Scary small talk: Politics or cricket or movies or just work, these are all minefields
The article at hand sees the author venting his social anxiety, and going into detail about its causes and ramifications that are specific to him. He says that he can work conversations and even gossip particularly well on social media, but when the person willing to strike a conversation with him appears in real life, he loses his composure. Online, he will remain unruffled even when attacked outright over his opinions on controversial issues, but offline, he is so paralyzed by social interactions that he avoids those topics altogether for fear of ruffling the wrong set of feathers. He likes sticking to very muted topics like the weather, which won’t get him into trouble with any acquaintance, and he faces difficulty even with other parts of socialising apart from talking, like deciding when and how to break off the meeting. In the virtual world, he is afforded enormous security by a ‘block’ or a ‘mute’ button when disgusted by someone’s opinions, but in real life, that luxury eludes him. Also, he can break off conversations at will online, easily, but not so in real life – and all these factors cumulate to make him pick online over offline interactions, any day.
Words to learn from this article:
Zen: a school of Buddhist thought that stresses on meditation and self-possession as the ultimate tools of dealing with every problem, instead of other methods like idol worship.
Fascist: a despot, an authoritarian ruler.
Torching: (here) burning down, destroying.
Glare: an angry, intense look.
Disapproving: in a manner that conveys a lack of satisfaction or liking.
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