I remember reading an interesting quote from the creator of the comic strip “Dilbert” in Fast Company magazine, if I remember correctly. He was talking about how people in office workplaces like their gadgets and often times have almost no interaction with other people. He said he talked to many people who said they kept to themselves with tech gadgets like mp3 players because they “did not like people, ANY people they worked with”. That is a profound statement by any standards. I am an introvert myself so I love gadgets that entertain me instead of having to make small talk with people I will likely never see again. Being an introvert means more than being shy. It means I am content with my own thoughts in my mind without needing other people to entertain me. So I use an mp3 player to increase my knowledge of thoughts & ideas that are already interesting to me. In other words, why should I talk to people who likely have nothing in common with me when I can listen to carefully chosen podcasts or audio books or even watch videos of my choosing? It’s not that I don’t like other humans, as I do meet interesting people at events and gatherings. But most of the time it is small talk or subjects that are not interesting to me. I am not saying these people are boring, but….. These people are boring. Just kidding it is more likely that I am the boring one. I just have different interests than most people I am around.
The podcasts I listen to are about tech (GNC), liberty (Free Talk Live), money (Dave Ramsey), and business (Dan Miller) so it is unlikely I am going to bump into people in my area who are more informed than the hosts of these podcasts. It is possible that I could & if I don’t try then I guess I will not. I am not trying to convert anyone to my views so I don’t need a group to discuss things with. Really the only people I try to influence are my children & my wife (that is a challenge!) unless someone asks my opinion or tries to sell their opinion to me. Then I have to respond if I disagree since I cannot help myself.
It is a mistake to think most people you meet will not be likeable & just keep to your gadgets though. I know this because some of the best people I know could have ignored me instead of striking up a conversation which lead to great relationships. So geeks do need people too they just may not be the first to reach out or pull out their earbuds.