The Horrors of “Hanging Out”

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As a teenager of the technological era I find that there are just a few things that I’d really rather keep old-fashioned. With so much technology in our pockets, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the connectivity of it all.

I miss the moments when talking on the phone was awkward and silly, but necessary to get in touch with friends. I’d call up my friends and be all, “Hey, it’s Abby,” and they’d be all, “Oh, hey what’s up?” And then when caller ID came out and it was, “Hey, it’s Abby,” and they’d be all, “Yeah, I know.” And now it’s all text messages like, “hi,” and “waz up.” No one even has the decency of adding the proper punctuation, never mind correct spelling.

Now that Twitter is practically rivaling Facebook, I don’t even have to text my friends. I can Facebook message them or write on their “walls.” Or if I’m really lazy I can just tweet them in under 140 characters.

I miss writing notes in class and folding them up into silly shapes and passing them to friends in the hallways. I miss calling my friends to tell them something hilarious right after it happens. I miss having those “first phone calls” with a guy and being overly aware of how much I breathe into the phone. But most of all, I miss doing stuff instead of just “hanging out.”

The term “hanging out” is probably the lowest point in society for teenagers these days. What the hell does that even mean? In high school sometimes it was just an excuse to just get together and do random stuff, like drive to the convenience store seven times in one night. But in college I’m realizing it means way more than that.

What ever happened to dating? Why don’t guys go up to a girl and say, “Would you like to go out on a date with me?” All I ever hear these days is, “We should hang out sometime.” Like what **** does that mean? It’s like an invitation to invite someone over to an enclosed space and put the mac on.

No, thank you. That’s probably as bad as a Booty Call. Sometimes, on rare occasions, “hanging out” is just what it means: hanging out. Sitting on a couch or someone’s messy bed and making awkward conversation until someone makes a decision for something to do.

All dates or new buddying friendships that start with “hanging out” are ultimately doomed to fail. Cause right off the bat I can tell you that no one in that relationship has any confidence or backbone at all. They can’t even think of something to do together! Why not, “Want to get together and go bowling?” Or if you’re a broke college kid like me, “Want to watch a movie together, after getting dinner at the school cafeteria, cause I can’t afford anything else?”

That right there, states what will go on during this “hang out” session. That right there is helpful and informative. So that when I tell my friends I’m going to hang out at [insert name here]’s house and they ask me what we’re planning to do, I can say, “We’re going to make an epic movie snack and then talk in British accents for the rest of the evening while watching Harry Potter.” Instead of the usual, “Oh, um just… hanging out, I guess.” See the difference?

People have no creativity anymore. The Internet and technology make it so that you don’t need to have good, or even mediocre, social skills to have 800 friends in your contacts list.

I’m just glad I found some friends who are as lively as I am. So that when I text, “Scavenger Hunt of the Night: two different flavors of ice cream, five awkward looks from grocery store workers, three honks for the “honk if you’re happy” sign we’ll tape to the car, and one new friend we find on he street,” I get back, “Should we add: four phone numbers you’ll never actually call,” instead of, “So… does that mean we’re hanging out?”

Cause THAT ladies and gentlemen IS “hanging out.” Except unlike all you losers who will arrive at your friend’s house and go, “So… what are we doing?” and exchange indecisive looks for half the night, I’ll be having a great time because I learned how to plan shit as a kid so that my nights are the best experiences ever.

Screw technology. I’m going back to writing notes and talking to people face to face. How bout you?

 

 

Foot Note #1: A response from a reader and friend, “I completely agree! What happened to the sincerity of writing a letter to someone? I miss that, and as for the “hanging out” and dating there is a difference and guys know it. If we ask you to hang out we just want sex, if we ask you on a date we want to get to know you more.”

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