I’ve been thinking about how I relate to people: what I enjoy, and what I’m probably going to move away from. I had started feeling guilty about being out of touch with some people, but I also realized that it might be a good idea to move on, and that some connections were easier and more energizing than others.
Face-to-face (or even over Facebook or Skype), I’m much more comfortable with groups of friends rather than one-on-one conversations. My barkada back home and the HackLab group are two examples. Because people are friends with each other, that spreads any emotional work needed. I can join the conversations or step back whenever I want, and I don’t have to worry about carrying half of the conversation myself.
As for one-on-one conversations, I prefer ones that are focused on ideas rather than events. More “This is what I’ve been learning; what do you think?” than “What’s up?” I strongly prefer asynchronous, low-commitment, non-expectant conversations over e-mail instead of synchronous chats, although I like blog conversations best of all.
I’m a little surprised by the way I get along much better with geeks (even if they’re not as active on social media) than with social media people (even if they’re active on Twitter or Facebook; even in the social media scene, not a lot of people blog). I suppose that’s more about an overlap of interests and senses of humour. Besides, I’m more likely to hang out at HackLab than go out for a networking event, so there’s that too.
I’m probably going to let my individual face-to-face friendships fade into the background, unless people want to come to HackLab (open house every Tuesday evening) or focus on ideas and learning in e-mail conversations. It feels weird making a deliberate decision about that, but it’s probably better to decide instead of just being polite. It’s awkward feeling like I’m moving on from friendships, but it’s good to know that it’s possible so that I can watch out for signs of this happening in more important areas, like other relationships or core interests.
On the plus side, the things that work well are working really well. =) I like the random conversations I have with people over Twitter or e-mail, the way people drift in and out of my inbox. I like the casual conversations at HackLab and the Facebook updates from my barkada. I like the way I can hang out with W- with the kind of comfort and ease that I’d never even thought of having with old friends. It’s good to find what works.