Entertaining Yourself
Smiling man watching interesting movie

Entertaining Yourself

The Nightcap

Nightcap for November 20th, 2017


“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Samuel Goldwyn

This Is Your Brain On TV

Binge watching television has become a thing in more recent years as more and more people have succumbed to smart TVs and Netflix.

Remember the days when we would have to wait an entire week before we could watch the next episode of a series? That sort of anticipation and suspense speaks volumes about the human condition. We are a species whose actions are primarily driven by the flooding of dopamine and serotonin in the reward centers of our brain.

Or, to put it into layman’s terms… when we find something that pleases us, we want it continually and we want it now, dammit! We are a breed of instant gratification, whether that be watching Sons of Anarchy for 12 hours straight or smoking crack. (Or if you’re a real go-getter, doing both at the same time.)

You may think comparing drugs to binge-watching is a far stretch, but it turns out, it’s not. At least, not in regards to how our brain processes these stimulants.

It turns out that there is an explanation as to why we’ve become a society driven by overstimulation and quick rewards and we can actually blame it on hormones like we blame everything else.

How exactly do our brains respond to binge watching? Find out here.

Making Friends in Your 30’s

Sure, high school and college are great for mental development and to teach you stuff you’ll never use in the real world. But, maybe just as importantly, it teaches social norms and how to interact with other human beings.

There’s book smart and then there is street smart and street smart is more difficult to teach. Why? Because there isn’t a science or exact formula for ensuring someone becomes an accepted and functioning member of society.

You can’t give a 16-year-old a homework assignment like, “Go to this party full of strangers, flirt with someone, and make 3 friends, all while trying not to embarrass yourself or the people that raised you.”

Those kinds of things you need to learn yourself: being able to read someone, being able to start and maintain a stimulating conversation, being able to walk into a room and not have everyone treat you like a leper. Learning social skills doesn’t come with a “how to” guide which is why high school and college are such critical stages for learning how to not suck at life.

The good news is, when you’re at these critical junctions in your life, usually everyone around you is, too, so there’s a little more wiggle room for mistakes. People kind of expect you to do stupid things when you’re in your teens and twenties so that, by the time you’ve left college and entered into the real world, you’ve polished your social interactive skills and have gained a few friends as proof.

But when you’re in your 30’s, making friends can be a much more daunting task. This probably has to do with the fact that, at 30, people just assume you have your life set up and don’t want any changes to it. You have your best friends since high school, your coworkers you enjoy happy hour with, that couple you do double dates with, and the rest of your social life is spent shuttling your kids to birthday parties and interacting with those parents. You don’t have time for any more friendships! You’ve secured your life and any changes to that just seem cumbersome.

At least, that’s how everyone else sees you, even if it’s totally inaccurate. That thought process is why it’s hard for people to make friends later on in life. It’s not like college where you expect to form new relationships. To make new friends later on in life is to have to relearn how to interact with others on a basic level, minus the backdrop of pep rallies and frat parties.

As the guy in this article explains, asking someone to be your friends in your thirties feels just as awkward as asking a girl to prom in your teens.

Deck The Halls

Looking for creative drink recipes for the holidays? Deck the halls with this Christmas-themed Moscow Mule