If you made it here, I'm assuming the subject line caught your attention. This past week, I've been thinking a lot about how and why people socialize the way they do. I had the pleasure of visiting my first bar, where I got a 'non-alcoholic ginger beer.'
After getting my drink and finding a place to sit, with some friends, I looked around. This particular bar had a large open space in front, where people hung out. As I looked around I noticed most people came in with groups or in pairs.
Next, I noticed people go up to one another to start conversations. I found this interesting, it's not often that you see someone going up to a stranger to start a conversation.
It turns out that a bar environment is a place where this is seen as 'acceptable' behavior. I wonder why people don't find it acceptable to do this in other settings.
As I continued to observe my surroundings, I was reminded myself of an encounter I had after my first ever 'house-party' in college during freshman year. At the end of the night, I asked one of the girls I had gone out with, "why do you drink?" she responded by saying, "so I can talk to guys, alcohol makes it easier."
This led me to think of a few things:
What's the barrier for one to talk to another?
It's entirely in our minds. A bar environment and the product it holds, 'drinks,' create an 'acceptable' environment to socialize.
Digging deeper, do we need certain environments to behave in certain ways?
For me, no, but for some, it may be.
I've found that most 'limitations' only exist in my mind. Once I change my mind, it's easier to do the things I want to do.
If you'd like to see more on the history of bars, read more here.
This also begs the question, do environments influence people or do people influence the environment?
I wrote a paper about this in my expository writing class.
For those who may be interested in reading, read it here.