Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Digital Kitchen

Having the social skills of the average geek, I'm well aware that interaction isn't easy for me. Being well aware that I'll need to interact much more once the baby arrives, I decided to make an effort to get on with people. This would involve dressing nicely, forcing myself to go out in public and, shock horror, talking to people (probably with a fixed Gordon Brown rictus).

Now, I don't like to be seen to generalize, though I like to generalize; us geeks don't tend to do well in the wild, aside from talking shop. At house parties, I tend to bogart the alcohol and coax the games-console out: a wonderful mix. Should that fail, I fall back on the old favourite and attempt to skulk in the kitchen making cocktails.

I personally think that hiding in the kitchen at house-parties is more than an old cliche, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy: people who are socially-timid subconsciously realize that other people who are socially-timid congregate there, and will provide more agreeable company for them. Geeks make the best cocktails anyway, so it works for everyone.

But when we're out at a bar or at a gig, things are a little different. There's nowhere to hide, and in a loud place full of strangers the only place to retreat for a few moments solace can be your mobile device - the Digital Kitchen.

Never, outside of an uncomfortable social situation, can Twitter be updated so much, can facebook be checked so frequently, can Reddit or Digg be scoured so diligently for lolcats or rants; viral videos can also be used so readily in lieu of conversation.

I'm going to have to start leaving the tech at home: the digital kitchen's no place for a family man.