From the title of this blog post you might think that this is gonna be some emo love story post or something, but sad to say it’s not. My life ain’t that exciting. I’m once again going to talk about something I have realised today. (Yeah yeah what’s new.)
As you can see from the video above (please do not laugh at me), I was trying to play the piano and sing at the same time. (By the way, this is my fav fav fav song ever. But I only videoed a bit because I don’t wanna embarrass myself any further) It was really really draining on my cognitive resources! I found it so hard to concentrate on both tasks at the same time. And I suddenly thought of something related to, but not directly relevant, to what I read in my Social Cognition text earlier on today. (Yes, we all know I like to make random links and think of the weirdest inappropriate things all the time) Anyway, it’s regarding how each of us have a limited amount of cognitive resources to process the overwhelming amount of social information that we encounter in our day-to-day lives. I’m really cutting it short because the scientific details are boring but basically, since there is a limitation of our human processing resources, we allocate more resources to some tasks and less resources to others. One of the factors that determines the amount of resources you allocate to a certain task would be how motivated you actually are in fulfilling that task. Wait, why am I talking about all this again? Oh, right. It kinda remind me of how the concept of “social butterfly” works.
Take a look at your phone and check your Whatsapp messages, for example. How many conversations are there in the list with unread messages which you are too lazy to open, but somehow you’ve already replied those people that you genuinely wanna talk to?
Basically, if you perceive someone as interesting or important, or if that person has a high personal relevance to you, you allocate more resources to pay attention to what he says or does. You are highly motivated to do so. On the other hand, as much as you don’t want to, you are going to lose focus on the other things around you because you simply don’t have the ability to pay attention to so many things at once. So people who are always trying to make a lot of friends often struggle to keep all of them close. Most of the friendships can’t even be maintained (Of course, everyone has different definitions of friends and acquaintances) I am guilty of this too, but sometimes I realise that when I am talking to someone about something which I feel really strongly about, he/she isn’t really paying attention to what I am saying… And then he/she goes like, “I’m sorry I can’t multi-task, can you say it again?” At times like this, I usually don’t feel like repeating what I said anymore because it’s simple, you just don’t care. And it’s totally fine. Really. I know that sometimes I’m just REALLY REALLY BORING. Some people are friends who truly want to listen and some people are just acquaintances. Some people I used to be close to have now become lil social butterflies, and we both know that we’re becoming more distant from each other. I don’t see anything wrong with that. This is life. We enter different phases of their lives at different times, we meet new people, there are changes to our responsibilities, blah blah blah. We just can’t afford to devote our time and energy to so many people at once and we can’t afford to keep all friendships (I am a very neurotic person, sadly). I think being a social butterfly is a really tiring task, phew.
So, don’t say to someone “I’m so sorry, I’ve been too busy with so many things. We’ll catch up soon!” and then continue saying something like “You’re important to me!” because honestly that’s kind of contradictory and we all know that “catching up soon” will not happen any time in the near future. We should all learn to manage our expectations and understand that at every phase of our lives, we can only have a limited number of names we can put onto the “important people” list and when we enter a new phase, the list changes as well.
I honestly don’t know why I’m writing about this. It’s not a rant and I am not referring to anyone in particular. It’s really a random thought that just came to me while I was on the way home in the MRT. And somehow I suspect that all these while I’ve been talking about the same point over and over again, explaining something that everyone already knows. Must be the Kronenbourg screwing up my brain right now.