Be Social IRL

Get a real life this year — without giving up the digital one.

• Flesh comes first.
Whenever there's an opportunity to engage with a real person instead of a digital one, take it. How many times have you gone to a coffee shop packed with dozens of people staring into their own laptops, probably Facebooking with people who aren't you? "You could drink coffee at home for a lot cheaper," Carducci says, "but you go to this public space because that's where people are. That says that people truly want to be social, they truly want to connect, but they don't want to do any of the work."

Or they're just shy and don't know where to start. "Lots and lots of people have this problem. They use this as a crutch," adds Carducci, who likens the rationale for "pretending to text in awkward situations" to college kids' reasons for drinking or doing drugs. "They don't drink because they're exhibiting freedom; they drink because they don't know what else to do. They drink because they don't know how to socialize, because it gives them something to talk about, because it helps them deal with anxiety and loneliness. If you know how to connect otherwise, you don't need to do that."

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