Welcome to Wandering Insider, where we will embark upon a cool quest to make the real world a more social, less lonely place.
Growing up in America I was always deeply saddened and dissatisfied with the lack of social opportunities in the country. I would look at all the rows of large, similar-looking houses in the suburbs from behind our car window and wonder, where do all the people go when they want to get together, have a good time and hang out?
At some point I realized the answer to that was sort-of…nowhere. Most people spent most of their free time behind locked doors watching television.
Of course, I eventually came to understand why people did this–everyone works hard and everybody’s tired. It’s entertaining, it’s fun, it’s interesting and it’s easy. Still, I always felt like America’s tv culture was robbing me of a real life lived with the real people, and made it so I spent more time watching adventures rather than having them myself.
Social media and the ability to comment on websites has opened the door for casual social interaction with strangers in a way that didn’t previously exist. Because we’re so frequently interacting with people online whom we’ve never necessarily met in person, talking to strangers is slowly becoming less and less weird. I’m very excited about this change in culture.
But for all the countless hours spent online, studies show we’re not getting the psychological benefits we’re supposed to get from socializing. Astonishingly, a recent study concluded that most Americans are still considered lonely. Screen time might even associated with more depression and suicide!
The goal of Wandering Insider is to further a a real world culture that is just a bit more social. We don’t have to be best friends with everyone we meet. But I want to grow the idea that it’s okay to chat just a little with the people we see in the cereal aisle, at store check-out counters, standing in line, out taking walks, sitting at the airport, at long community-style tables in restaurants or in other public places.
Wandering Insider is my journey doing all that, shared with all of you.
So, off we go. I’m very excited to take this journey with you!