Greedy Goblin

Friday, July 24, 2015

Being social makes you lonely

I've found another piece of scientific research to add to my "theory of fun people". The researchers first evaluated loneliness of the test subjects by a survey. Loneliness is probably the best measurable aspect of "failed in being social". People believe that such "losers" are bad in socialization. However the research proved the opposite: those who were lonely performed better in recognizing emotions on faces, one of the most used test of social skills.

Then came the trick: half of the test subjects were informed on this fact and were told that failing to recognize emotions means that they suck in social situations. This information had little effect on the non-lonely people. The lonely ones on the other hand froze and failed in the test.

This means two things:
  • Social people (who value socialization) have better social skills. It's trivial, those who value football are also better in football than those who don't give a damn.
  • However social people fail to use theses skills when it matters, exactly because they care. Those who don't give a damn about the outcome of socialization (the anti-socials) are using their skills fluently and as a result become liked.
Another beautiful reason why being social is bad: you'll fail in socialization and be lonely. It's much better to care about real things and as a bonus you'll even have company on the side. Just think of a bizarre example: it's hard to imagine less social person than me. Then guess who has nearly 10M visits on his blog?

PS: a piece of evidence that Goons are snakes.


Provi Miner said...

Sometimes I honestly think you play fast and loose with the term social and how it is really used as opposed to its definition.

Example party girl mittens = social that we all know (however she could be just using her partying as a mask for the social angst she feels and despite "acting social" she is extremely anti-social in reality) Her we call a social creature

Example Jose the mexican drug lord, only hangs out with his muchacho's doesn't go near anyone other than a very small group of people but he enjoys his time with them and they him, The have great deal of enjoyment out of their time together yet we could call them anti-social.

Appearance is everything, Take code there is no way I would consider them to social creatures, but honestly they probably have very healthy internal social group,

Anyways perception is more important that reality 90% of the time.

oh here is a great example, ask people of what they think of when they think of bill cosby, most would say scum bag then ask them what they think of bill clinton most wouldn't say scum bag. Yet only one of the two has been convicted as a result of sexual misconduct and it isn't cosby.

maxim said...

So how many of those 10M visits are you inviting over for dinner or starting actual business ventures with?

Don't confuse pretend social success with actual social success, where people are willing to put important stuff on the line for your sake.

Also, you can't get this actual social success without putting yourself in a position where you care about something. That's not how building trust works.

Esteban said...

Yeah, it's been known for a long time that psychopaths are excellent emotional manipulators and able to get what they want in large part because their own emotions are out of reach of others.

For the rest of us emotionally-hamstrung socials, though, fighting performance anxiety by deciding not to care about anything is a non-starter. If we persuade ourselves that we don't care about the social situation we're in then we waive the emotional reward, too. And we do want that reward.

Zaxin said...

"Just think of a bizarre example: it's hard to imagine less social person than me. Then guess who has over 10M visits on his blog?"

You are social.
You care about whether people are paying attention, and more importantly, you care about what other people are doing, and wish to disrupt those who are not behaving in a way that you perceive to be the correct way to do it. Moreover, you wish to encourage others to behave in the same way as yourself, as an endorsement of your methods.

Your goon crusade is an example of social behaviour, you are always very keen to show your latest numbers which prove you are "winning" by whichever metrics you have chosen this week. Why do you care about what a group of people you have no association with are doing?
Because they are not behaving in a manner which you approve of. Because you deem them to be lower than you.

Asocial individuals do not care one way or the other what other people are doing, provided it is not disturbing them.

You may be anti-social, but you are definitely not asocial. You have posted in the past about how many people are in your channel, about how many people are in your guild, about how many people are following your methods. An asocial individual would post opinions, information,but not variants on "look how successful I am".

You also are inferring your own meaning into why people visit your blog, your statement implies people only visit a blog because they enjoy the author's writing and would like to hang out with him in real life. By this metric, Conservapedia must be full of useful information by the number of times it gets linked and visited, as must Ken Ham's websites.

Gevlon said...

@How many of the "internet buddies" who are chatting nonsense on fleet/corp/alliance chat with you inviting you over for dinner or starting actual business ventures with?

To be clear: I'm fully aware that my visitors are not my reliable friends. But they are just as good as any "buddy" and "bro" anyone has in a video game.

@Esteban: I didn't say you shouldn't care about anything. I said you shouldn't care about social things. By caring about real things, you become successful and success is the best social magnet. Billionaires have lingerie model girlfriends even if they are assholes.

@Zaxin: caring about the World doesn't make you social. Goons exists in EVE no less than gun bonuses on a ship. Would you call putting bonused guns on a ship social or simply normal. Being social is caring about the opinions and friendship of other people. Wanting to be liked and respected.

"look how successful I am" is a simple proof of "look how successful you could be if you'd follow my advice".

Esteban said...

You misunderstand the nature of the reward, Gevlon. There has to be a stake - an emotional stake, separate from the real stake - for the corresponding emotional reward to be present. Certainly, if you care only about measurable victories, you're more likely to win by real metrics than someone who cares about measurable victories and also whether they're liked for who they are along the way, etc. But that's not debatable and not the point.

That is a parameter error the study makes, too. Of course, too much performance anxiety is crippling and may lead to loneliness. It is being trapped in the vestigial indecision between fight and flight. However, to be free of it completely is to deny oneself a priceless thrill. When courting a fascinating woman, one is aware of the risk of humiliation and rejection, the self-doubt in one's wits and looks, the perceived danger from a rival. The pulse is too quick, there is a heaviness in the pit of the stomach, the pupils dilate. The risk of blunder increases. Of course, I could name every hormone that hits a receptor to make this happen, and every muscle that tightens or loosens - these processes evolved for a different, older purpose and they cause one to be inefficient, but it is a beautiful inefficiency. Not to have felt the excitement and uncertainty of the chase makes the attainment worthless.

A plastic creature effortlessly attracted by wealth and success is the least desirable thing imaginable - unless she is only a trophy to further the main game, which in itself is very sad. There is probably a P2W argument in there somewhere. :)

Anonymous said...

gevlon. you have a relationship and live with your gf. by definition you are social.

"By caring about real things"
you mean in material real? or what do you mean? please define.

Esteban: I hear this a lot. "priceless thrill". All about sex. the _MOST_ social interaction there is. we don't do it to procreate. no. since brothels exist or rape of warslaves, mankind wasn't in need of procreation any more so that aspect got usurped into our warped social masquerade. it's a lifestyle equivalent to accessory.
I don't care anymore so I don't feel any thrill. The only mutual unconditional deep love I ever experienced was with my parents (lucky me), since their deaths I rather embrace loneliness instead of this social sex farce.

Gevlon said...

Ted Bundy had a wife. Does it makes him social?
Real things are measurable objectively. Your weight is real. Your feelings are not.

Anonymous said...

Everything on TV is social, what do you think it is made for?

Your feelings are not.
objectively it's a chemical+neurological response. Brain research is full measurements and datadumps (double blind and the best objectiveness you could ever wish for). So feelings are real. Like your bad comparison to any TV show was based on one. Even if you thought of your response rationally in your best vulcan way, which you clearly didn't, the impulse was based on a feeling. Even philosophy is full of this but it is a research field of no interest in an objective worldview.

You don't like to hear it, but you are social if you have a sexual relationship with a person.

maxim said...

Actually, feelings are pretty real. They have a very physical manifestation in the form of brain chemistry and neural charge patterns.
They are just too complex for us to understand at the moment, so people who can't deal with that sort of complexity choose to pretend they don't exist.

Also, i'm not under any sort of illusion that games necessarily create real social bonds. Very few games do, and most of the time it happens not because of the game, but despite it.

What puzzles me is why you consider it acceptable to talk about usefulness of social behaviour when you have already decided it is useless by way of axiomatic assumption. We all know you believe it, you don't need to prove the fact that you believe it to us. What you need to do is leave your bias at the door when handling scientific studies.

For example, the study you linked does indeed point out that lonely people are lonely because they put a premium on social interaction, are scared of failing and fail. But why your conclusion from that is that they need to put less premium on social interaction? So they get more of stuff they decided they don't need? What would be the point of that?

I wonder if that study goes at all in the question of what is it that people consider so important that they rather choke and fail a social interaction than break it. It probably doesn't - because that would require handling complex things. Like feelings.

Anonymous said...

"Ted Bundy had a wife. Does it makes him social?"
It does not, however as far as I know Ted exploited her the hole time, testifying for him, smuggling drugs and so on. To him, she was just another tool.

"Real things are measurable objectively. Your weight is real. Your feelings are not."
But I'm curious, what purpose do you have for your girlfriend, if feelings don't exist in your mind? If not for love, what other reason would there be to invest that much time and energy into someone else?

I suppose one argument would be children. However you seem to know her for quite some time now, and still calling her "your girlfriend", not your wife. Also, there are plenty of women out there, who don't require little attention and are happy to have kids after a short period of time.

So, am I missing something or one of your statements not true after all?

Gevlon said...

Sharing living space has utility in countless ways, that's why university students (who generally have no stable relationships yet) don't live alone, but with a friend, despite obviously not being in love.

Anonymous said...

Sharing living space has utility in countless ways, that's why university students (who generally have no stable relationships yet) don't live alone, but with a friend, despite obviously not being in love.

You could live in little space. I rent a 40m2 apartment. tiny and tidy. not really the cheapest I pay premium for quiet but still it's way cheap. I live alone the last 12 years and I don't miss a roommate / friend in my living space in any way.

what countless ways? with roommates you cut the cost, that is it, nothing more positive. For the rest you share everything till peace of mind. And if it is really that arrangement, you could have called her roommate instead of girlfriend. people can distinguish that so should you. because she isn't a friend to you. If the status of her being the opposite sex is somewhat important for you to communicate, because of some archaic boasting mechanism in our male behavior patterns, you could call her a female roommate and I assure you it has the same weight of impact to likeminded.

"friendship" is something else than a "interpersonal bond". and the later isn't even a roommate. a roommate is more a "business partner" than anything else.

mugg said...

@ Gevlon, I've met four "internet buddies" from EVE in the last year and had dinner at one of their homes. I also met (and ate with) many more people I didn't previously know at EVE Vegas and Fanfest. With all events on I would guess EVE players meet up a lot more than you might think.

Anonymous said...

You are not married. and any intelligent human being will not stay with Ted Bundy. 2008/08 start of blog. Mentions in posts not comments of clearly your companion in live.
otherwise why would you introduce her to the blog 3 month into the livespan of this blog. mentioning her in 108 posts. you nearly manage to reference her in every month of the year since.
(pastebin because 4096 char limit)

coming from D2 lan play into the mmo world full of trading. did you trade in d2? I know ladder was trade heaven but there was some lan trading too.
/2009/07/my-room.html technically doesn't mention "my GF" or "my girlfirend" but you talk about "us" and "our", so it's save to say that is you and your GF you are talking about.

You do what socials do. having a great intimate relationship with an intelligent human being of your preferred gender. good for you. don't try to dodge it with "uni sharing flats" and "room-mates have sex too". Been there done my share of flat sharing (because it's cheap) have my master and am glad to live alone again. There was nothing much intimate or intelligent in my uni years.