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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Are you a social commitment phobe?

Written by jayang Oct 27, 2010

If you’re like me, a typical weekend night is filled with friends shuttling around to their various events while you lie in wait at home, feeling increasingly guilty about the unanswered texts piling up.

“Join us at Make-Out Room, half off until eleven!”
“What’re you doing? Headed to dinner at Spork, wanna come?”
“Seriously, I’m not going to beg you to karaoke, just show up already.”

This is the paradox of choice played out on a micro-scale but the stakes are high as the end result could easily be a Saturday night of regrets unless you choose something…quickly. My problem is I’m unwilling to commit until I have a pretty good idea who’s going to be there.

We’re all familiar with the “who’s going?” dance. “Well let me call Jasmine to see what she feels like, and if she’s cool then we’re in.” That’s followed by another phone call, “Jasmine says she’ll go only if George and Steven go too.” One of my friends, frustrated with the chain reactions necessary to motivate people, has adopted a new rule for himself: I’m going and you can come if you want.

While I admire his willingness to take a stance, I can’t help but think that there’s something inherently dangerous about such a philosophy. What if he shows up at a concert or dinner and nobody’s there? What will he do alone? I recognize that an adult should be comfortable entering a social situation entourage-less but I’m just not there yet. That’s why my weekend nights end up being all about research and then a desperate attempt to get out of the house before peak time passes me by.

My fear of committing to something and then not being able to back out is real. Not professionally recognized or diagnosed, true, but very real. And I know other people share this malady too. It can actually be quite infectious if left untreated. Here’s where I think doingtonight is really going to help me out. At a glance, I can see who’s going where and ahem, who else will be there.

I know it may be shallow of me to base my decisions on the composition of crowds, but it’s an important factor and not one to be overlooked. If the golden rule for real estate is “location, location, location,” then my maxim to live by for social events is “who, who, who?”


About jayang

J.A.Yang has slummed it in the valley with the Wakefield twins; slumber partied with Huey, Dewey and Louie; joined Krakow in stalking Angela; and climbed every mountain with the Von Trapps. He writes novels for young adults and you can find him online at www.jonyang.org.
  • pdids

    hilarious. isn’t this what FOMO is all about? The fear of missing out on where your friends are. The worst is when you’re the person that is frustrated and attempts to break the chain reaction by deciding where you’re going, only to find out everyone else when to a different place. hoot.

    Thank god for doingtonight.

  • Anonymous

    the worst is when you and your friends end up spending the night going “well, where are YOU gonna go?”, “I dunno, where do YOU think you’ll go?”, “I dunno, where is SHE gonna be?”, “I dunno, she’s not answering her phone. Oh damn it’s already 2am, wanna hit the Taco Bell drive-thru?” Nice post.

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