“Monica helps you organize the social interactions with your loved ones.
Organize. Follow-up. Strengthen your relationships.
Monica is for people who have jobs, a family, and are busy trying to find a good work/life balance. So busy, that they don’t have time anymore to remember to call a friend, say happy birthday to a nephew, or remember to invite someone special for dinner next week.”
Either a sign of an impending Apocalypse or exactly what you’ve been looking for. Take your pick.
“The Finnish don’t believe in talking bullshit.”
—Laura Studarus. “How the Finnish Survive Without Small Talk.” BBC.com. October 17, 2018.
Small talk is a social lubricant. It creates openings, fills in gaps in conversation, and eases partings. In environments with complex social networks that extend past our Dunbar numbers, social anxiety is a natural byproduct of the environment. Small talk eases this anxiety.
Gossip also has these features. It can be useful in communicating social standing in a group. It’s how reputations are made. But, it is can also be damaging if it becomes the focus of interaction, where what others think and will say about us within a group polices group behavior, leading to inauthentic lives.
Small talk has a similar problem. Sure, it can signal social connection and paper over awkward moments. But, it can also become a crutch that we rely on so much that we do it instead of making any kind of meaningful connection with others, which can easily heighten our feelings of social anxiety and disconnection.
“‘Your available social time is limited, and you can either spend it face to face or on the internet,” Dr. Dunbar said. If it’s spent with people who are ‘remote,’ whether geographically or just because they’re represented digitally, ‘you don’t have time to invest in new relationships where you are.’
People from our past that we no longer directly communicate with but who are active on social networks can ‘colonize valuable space in your mind, and you think about them instead of about your close friends,’ said Carlin Flora, the author of ‘Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are.'”
—Teddy Wayne, “Are My Friends Really My Friends?” The New York Times. May 12, 2018.
Reminds me of 10 Types of Odd Friendships You’re a Probably Part Of, which suggests that social media isn’t the origin but rather amplifies an existing issue and adds complexity to it. Cardboard bridges don’t carry heavy loads.