In the age of virtual reality, it’s never been easier to avoid actual reality. It’s acceptable now to send digital messages over speaking face-to-face, to surf your phone while out on a date, and to wear earphones in both ears while driving (this one bothers me the most for some reason). But there’s a centuries old practice which still remains the most effective way to produce and cultivate relationships. Going out for beers.
It’s simple, yet often overlooked. Having beers is a social convention that dissolves all differences and brings new ideas to the forefront. Try disliking somebody you’re sharing beers with, it’s nearly impossible. It will inevitably draw you closer.
People who go out for beers seem happier in general because they’re able to speak freely. There’s no one from HR at the table next to you waiting to pounce when you say something inappropriate. You’re not on the record here. Beer talk is the last bastion of camaraderie.
Camaraderie has become generic and superficial. We’ve brainwashed ourselves into thinking a Facebook “like” conveys genuineness. It doesn’t. Genuineness is sharing inappropriate jokes at a bar and having a good laugh. Not a controlled little chuckle, I’m talking belly laughs people. It’s also having the maturity to discuss politics without feigning self-righteousness. To be able to exchange principles and ideals while nodding and acknowledging the other’s point of view. Any topic is fair game as long as you shake hands afterwards.
Learning about other people isn’t considered cool anymore, despite its inherent benefits. First and foremost, you’re shoving your disgusting narcissism aside for a few minutes. Secondly, your expanding your intelligence and opening your mind. And thirdly, you never know when the person might present you with a concrete, life altering opportunity. In bro-colloquial talk we call that a ‘game changer.’ Pretend your life is a plot of land, don’t you want to look for more cool flowers to plant to make it look way better? Who doesn’t?
It’s weird that I even have to advocate going out for beers. A generation ago it was ubiquitously practiced. Everyone knew its benefits for networking, making business deals, and getting ahead in society. But people nowadays would rather retreat into a dark space and binge-watch ‘Better Call Saul.’ How about you save that for your next morning hangover?