02450: Communication Inconsistencies

Chicken Tinola

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 68

I miss people. I miss our gaming friends that we'd usually meet up with at least once a month. I miss our O Bar friends that we'd see at the bar and get drunk with and dance with and whatever. As much as I'm an introvert, I do miss in-person socializing.

But at the same time I haven't exactly been maximizing digital communication channels to connect with people. I would hardly call, text, or even direct message people before the pandemic and the quarantine hasn't quite changed that behavior. 

Social media is the great equalizer and liking a post always feels like your bare minimum reminder to others that you're still alive and leaving a comment takes so much more effort. I probably get into more "conversations" on Twitter than Facebook, but that's just the nature of the platform and how it encourages comment threads whereas on Facebook you want to disengage quickly to stop the flood of notifications or something.

Tobie and I have experimented with hosting Facebook live sessions while we play board games and more recently have tried posting open invites to Google Meet calls so we can actually talk versus talking AT a live broadcast and hoping for comments. 

But Tobie and I have never actually like coordinated and scheduled a proper video conference for different groups of friends because that feels like something bigger than just calling someone up and that's so much more work and social energy?

I think that's part of why we love tabletop games so much. The whole experience is a great framework for social interactions that sets a clear direction for most of your interactions (i.e. playing the game) that you aren't obligated to maintain lengthy conversations and other social challenges. You talk between turns but not to the degree that you disrupt another person's turn and life goes on.

We have a lot of online tabletop RPG sessions our voice chat and mostly with video and I do appreciate these moments of interaction. They're a great way to touch base with friends and then keep our different game stories going, which in itself is a welcome form of geeky entertainment during these uncertain times.

But the technology and social processes (e.g. scheduling) are the very same ones that could lead to a decent video conference with friend and yet we haven't bothered in the nearly ten weeks of quarantine. I talk to family all the time and we have numerous group video calls in a week, but not with friends. Why is that? I feel weird about it but I don't feel bad about it and I can't guarantee anything is going to change with respect to this conundrum. 

But I am just curious about why things have panned out in this manner.