The other day I read something saying that making friends is now based on knowing what you’re interested in and finding people who like the same things.
That’s probably not what the article said, but that’s what I’m now thinking it said.
It was comparing social life online – meeting people through your interests – with social life of the past – meeting people through geographic proximity.
I’ve always been crap at meeting people, but lately I’ve thought I should at least try, and, as there’s currently no way to try meeting people offline (I never go anywhere, and I live in a paddock), the only possibility is online – through finding people with similar interests.
That’s where the problem lies. What are my interests? I have no idea. I don’t seem to have any, or I have too many with no depth. What I’m interested in today will be gone by tomorrow. Sometimes I’ll have an intense interest in something for 15 minutes. I don’t think you can even call that an interest; it’s more of a passing fancy. Yesterday I spent most of the day trying to learn about bikie gangs, and I do mean most of the day: about 9 hours. It seemed like a really interesting topic, yesterday, or until I had to stop searching because there was a storm and I needed to turn the computer off. After that the whole topic seemed ridiculous, and today I not only couldn’t care less about it, it even seems like a gruesome and horrible thing to be interested in.
This is what happens with all of my “interests”. They don’t last. I might be interested in 20 things in one day, but then when I get to the end of the day I won’t even remember what they were.
For any really at-the-time interesting topic I start a private wiki and collect articles about it, and for a time I’ll be obsessively interested, even passionate, following leads hither and thither like a detective. But looked at overall the topics don’t add up to anything. They’re not going anywhere. They don’t make a list of things I can say “this is what I’m interested in”, and anyway, now I don’t care about them any more:
– bikie gangs
– a news story about the death of a young girl in the desert
– David Foster Wallace
– a news story about a schizophrenic man running wild in the bush around Melbourne
– a psychiatric hospital
– Henry Lawson
– the history of a specific succulent
– mental illness
I guess some of those topics could be bundled together (a mental health bundle, say), but I’m not interested in the rest of the bundle, only those specific parts I’ve already looked at and left behind.
So, it’s probably hopeless. There’s nothing I can say is my interest, or not unless you consider Miscellaneous to be a topic. I’ll continue to check tags on WordPress, though, when I’m happy enough to handle being severely disappointed over and over and over again.
(In case you don’t know, you can see individual tags and get feeds for them, or follow them in your WordPress Reader if you’re that way inclined. What I do is replace the word “miscellaneous” in http://en.wordpress.com/tag/miscellaneous/#!/fresh/ with the required tag-name and paste it into the address bar of a browser. That way you’re not restricted to looking at only the popular tags.)