You should schedule more time to do nothing with your friends

We are all scheduled to the gills, but actually setting aside time dedicated to nothing in particular is key to both maintaining relationships and your health. Sheila Liming teaches at Champlain College, and she joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why we need to ditch the calendars and find time to just sit with friends and strangers – and how that strategy is a potential solution to our epidemic of loneliness. Her book is “Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time.” 

This episode originally aired June 5, 2023.

Blog Post: For a better hang, don’t worry so much about the pics

By Aislyn Gaddis, Think Intern

Pictures help us document our lives and remember important moments. But sometimes the quest for the perfect pic can ruin the perfect party.

Guest Sheila Liming was a college student when Facebook became popular, and she saw first-hand how sharing photos altered the social dynamic on her campus.

“Parties started to become more about being seen later on the internet,” she said. “You went to a party in order to have your photo taken.”

And, Liming says, the photos of the party became more important than the party itself – and the fun that came along with it.

“It stopped being about being there in the room with other people and just enjoying their company and it became more about performing for this audience that existed somewhere else, somewhere in the future,” Liming said. “I think many of us feel a little bit anxious and fraught about parties for that exact reason.”

Taking photos may even affect the way we remember the moments we photograph. Liming recalled hearing from a former art professor that taking photos changes the way you store the memory you photograph.

“If you bring your camera, suddenly your memories only exist through the photos that you take,” she said.

In the age of smartphones, it’s only gotten worse.

“Now we go everywhere in the world with these little devices that can take photos for us,” Liming said. “It alters our thinking and alters our understanding of how we exist in that moment, and I think sometimes it alters our relationships, too.”

Taking photos of what you’re doing in your free time has become so common that not taking photos of something might feel weird.

“Sometimes it feels strange to come away from an interaction and realize that you don’t have any photos from it,” Liming said. “If you were so invested in that interaction and you come away without any kind of photographic proof of it, it does almost feel like it never happened.”

To learn more about how technology has affected our social interactions and how to just “hang out” again, listen to the podcast above.