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What's your story? Discussions your reasons for going abroad.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
Strange contradiction in US social life - Between a rock and a hard place
Whatâ€™s ironic is that the US social atmosphere is inherently anti-social and isolationist so that trying to meet people goes â€œagainst the grainâ€�, yet if you have no social or dating life, you are considered a â€œloserâ€� and told that there is something wrong with you. That is a strange contradiction that puts one between a rock and a hard place. It doesnâ€™t make sense, and is both illogical and weird. In an anti-social isolationist culture, shouldnâ€™t it be more â€œnormalâ€� to not have a social life than to have one?
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
Some people in America try and act like they fit in but in reality they don't. Some guys try to hang out with the party animals because they are considered cool and popular. In high school and college, it was the guys who were party animals that went to parties, met girls and got laid. Guys in frats in college were very popular and got laid like rock stars because of their perceived higher social status ( and women love guys with high social status!).
Last edited by jamesbond on October 28th, 2011, 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Here is a great response to this post from my list. It's so true!
"You forget the other side -- you MUST be fake at all times, which means that everyone else is putting on a show to make people think that they have social lives when in fact they don't, or they exaggerate what little social lives they have in order to fit in. If you don't try to put on airs to the contrary, then you are not participating in the masquerade, which means that you will be ostracized by your peers on that count. If there is even one person who is honest, it starts to shatter the fragile social ecosystem of lies that is characteristic of American social interaction. The violation of this unspoken rule is what will make you a pariah; do you really think that, within the rubric of always being fake, the TRUE reason for your being singled out would ever be expressed? Of course not! And they may not even know on a conscious level, so ingrained is the insincerity in their minds, such that they will say someone is a "loser" for having no friends, when in fact the real reason is that the idea of an honest person, honestly addressing the typical gaping chasm of dishonesty and the isolation that it brings, between all social relations, upsets this fragile network of mutual deceit."
Yes, in an anti-social isolationist culture, the average people do not have satisifying social lives. This is why having at least the appearance of a satisfying social life is such a coveted thing in America: it is the ultimate status symbol that separates the strong and connected from the weak and unconnected. The people who fit in generally do so by the luck of having been born into an environment with the right influences which shaped them into something which is viewed as desirable by this culture.
I also read a study somewhere that the people in America who had the most friends in school made the most money later in life. Social life and work are both part of the same big system in America. Fail at one, and you fail at the other.
Few people have the luck or the talent to find the romantic and financial success they want in such a culture. In my opinion, it's often easier--although certainly not easy--to simply move to a different country with a different culture.
I'm teaching English abroad because I didn't want to change myself into the sort of uncaring sociopath who succeeds in America.
The isolationist image is not how America is shown in movies, books, TV shows and other media beamed into billions of households worldwide. If you look at movies for one or anything on TV, an average American, friendly and informal, helpful and sociable, humorous and always ready to engage others in social interactions is juxtaposed against an anal Brit, a dour Russian, a shy and tight lipped Oriental, an arrogant Frenchman and a cruel, currupt Latino. A Black American in particular is a swaggering, very informal, very open person.
If you ask so many young people in Japan, for one, to describe an American, these words will come out of their mouths:
Easy going and sociable
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Amen on that! You need to give the APPEARANCE of having a great and satisifying social life. If not, you are scorned for being a "loser." I was just checking out a website on how to succeed with women in America and the author said, "You need to give the appearance to women that you have a great social life and you are the life of the party. Also, women need to believe that other women want and desire you. You don't want her to think you are an unemployed bum with no social life. Even if you are an unemployed bum with no social life, you don't want her to know that!" I thought that was a riot and how true that is here in America! Give a false appearence to others that you have an awesome social life and dating life!
In the US, you need to keep up the appearence of having a great social life. You don't want a woman to think you are an unemployed bum with no social life ............... even if you are an unemployed bum with no social life, you don't want a woman to know that.
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."