Five things I’m thinking about right now

16 07 2010

Following in the footsteps the people on Dan’s list, I have jumped on the bandwagon and written my five things I’m thinking of list. They’re all a bit introspective, but that’s how I am at the moment.

1) Loneliness in the age of digital relationships

I recently learned of the word dysthemia in this article from Psychology Today, which describes it as ‘a mild, low-level, pervasive depression that saps life of its beauty.’ and lays the blame on ‘frayed connections to friends, relatives, coworkers, and especially the tens or hundreds of strangers we pass every day. Punishing schedules and myriad affiliations provide ties that are all too illusory. People experience profound dissonance because they are in the company of others but not truly connected to them.’

I’d sum this up as a feeling of ‘how dare I feel lonely when I have so many friends?’

Digital relationships on social networks do serve to exacerbate (my) natural tendencies of complacency towards keeping up with friends. If I see someone talking every day on Twitter I feel like I’m still connected to them without the effort of actually going out and meeting up. And in the hectic over-saturated life of London town, it can be truly an effort to get time with your friends. Worse than that is how it feels when you ask a friend to meet up and they just can’t ever, every time you make an effort you run the risk of feeling rejection.

I started an experiment to see if I could force myself to stop avoiding that risk, I decided to remove myself from Twitter and Facebook so that I no longer had a window into my friends’ lives and would HAVE to contact them in real life in order to connect with them.

I decided to leave on my 1234th tweet, as it was approaching, and started to count down. I would normally tweet 20 times a day, I now was down to 10 over one week. During that week several people asked me why I was leaving, some supported it and said they wanted to leave too, some said they’d be sad to see me go and two asked me not to leave.

When it came to my last tweet, I gave up the idea. Whilst it is true that having social networks to hide behind stopped me nurturing my friendships, they also stop me from throwing up those barriers of shyness that time apart lets me build. There are people I have met only 5 times in 3 years who are not just acquaintances but true friends, that shouldn’t be possible.

So I’m changing my experiment to be; make more effort, take more risks, go out and do things.

2) Synaesthesia

Synaesthesia is amazing, 1 in 3 people have it to some degree and most of them won’t even know it. The easiest way to describe it is as a condition where a person hears colours or tastes words or sees sound. Any combination is possible pretty much; a single input has multiple outputs.

I’ve been reading ‘The frog who croaked blue’ by Jamie Ward and one of my favourite stories is of a man who tastes words. If he eats a piece of bread whilst reading the word ‘New York’ he tastes boiled egg and soldiers because the flavour of the bread combines with the flavour of the word (which tastes of boiled egg). Unfortunately, the word twelve makes him retch and that must be far more common to come across 😦

I’ve been trying to figure out if I myself have synaesthesia, but I think it’s not the case. I *do* associate colours with numbers, but I think that is a learned behaviour from playing Klax on the Atari Lynx when I was a child.

Thinking about this reminded me that there are certain number combinations that make me inexplicably happy. 12:34pm for example (which is yellow, white, orange, pink) and 23:45pm (turquoise, orange, red, blue – bit like the firefox logo)

3) Girls, Boys and equalism

This I should devote a whole blog post to, but in short, I’ve been getting annoyed at what people seem to be holding up as feminist issues and ideals. For the most part, I’m happy with the world I live in, I am respected as a person, with little regard to my gender.

I was arguing with a feminist in the pub last night, he couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to identify myself as a feminist. :/

4) New world order

This sits with the above, I’ve come to realise recently, that it may be the reason I am accepted everywhere I go, is because I only go places where I am accepted. The games sector I work in is relatively new. Channel 4, BBC, 4IP, all come from TV backgrounds where the culture is more female dominated. I went to pitch a game proposal to phone company and the only men in the room were the ones who came in with me. Games are getting commissioned by ‘non-games’ companies for ‘non-gamers’ to play. Things are changing – they must be or someone like me wouldn’t be here.

5) Get excited and make things

The crazy ideas I had at Uni – that I was told were too infeasible to actually ever make – have all been realised and superseded. It’s time to start making things again and blurring realities once more…

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2 responses

19 07 2010
Extenuating Circumstances – A Collection of Five Things

[…] Minkette: loneliness in the age of digital relationships, synaethesia, girls boys and equalism, new world orde… […]

21 07 2010
Being Super « Minkette

[…] how well a lone identity such as the little girl Ofelia in Pan’s Labyrinth would fare. This harks back to the idea that small close-nit friendship groups are the best thing for us, or at least the best […]

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