Ideal vs institutionalized

Posted: 2017-08-13 , Modified: 2017-08-13

Tags: society, dichotomy, language, social, values

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What’s it mean to be socially adept, or well-adjusted socially? I’ve looked upon the word “social” with disdain, but maybe my lack of value-belief in it is because the “social” has been translated badly into my personal vocabulary. It’s another word like feminism or religion or altruism that means different things in the ideal and the institutionalized sense.

What do I mean by this?

“Social” got translated into my personal vocabulary as show-show, and it’s been about projecting a kind of persona. That was the impression that people gave me when then talk about being social, and from my own thought that I have to act different around other people.

But maybe the right, ideal-version of social is, how can I make other people feel comfortable, and have interesting connections/learning exchanges with them? That is the ideal social and the institutionalized social is projecting “I’m a funny, cool, interesting person that everyone wants to gather around” at a cocktail party. When I say “I don’t care about being social” I mean I don’t want to be institutionalized-social, but I do want to be ideal-social. In this way ideal-social is closer than institutionalized-social to a lot of other values like kindness, open-mindedness, and learning that I hold important.

So my personal definitions of very abstract words like “social” are important, because each such word is no one thing but a circle of concepts, and what I determine as the core essence of the word taints that whole circle of concepts. If I determine it’s negative, then I discount the related concepts even though they’re good, and the opposite if it’s positive.