I could never understand why watching movies together was considered a social activity. You sit in a dark room in silence. Maybe you’ll share a laugh or two, but there’s almost zero interactivity. Sure, if you talk about the movie afterwards, that makes sense as a social activity, but the movie itself seems isolating instead of social.
I think I finally get it now.
Let me tell you about witchcamp. (I swear this is related.) Witch camp is a spiritual retreat where those in the Reclaiming tradition of neopaganism can go to do self-work, magick, and personal growth. It lasts for a week and it’s very intense, both spiritually and emotionally. I formed deep bonds with some of the other people there. We shared sadness and we shared joy. We shared heart-to-heart conversations and life-altering self-work.
But I never see them or talk to them other than at witchcamp.
In the moment, it feels like that connection means the world. I feel like we share a deep, close bond, and that our hearts and souls are connected. And it’s true. But what do I do with that connection once I’m back in the everyday world? I set it aside, possibly until next year, possibly forever.
Those connections have depth but not breadth.
Now compare that sort of connection to a shallow one. A friend I play games with at a weekly game night while we chat about random inconsequential crap. A coworker with whom I interact eight hours a day. Someone I often meet at the arcade to play DDR. An online friend who posts often about her day-to-day life and I read her blog regularly. An unschooling mom I hang out with at park days and we talk about our kids. A friend with whom I often go to the movies.
Those connections have breadth but not depth.
Which type of connection influences my life more? A deep, heart-to-heart connection that only lasts for one week out of the year, or a shallow connection that lasts throughout the year?
I’m not sure, but I am sure that I’ve underrated the importance of shallow connections. Or to be more precise, I’ve underrated the importance of spending time with people who are important to you, even if the time isn’t spent doing anything deep, useful, or meaningful.
Now watching movies together makes sense to me.
It’s a shared activity that creates connection and bonding. It doesn’t really matter what activity you share, it only matters that you share it.
Blogging is an interesting mix of shallow and deep.
Sometimes people post about deep, personal issues, and we feel like we have a connection with them. We feel like we know them, like our hearts or souls resonate with their words. But we don’t really know them, especially if we’ve only been reading what they write for a short time and have never interacted with them in any other way. It’s a deep connection without the breadth to back it up, and it can be hard to grow the breadth of a connection online. Sharing activities online doesn’t always create the same kind of bond.
I want connections with both depth and breadth.
I’d like to get to know my hanging-out friends more closely. I’d like to hang out with my witchcamp friends more often. I’d like to add depth to my shallow relationships and add breadth to my deep ones. Connections with both depth and breadth are the ones that bring me the most happiness, and I hope the feeling is mutual. (:
How do you get to know people better (depth-wise or breadth-wise), either online or in meatspace?