The Precious Nature of Socializing
Has anyone noticed that the solemnity of an important gathering of friends is not marked by the rubbing together of soap then a licking of those soaps?
Has anyone noticed that no religion uses wet towels to represent salvation and the diminution of sin?
Has anyone noticed that no community gathers strength and identity through the embrace of radishes grown in its vicinity?
Has anyone noticed that men don't pursue women through the act of watering and dining them?
Isn't it true that wine, far more than anything else, is used to express the precious nature of community and socializing? Why is this true? Why don't radishes or wet towels or bars of soap serve this purpose? I haven't an answer to this question, but rather I have had the opportunity to reflect on the fact that wine is dynamically ingrained into the human experience of socializing.
I came to this line of thought as I pondered the potential impact of social networks and social networking tools on the human species. At first glance it seems that socializing is an ingrained part of the human species, even its most common expression. But, more true than this is the fact that periods of quiet loneliness are a far more common element of the human experience than is social interaction. Surely we all spend far more time interacting with ourselves than interacting with others. And it is certainly true that in the past, technology has provided no means at all for socializing on the large and grand scales that current technology allows.
Perhaps the rituals that have arisen around gatherings and communal activity and perhaps the symbols, such as wine, that have been employed to celebrate gatherings of more than one, have in fact been in response to the uniqueness, preciousness and rarity that is the movement out of self and into the many.
If this is true, what does the current rush to embrace a 24/7 mode of socializing via Facebook, Twitter and other tools mean for human culture and even human evolution?
What does the future hold for wine-as-symbol when the preciousness of gatherings that it celebrates is no longer so precious? Again, for this I have no answer, but I suspect the answer is just now brewing.
I have no time for twitter, I barely have time for my blog, or reading yours for that matter. Any social time is indeed spent with friends, breaking bread and drinking, well yes, lots of wine. hell, I should be out in the vineyard now, suckering the cab! Hopefully human nature and social graces will prevail over a good glass of something red, and white, and rose 🙂
I might suggest that the pro and con issue of social networking as it relates to society is one of optimism or pessimism. One focuses on the antisocial consequence of technological socialization (how ironic), in that we become more hermetic rather than more exposed. The other emphasizes the increased opportunity to connect with people previously unknown or inconveniently out of reach. I am somewhere in the middle, I am not involved with any of the popular social networks, but I do recognize the increasing role they play in everything from prostitution to politics. After all, if wine is going to appeal to the holly grail of millennial buyers we have to be aware of wine public relations- where the media, the culture and I mingle.
I think that social gatherings are even more treasured in this climate of online networking and socializing.
I choose not to do Facebook because it is primarily social and I see my friends and family quite often.
But I have had the opportunity to connect with some amazing people via Twitter and LinkedIn. These are connections I might never have made with social media…and they have enriched my life.
Some I have even met up with offline..for a glass of wine!
CyberParty Fridays are where we ‘tweetup’ on twitter to drink together. Over a thousand miles away, we can still drink together. Drink up! Wine is and always will be for socializing/partying ^_^
Your post is so entertaining — yes, I had not really thought about how wine is used to mark sacred and social occassions.
As for social networking, I’m a bit taken aback by all my followers on twitter. I haven’t done much more than link to a few articles and tasting notes, and I have a flock.
What will the benefits be? Not sure, but on Facebook it is fun to see wine friends I went to school with and would never hear from otherwise.
I wouldn’t worry about social media becoming a substitute for physical gathering. The purpose of the technology, as any good technology, is to enhance the physical world. It is so easy to arrange a physical meeting between friends by jumping online quickly than it is to do a chain of phone calls back and forth.
I have an account with them all, and have no problem pouring myself a glass of wine to sit down and catch up. My theory on social networking online is that it lubes us up socially for when we are together. Friends and I discuss things online that lead to further discussion offline, around which we drink more wine. We plan, online, for events offline, and, invariably, the question arises: What will we eat – which wine(s)?
I have not seen any mention of soap or radishes in online chats.