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Author Topic: Definition of "having a life"?
Jimmymaniac
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Icon 9 posted May 30, 2001 02:11      Profile for Jimmymaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi. I'm not a regular here, not even a lurker. But i'm a bit philosophically depressed today, so let's get some answers.

I've been told that i "don't have a life" before, and last week somebody did it again. I'm your typical geek that spents so much time with computers and the PSX that i should have some form of "chip poisoning" or something and with the social skills of a rock (in a lonely place, mind you). So, What's needed to be recognized by the world as "having a life"? how do i get one? I want to have a girlfriend some day (i would like that sooner that the next century) and stuff, but i think i fall in the "nice geek guy" cathegory too much for that. I've read enough and technically know what's needed, but i can't seem to have it yet. And a life seems to be indispensable.

Sorry for sounding so depressive, i'm not usually like that, but the questions are valid right now and there isn't a Get-A-Life-HOWTO anywhere

Posts: 4 | From: Barranquilla, Colombia | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
MrJ
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2001 05:50      Profile for MrJ     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Get a life" is context-sensitive and relative to the person commenting. If it had something to do with your choice of free time activities, the people are probably commenting that you don't share their idea of fun or work. If you were bugging them then they just don't like your personality, and maybe you have people issues you need to work on. Do you really want to be some consensus of "having a life" instead of what you are now? You claim to already know the answer, and yet you ask, so apparently you don't like your own answer. Well there's no good news here. If what you want is a girlfriend, and the girls you meet just don't want to share your type of life and you don't want to share in theirs, that's just the way it is. You could pretend, some people are good at that, but I say pretenders don't have lives. If you actually have some personality flaw that you're trying to correct, the people on this forum may have a bunch of suggestions for you, but we'll need a more specific goal than "having a life".

I happen to sit in front of a computer all hours of the day except for necessary functions like sleeping. I work and play online. That's just where my interests are. I meet in chat rooms with people who do the same things, because it's rare to find such people in person. People with different interests are doing a billion different things right now, and I could try to join in but I know that's just not who I am. I don't value social structures for the only sake of having them. It's a very lonely existence, but I call it a life even if others don't.

(It's not chip-poisoning, it's electromagnetic radiation, and so far the research says it's harmless. )


Posts: 35 | From: near Grand Rapids, MI | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
maxomai
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Icon 6 posted May 30, 2001 16:04      Profile for maxomai   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Jimmymaniac:
Hi. I'm not a regular here, not even a lurker. But i'm a bit philosophically depressed today, so let's get some answers.

I've been told that i "don't have a life" before, and last week somebody did it again.


Hm. Well, I'd say you should consider the source. Not everyone's definition of a 'life' is the same. I definitely don't have a life by most people's standards, because I don't have a girlfriend (at the present) and I don't go bar hopping or club hopping; nor do I go kayaking etc. OTOH I've got some pretty solid friends and I have a couple of social groups that I hang out with, and this constitutes as much life as I can handle.


quote:

I'm your typical geek that spents so much time with computers and the PSX that i should have some form of "chip poisoning" or something and with the social skills of a rock (in a lonely place, mind you).

Hm. Well, lonely is definitely a problem, and if I'm not mistaken that's the crux of your problem, right?

OK, so here's what I'm going to suggest.

First, work on those social skills. This is actually not so hard; it can be learned like any other skill, even though most people apparently learn this stuff without realizing. I got started with a book called "The Secret Language of Success" which was all about body language. Things like eye contact, personal space, stature, etc. You'd be surprised how much people infer from stuff like that. So a search on Amazon for "body language" and pick out a couple of books; then practise on your peers, on strangers, on teachers, etc. You'd be surprised how quickly you can take charge of a situation just by exerting the proper body language.

Second thing is, get involved with some sort of social circle. Role playing games, religion, hacking, mathematics, Star Trek, whatever. If one doesn't exist, create one. You'll probably draw a lot of males. That's ok.

Then join another social circle. This one can (and really, should) have a higher relative (and absolute) female population. This should also be something that's not necessarily geeky. Religion and politics are two good draws. If you're not religious, join an atheist or agnostic group. I also recommend writer's circles (including open mike poetry readings). Or, take guitar lessons. Or take classes in something non-geeky, like French or History or Psychology. Even if you're already out of school!!! One suggestion: the Society for Creative Anachronism is packed with all sorts of interesting people.

OK, so this just gets things started. The point of this exercise is to turn you into a well rounded individual, one who's got more than just brains to offer the world.

quote:

I want to have a girlfriend some day (i would like that sooner that the next century) and stuff, but i think i fall in the "nice geek guy" cathegory too much for that.

Hogwash. You just haven't developed the right social skills yet. All that stuff that I mentioned above can be basically seen as exercises towards the sendmail of the social world: dating.

If you didn't get my sendmail reference, then let me state it clearly: dating is hard. Hard hard hard. It is hard both in terms of effort and in terms of emotional turmoil. This holds regardless of how geeky or non-geeky you are. There is a reason why shows like "Sex in the City" are so popular, and it is precisely because dating is such a pain in the ass.

By the point you've done the above, however, you have some advantages working in your favor. First, assuming you're not a Complete And Total Jerk, you've got a few circles of friends, including one or two circles that are female heavy. Do not underestimate the value of this resource. Even if there are no females available in these circles, chances are someone that you know knows someone else who is available and potentially a good match. Secondly, you've got some brains and (presumably) a pretty good future. Thirdly, if you're smart then you've also done some things to enhance your basic attractiveness. (Hints: lose weight, learn to dance, get contacts or more fashionable glasses, get a haircut, shave, change your wardrobe to something that's a slightly sexier look, go to the dentist. All these little things add up.)

So you're basically ready to enter the dating scene. Now it's a matter of really drudging hard work: dates, blind dates, miscues, embarrassments, humiliation, and the occasional actual real connection with someone. You're going to feel like you don't have any idea what the hell is going on. That's normal and expected, since really, nobody knows what the hell is going on.
At this point you just need to invest a lot of time, a lot of patience, and have faith that it will eventually work out.

Good luck.

------------------
And the Goddess said to the God, "What do you mean it *broke*?!?!?" And thus was the Universe created.


Posts: 343 | From: Portland, OR | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sleazy_D
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Icon 10 posted May 30, 2001 20:51      Profile for Sleazy_D     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The "Life" They are refering to is generally a social life.

I use to (briefly) live on the net, but it just didn't do it for me, so I got out there and interacted with people. It worked for em, it may not work for you. Speaking as someone who's social skillz can be remembered(or lamented) as "wack", or "14m3", I can assure you that with practice (and several slaps across the face) they can be learned. As for getting a life, just find people who you have something in common, and go drink beers, or hang out... maybe hit some of your run-of-the-mill hang out spots. What ever, just be social.

Oh, and if there is any doubt as to how geeky me, and my friends can be, let this be your guide: Paint ball Picture!

------------------
Sleazy D -- Caring, by sharing too much!


Posts: 52 | From: Whistah, MA | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doc Holliday
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2001 22:40      Profile for Doc Holliday   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jimmy,
I'm trying to sum up what it means to "have a life in two sentences. Let's see if this works for you...

If you wake up in the morning as happy as you did when you went to bed then you have a life. If you go to bed unhappy and wake up numb you have to find out what's missing from your life.

Sleazy D, Paintabll rules! I've got a big scar on my wrist from one of my own teammates popping me from about 6 inches away. What a bloody mess. What skin was left I had to cut off with an exacto knife.


Posts: 517 | From: I'm right behind you!!! | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged
nekomatic
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Icon 14 posted May 31, 2001 08:30      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maxomai,

One word:

Fridgeworthy!


Posts: 822 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged
Jimmymaniac
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Member # 743

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Icon 7 posted May 31, 2001 22:30      Profile for Jimmymaniac     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi. Thanks to everybody that replied. I'm feeling much better now. I was feeling a little bit frustrated, like i was on the bad guys side of some power-ranger-ishy show (guaranteed to lose and look stupid in the process). I think i've got some good answers, only i'm too sleepy to decipher them today (i had an all-nighter study session last night, and was working all day), but tomorrow i'll post something coherent (i hope )
Posts: 4 | From: Barranquilla, Colombia | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged


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