Saturday, July 2, 2016

Study: Everyone Secretly Hates Going Out

Vice Last week, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the American Time Use Survey, an annual look at how people spend the precious minutes of their short lives. Mostly, people sleep (almost nine hours a day on average), work (just under eight hours on days they work), and watch TV (a bit under three hours). A scant 41 minutes of each average day are spent socializing in person with other humans, a number that's fallen by 9 percent over the past decade. Does this mean that society is falling further away from the everyone-kicking-it-all-the-time paradise of Friends? Or that we're talking to people online rather than in person now?

Maybe something darker is at play here: Maybe Americans aren't hanging out because we're all hiding in our apartments and inventing elaborate lies about why we can't come out.

That's the conclusion of a recent study by something called Yelp Eat24, which I guess is like Seamless but run by Yelp? Regardless, I have no reason not to trust a home food delivery service when it sends out a press release about how people prefer to stay at home, so let's take them at their word when they say, "It may be that FOMO—the Fear of Missing Out—has run its course, as a new survey identifies the power of POMO... the PLEASURE Of Missing Out." (more of this story)


edutcher said...

Maybe people are realizing a lot of other people are jerks not worth their time.

IOW, society is getting older.

ndspinelli said...

As a culture, we are losing basic social skills. This piece is consistent w/ that erosion.

Methadras said...

Technology in this regard has corrupted the entire social scene. Between facebook, instagram, flickr, and twitter, everyone is perfect, everything they eat is awesome, they are all beautiful, they all vacation together, party together, hang out together, they are all having the time of their lives every minute of every day. It's attention whoring to the nth degree. This created an untenable situation to many peoples psyche for two reasons. One, its an envy trap. You want what these people have, money, status, friends, but the way they are displayed, they are an unreachable virtual social class of people you will never know, see, or become. So you keep trying and you fail every single time. You might get a score now and then, but it is usually a fluke one-off that amounts to very little and there is no repeating it ever again.

The second reason is that by the time you realize that it's a bullshit trap, it's too late. You've spent a shitload of time, money, and energy trying to attain and become something you realize you aren't and could never be, which then potentially leads you down the road of self-loathing an depression. You meander your way through your young life wondering what's next after this. There is always that one guy who peaked in high school still living his glory days until the bitter end, never realizing that he peaked and everyone else knew it too, but he refused to see it or your that prototypical friend that everyone feels sorry for because even though you hang around the cool kids, they all pity you because you just end up being the support structure that everyone goes to dump their emotional baggage on and you get swamped by it. Being on the periphery of that social club, but on the outside looking in, even when you are in it.

ndspinelli said...

As a culture, we are losing basic social skills. This piece is consistent w/ that erosion.

Like I said, corruption is the beginnings of rust, the rust is the corrosion/erosion. People who secretly hate going out is because the majority of chances are is that they've been corrupted by the allure of the fun times they think everyone else is happening and they don't want to experience FOMO. I've seen it with my own eyes. Going to a party, hanging out for a little while and seeing that one or two people who stay until the bitter end only later to ask them why they hung out so long and them telling me that they didn't want to miss out on something potentially cool happening. They were just those kinds of people.

Losing social skills is the corrosion. Technology has facilitated that social rust to occur. It will only get worse because this particular rabbit hole only leads to a particular dead end. Now, this may seem like a light hearted piece, but I'm telling you that it has profound consequences on peoples abilities to connect with others and when that starts to shake and spread more and more, it sets up a very ugly pattern of paranoia and distrust and that's something we as Americans do not want. I could go on and on and write entire books on this phenomena.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well, we don't go "out" very often because there really aren't many places locally to go for diner or drinks. We can cook at home and get much better meals and better scotch too :-) We prefer to relax at home, read books, check the internet and stream movies. We are old and the lure of going "out" and staying up late has really lost its charm.

I think when you get older, you are more select about who your friends are and who you want to spend time with. Less friends. But better and closer friends.

However, when we do go "out", because our town is so small, it is like being with family. That can be a good thing or bad thing. Everyone knows you, knows about your business and is often a fun conversational evening. Last night we went down to the local bar/hotel had a few drinks, ordered some hors d'ouvers at the bar and shot the shit with mostly people we know already. Some tourists were there and they were interested in the conversations between the locals. We were home by 6pm.

My husband sees a lot of people every day in his business and while I don't have the customer contact that I used to have, after a work day we are just really not that interested in socializing. Frankly, we are sick of dealing with people. He is hot, tired and cranky. What friends we do have we visit with a few times a week or see casually around. Often in the summer have a couple or two couples, (No more that that number of people) over for a BBQ once in a while.

What we really prefer to do is to go RV/camping. Take the trailer and go to a shady mountainous campground. Our favorite is nearby, about 4500 feet elevation. No internet.No cell reception. Near a fly fishing stream and huge reservoir/lake. It does have full hookups so we can have all the luxuries of home: electric, A/C, refrigerator/freezer, stove/oven, sewer, water etc. We take the laptop and hubby writes some short stories. There is nothing to do but read, nap, swim, take walks, cook, eat, nap, BBQ dinner, have cocktails, talk to each other, play scrabble or chess.... and relax. Decompress. It is heaven.

The only thing we are missing is an MP3 player and some blue tooth portable speakers.

ricpic said...


The social whirl is superficial;
Sitting in your room is grim:
A guru or a crossword puzzle
Help you crawl back off that limb.

ricpic said...

Should be helps not help. Nuts.

ndspinelli said...

Meth and DBQ, Thanks for the thoughtful comments. As DBQ points out, some of the staying home is just the natural order, simple aging. But, there are some folks, even as they get older, who still have that mentality that they need constant interaction. Now, some of that is also related to introvert v extrovert. But, a lot seems to be insecurity like Meth analyzed. They are the folks who go on cruises. Now, to each their own. But, if given a cruise for free, I would decline and I think my bride would as well. I remember, in my early 30's, starting to not care if we did anything on Friday or Saturday night. That's about the time I started my biz and worked 80 hour weeks, so fatigue was also a factor. Throw in kids, and fugettaboutit!

ndspinelli said...

We just binge watched 4 seasons of The Americans. I liked the little touch of the older and younger Commie spies playing Scrabble.

bagoh20 said...

"A scant 41 minutes of each average day are spent socializing in person with other humans."

Oh, I wish. That would be heaven. Maybe heaven is just a lawn chair next to a lake, with a cigar, a fishing pole and a cooler full of cold drinks... and Jesus, who feels he's already said most of what needs said.

ndspinelli said...

I thought only colored folk fished from the lake edge.

rcocean said...

my wife and i are both introverts. We see her relatives every week and that's enough.

People used to be more social because they had to be. In the old days, you could stay in your room and read a book or stare out the window, that was about it.

Today, you can stay home and travel the world (vicariously) through the internet, TV, and social media.

I agree its a trap, but you can't put the genie back in the bottle.