I love going out. The alluring beats combined with bright lights contrasting with the night sky; the company of friends and interesting (albeit some time obnoxious) strangers; and just the general atmosphere of being alive. In college, I had a crazy semester in which I went out almost three times a week, for 16 weeks straight. Not very proud of that, but I can say with absolute certainty that I did not do it because of peer pressure or because I tried to look cool. I just genuinely enjoy life and people — as sad as it sounds, when you just turned 21, that usually means a lot of alcohol and money spent on greasy late-night fast foods with your closest friends.
Last week, I wrote about how I’m a good adapter and could switch from being a 95% extrovert (MBTI tests, so take it with a grain of salt) to living a completely isolated life during this quarantine, leaving my apartment for less than three times in the past five months. Despite that, however, I do miss the outside world so so much that I’ve finally understood why some people enjoy watching live streams. Parasocial relationships are real issues that generally affects younger people that watch a lot of live streams, but that’s a topic for another time.
Life Feels Like Trading
Whenever I watch streamers or travel videos from countries that have relatively recovered from COVID-19, it gives me a glimpse of hope. Fortunately, the daily change of COVID-19 cases in San Diego seems to be getting better, which have really tempted to go out these days. At the same time, I keep on reminding myself to be grateful and try to do my part a bit more for as long as I can.
These days, life feels more and more like trading. With high risk, comes high reward. It might feel as if I’m taking a very conservative trade akin to a 50-year old that buys long-term bonds. If I want the rush and excitement of social interaction during this time, I need to take on the risk of sacrificing my health. It’s almost like my brain calculates these decisions depending on the R/R ratio.
What is the potential profit of x action, and is it a good bet to take if the potential loss is y?
A good trade generally has at least a 2:1 ratio. You want your upside to be at least twice the downside. Personally, going out more often these days feel like a 1:2 or even 1:3 ratio trade. The downside is extremely severe (read: contracting COVID-19) — but the upside is marginal at best. With video calls, we can capture 50-80% of the upside (read: social interactions) but with very limited to non-existent downside.
Generally, safer strategies with lower upsides are executed at higher frequencies to make up for the potential loss in returns. This means having more video calls and online interaction with your friends and family. In the past, it might be enough to see our friends a couple of times a week, especially as work consumed most of our time. These days, we need to increase the frequency of online interactions to make up for the in-person interactions that we’re not having as much.
Ideas = Living Life + Meeting Interesting People
In life, I get ideas and energy by interacting with other people — specifically, other interesting people. When I first started this weekly blog, it was a lot easier to come across topics that I deemed interesting simply by living my life. Nowadays, in order to make sure that this doesn’t turn into somewhat of a news report, I really need to sit down and think about what I’m going to write. I have tried to increase the frequency of my online conversations during quarantine, but certainly, it has not been able to replace the real-life face-to-face banter which has provided colors in our lives for thousands of years.
I’m trying to connect online with more people. It has been hard with everything that goes on around me. I get lost in my work, side projects, hobbies, and ended up only talking to my parents or business partners. Making up time for more social interactions is something that I need to work on — but I’m trying, and hopefully, as things get better, I can spend more time meeting interesting people face-to-face, collecting more ideas and experiences to share and write about.
P.S. I’m extremely concerned with the US with colleges and universities reopening. I have a lot of friends who are still living in college towns. I hope these institutions get their shit together.