I was at a (pop) concert recently and was surprised by the number of people living the experience ‘second hand’. That is, they were mainly watching it through the screens of their smart phones!
Look at any bus queue, sit on any public transport, and we’re all addicted to the devices, texting, surfing the net, and unaware of our surroundings, unaware of the life going on around us.
Go to a sports arena and it’s the same. Rather than watching the game, we’re texting friends to say how good the game is (how do we know, faces buried in our phones?).
I guess there are some remaining areas where the smartphone takes second place in life. I’d imagine out on the golf course might be one, where the players mark their cards, take their shots or walk with their buggies. For the duration of the game, they’re focused on the game.
I know there are some places on earth, and some cultures, where speaking with strangers is considered ‘weird’. London, when I lived there, was one such place where you didn’t nod your head or say ‘good morning’ to people you passed. And I found it strange, when I moved to Scotland, that total strangers would stop to speak in a supermarket, or at a bus stop. But that’s the friendlier culture they grew up in. Pockets of sociability remain.
Naturism: where strangers, stripped of their anti-social electronic devices, quickly make new friends.
Yes, of course there are areas where we do manage to get away from our damned smartphones! Which is why naturism is such a breath of non-digital air.
It remains, at heart, an exceptionally social activity. Couples and families participate in it. And naturists, quite literally laid bare, have nothing to hide. They don’t do bulls***.
Naturism: the sound of laughter and feeling truly alive.
This makes them open, honest and approachable. Social beings. They will strike up (language barrier permitting in a very international location like the one I’m sat in now) conversations with their neighbours, with people on the next sun bed, with people in the bar, with people in the swimming pool. I get this all the time, and it’s not because I’m young(ish) and female. The same people can and do strike up conversations with Mr. Keng as well, regardless of whether we go to the pool or beach as a couple or individually.
And because of this, we have ended up with a sizeable number of friends and acquaintances here. People we talk to.
While we might not know people who live just a few doors away from us at home, here we’ve got to know a good number of people very well. Others we’re only on nodding or ‘good morning’ basis with only because of the language barrier. I speak OK French & some Spanish, so with a bit of three languages, a bit of pointing and hand gestures and a bit of jumbled up conversations that begin in French, switch to Spanish and conclude in English, we get by! 🙂
Because of the open minded, open hearted nature of naturists (oh how some bits of society and the world could learn from those values!) those who are our friends will introduce us to their friends, who in turn become our friends too. I’ve not been lost for conversation here. I will head to the pool, and ‘good morning’ turns into a bit of conversation about the weather, and introductions are made. Next time we come out, those people remember our names, and we theirs.
Naturism: a sociable lifestyle and a great way to make new and genuine friends.
Think about it. We spend a lot of time outdoors (don’t go into direct sunlight too long, though! Always factor up!) benefitting from the sun, in clean, fresh air. The heat diminishes the appetite, and we rapidly turn our attentions to healthier eating. We swim, we walk the beach, giving us pleasurable exercise. And we benefit from proper social interaction with others, looking through a window into their world, allowing them to peer into ours.
Naturism: It’s all about meeting with and enjoying the company of others.
Earlier this week I have made a new Spanish female friend on the same urbanisation I use, and tomorrow, my last full naturist day of 2014 😦 , I’m meeting up with a friend of a friend, first time I’ll have met this chap in real life (although we’ve communicated quite often on a naturist forum we both use). Another week, another two friends who will remain friends, people I shall want to socialise with, when I get back here next year.
If that diminishing sense of sociability and real friends (not names on, say, Facebook) is something you yearn for, naturism is certainly a lifestyle you certainly want to consider getting involved in. Of course I’d recommend it! But if you’ve not tried it yet, it’s certainly something you want to start planning to get involved in in 2015.
And, do you know, those same values percolate from RL into SL and SL naturism? The open, friendly values of RL naturism are replicated in SL, with agendas and sexual tension being stripped away with the clothes. More on this in a subsequent posting.