On Sonder

Posted by JoshDreamland on Sept. 11, 2014, 9:55 p.m.

In other news, Reddit has invented a word best explained by this image:

You've probably seen it already, but if not, well, now you have.

Today was my last day in Mountain View, which I was visiting for a series of tech-talks and team-building exercises. Do you remember the feeling you had when you first joined 64Digits? Or if not then, then the community before it? The feeling of being surrounded by people of a like mind? This week, I was literally surrounded by other living, breathing individuals of that variety. Some of them I had worked with over the Internet. Some of them I had never met before. I know it sounds absurd; I would have passed off all of this as corporate bullshit or the false sense of community you get at anime/video game/pogo stick conventions. But it really was remarkable.

I'm feeling a little sad, now, actually. I left today, saying literally nothing more than "adiós" to anyone—some of whom I knew I'd, in all actuality, never see again.

People drift in and out of my life all the time, and I never think anything of them. I don't know why this is different. I'm looking inside myself to try to find an answer—some logical rationale behind what I considered the dumbest and most frivolous of sentiments.

I noticed that I've become a bit complacent; I stand by, watching life flow by, interacting only as necessary to ensure that I, well, continue doing so. I don't really talk to people unless prompted; I don't do anything that far outside of what I'm asked to do. I live as though convinced that whatever there is to be done can just happen later. And it's starting to terrify me.

This is the first time in my life I've ever willingly stayed at a social event. It might even be the first time I've willingly attended one. And I was somehow occupied the whole time. It ended so anticlimactically, it's as though we all assumed it'd continue tomorrow. Or maybe this is the first time in my life I've ever felt even the slightest bit emotionally vulnerable, and I was literally the only one who will ever think anything of it. All I know is that come Monday, my life resumes as it was, as though none of this ever happened. Yes, I'll have pictures, but what gives them any more value than a memory of a pleasant dream?

I'm going to cut this blog short, because it can only drift into a full-blown existential crisis from here. I just wanted to share how I'm feeling. I'm sure a good number of you have felt that way before. The rest are probably just like I used to be. I don't know what to wish you. I don't know if, given the opportunity, I'd have just spared myself this experience, because I was very happy with my life before any of this happened, and I have no idea whether that feeling is going to last now… and more importantly, I don't know if it is good for me that it does last.

If you want a philosophical conundrum of more worth, I'll leave you with an old question you should have already been asked: if you're already happy, is there any value to a state in which you are happier?

Comments

JoshDreamland 6 years, 2 months ago

I am in Mountain View. :P

I just won't be for long.

sirxemic 6 years, 2 months ago

If a website now can invent words, I should be correcting you by saying that actually Tumblr was the site that "invented" that word :3

Moikle 6 years, 2 months ago

I feel that way all the time. you basically just described me in that blog

JoshDreamland 6 years, 2 months ago

Awakezok 6 years, 2 months ago

Mountain View eh? About a couple miles from my house xD.

Huh I'm not sure what I find more intriguing, the term itself or the fact that we didn't even have a word for this (in english) until now. I was just reading an article on Cracked that talks about the limits in human's cognitive ability to perceive other human beings. It talks about Dunbar's Number, which is the theory that our ability to perceive other people as well, people. It really set me to thinking about how much this runs in the background of a lot of human struggling and just so many things we do that are based on this limitation. Standardized education, politics and all that. Respect in a social sense (meaning the ideas we have of what makes one deserve respect or not, what qualities exemplify a worthy person), I've been thinking is in a way works as a mechanic for people to deal with their inability to understand a large majority of their peers. I haven't heard of any experiments backing this up (if anyone knows of one leave me a link!), it would be nice to know more of this. Makes me wonder what would happen if we somehow overcame this limit.

Quietus 6 years, 2 months ago

This makes me think of…

Which my parents used to play when they were a band.

s 5 years, 11 months ago

I feel that way about you

GMWIZ 5 years, 9 months ago

I remember when I first joined this site and I met you. You were a rockstar man, your posts, your mental capacity, your game design. It blew my mind, some how I always know I could never reach the level you were on. You designed Enigma, you made a metroid prime demo in game maker, I mean how cool is that.

I added you on MSN chat and we talked for awhile, I could never find you on Facebook even though you put your real name in your Tank game example, I tried, really i did. I respected you and I would have liked to keep contact with you all these years.

I would like to meet you man, but I live in Ohio, Mountain View is very far away if you live anywhere near that area. You should write me on here sometime, whenever you are back.

JoshDreamland 5 years, 8 months ago

I lived in Ohio for quite some time. Now I live in Pittsburgh. Mountain View's a little packed for my tastes. I was just there for a couple weeks for an all-hands sort of thing.

JoshDreamland 5 years, 8 months ago

Actually, yeah… it's stupid expensive. Google pays you more to live in Mountain View as a result, but it's still not enough more to really justify it. I'm (mostly) happy here in PA.