelong friendships, it takes more than setting in front of a computer, it takes physical presence, it takes sharing happy and difficult experiences, it takes talking to and listening to your friends, it takes a real investment in time, mind and heart to achieve a genuine and lasting social relationship.

Sure, we can have similar interests when it comes to science, politics or economics, but most people I meet here seem to segment their relations into specific categories: those are my geek contacts, those are my business contacts, those are my beer contacts, those are my sport contacts; and the reason things are segmented this way is because most people are inherently selfish, they want to share or take from you what they like only, and since no one person or a friend shares 100% of the same interests, they jump from one person to another, rather than giving some ground to the interests of others and spending more time with the same people.

I don’t fault people for having many acquaintances, but having acquaintances and friends is a totally different thing, the biggest mistake with facebook labelling is the word: “friend” and “friend list”, the proper name should be “acquaintances” and “acquaintances list” , sadly enough many people seem to be confusing those two concepts.

A former member
Post #: 37
Nawar, I fully understand where you're coming from and held your exact sentiment after I had been in this city 1.5 years. Now, 6 years later, I may be one of those who meet, greet and disappear. Over the years, I'm glad for a handful of good friends that I've made through Meetup and relieved that some didn't want to take things further. They or I could have proven to be inappropriately clingy. Think back to your primary or high school days in whatever city you were raised; you rubbed shoulders with 30-odd people every day for an entire year-or-more and still not everyone became your good friend. You picked and chose whom you befriended based on numerous encounters and several experiences. Even in your home country, a first meeting in a networking context or even at a relative's wedding was hardly an invitation to swap blood with a stranger. The truth is you never know what kind of whacko you may be meeting.

Meetup is precisely a chance to provide the first of what may develop into many future opportunities to meet and form firm friendships. Remember, Vancouver is a transient society with huge volumes of people arriving here to temporarily study or work, make a few acquaintances, have a few laughs and move on. Those of us who arrived here as adults and made this our home didn't have the opportunity to go to school here and form life-lasting cliques. Therefore, we use tools like Meetup amongst others to meet people. In so doing, we encounter a lot of folk who may only be passing through and don't have the time or energy to become emotionally invested in others. That's their prerogative. If you want firm friendships, especially breaking into existing, tight-knit Canadian cliques that date back a long way, you have to work at it, get their numbers and e-mail addresses, pop them the odd greeting and, if you get no response, don't despair, move on. My advice at that point is not to desperately go running to a clique of your own former countrymen, or why bother to have left home in the first place?

I do resent that people mistake social networking gatherings for an opportunity to do business networking. For that reason, I point-blank refuse to take anyone's business card and I don't beat about the bush about this either. I make it clear that I don't want the card and I didn't come here to drum up business nor get solicited (unless, of course, it's a business Meetup and you're there specifically to talk business). If the conversation takes a natural course towards business which it inevitably will when someone asks you what you do for a living, you can't avoid talking shop provided it's comfortable for everyone concerned. But I always reassure anyone who does want to connect meaningfully that we can exchange contact details afterward through the website.
A former member
Post #: 542
Hi Neeven, I fully appreciate your input and your feedback; and I do share your prospective on several of the points you have put forward, especially when it comes to moving to Vancouver as adults rather then children or students, which is the usual periods when strong bounds are usually built.

I can assure you that from my side, I don't usually give up easily nor I plan to, this was my point in my earlier post that valuable accomplishments take time to build; further more I agree that not all contacts are worthy friendship material from both my prospective and other's prospective on myself. The techniques of building a friendship in terms of follow up and undertaking interesting activities does not escape me, it was just my impression that the majority of people don't seem interested in that additional step, however I believe you are right when you say this is largely a transient society.

This concept of transient society takes me to another point which is the shrinkage of time; as it seems we are heading more and more into a society of doing things as fast as possible, people want to build fortunes and professional success overnight, they want to go to places quickly, eat quickly, know and "unknow" people quickly, live in a place and change it quickly, get the news quickly; it is just seems that society does not want to take the time anymore to do anything that actually takes time. Lets take the news example we are bombarded with news 24/24, news has actually been compressed to 140 characters on twitter, but learning about a piece of news does not mean understanding the news and its implications, sometimes we need time to analyze, we need time to understand and we need time to debate (groups such as CFI are excellent in this context), but CFI is the exception not the norm, things that take time are out of fashion and I believe this is an additional reason why people do not wish to invest emotionally in relationships, they simply don't have time (or think they don't) the fetish word for people is "busy", as long as they perceive that they are moving quickly toward a given goal this is all what matters.

Finally, I am not preaching that we should go to a Victorian society living in a world of extreme etiquette and slow reflection, but introducing a balance in our lives seems to make sense, however we are pushing things to the other extreme and it is time someone says "slow down and smell the roses!"


user 33564232
Vancouver, BC
Post #: 1
Hi Nawar,

Often, everything that needs to be said has been said, and enough is enough.

Further, I can vouch for the need to have ongoing privacy, yet I have no issues talking with someone about more personal items and then forgoing some sort of organized future communications. In fact, it can be easier to speak candidly to strangers on a short term basis.

None of this is new, nor would I suggest there is definitive need to slow down and smell the roses, given you are simply observing a common human trait and placing your value judgment on it.

Consider the apparent contradiction that intimacy can produce distance. Consider the small group tribal nature of human behavior.

Of final note, my life is almost exclusively real face to face contacts and I am perfectly fine with shorter term face to face, in which everything that needs to be said has been said, and enough is enough.

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