I’ve recently started a new job, working for a department store. I usually spend my breaks sitting by myself, eating a snack and briefly catching up on the Interwebz. Which I enjoy. I like this relaxing break from being around others. But today I felt obligated to spend break with everyone else, going to Starbucks and then sitting together in the mall food court.
I sat there quietly sucking my iced mocha while everyone around me talked, and I felt so out-of-place. It wasn’t only because I’m a new worker, and it wasn’t age-related because we’re all within maybe 5 years of each other. What happened was, the girls gossiped and the boys talked about sports, and each gender made fun of the other. There was no middle ground — it was clearly uncool to stray from the stereotypical topics for each gender.
It was like watching a movie with poorly developed characters. Or watching kids during lunch break in elementary school. Sitting there was so suffocating. It was like they look at everything through an empty paper towel roll; their field of vision seemed so narrow.
Is this kind of social interaction normal? The people I’ve been interacting with for the past 4 years have almost exclusively been fellow college students. Am I just too used to hanging around the “liberal college crowd”? Or could it even be because I spend more time online than in the “real world”?