Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Go Do Stuff: Social Gravity

I don't believe in God, I don't believe in fate, but sometimes chance throws you some extraordinary coincidences.

I just posted about Santa Monica’s Glow. It was amazing, go read my thoughts to help set the context for this post.

Early in the night, my friend Kate and I found ourselves relaxing at the very front of one of the most prominent art pieces.

Almost immediately, I noticed a friend from Berkeley present with one of his friends. Introductions all around, and our group doubled in size. Ten minutes later, still in the same spot, we encountered two of Kate’s friends from the Bay! More introductions, and then we had six. Another ten minutes, and two more people linked up, these being friends of my friend’s friend!! In the span of twenty minutes, our group had quadrupled in size, just from our standing around!

We subsequently traipsed around the pier/3rd street area, enjoying local sights and each other’s company. Everybody got along marvelously and the night’s enjoyment was boosted to the next level for (dare I say) all participants.

I was reflecting on this later, and I initially blamed serendipity for our having convened. Of the tens of thousands of people at the event, we had somehow managed to encounter people we knew who would be interested in joining us three separate times!

But the more I thought, the more I realized something. Coincidence though it was, Kate and I set ourselves up for that sort of experience quite accidentally.

Kate and I are both social connectors: supremely extroverted, relentlessly social beings. On top of the throngs of people we each know, we are both more than happy to make conversation with strangers. We had also planted ourselves in a very conspicuous place. It was only a matter of time before we were bound to run into someone we knew!!

I coined a term for this: social gravity. Our group, with a core of two extremely social animals, picked up more people in the same way that stars congeal from early stellar goop. Or, in other words, the more socially connected you are, the easier it is to forge new connections.

If you are someone who enjoys being social, get off your ass! Go do stuff!!

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