In Your 20s? 30s? 40s? Age Doesn’t Matter in Meaningful Interactions

All too often, we hear ominous stories about how adulthood can take away our “lives.” My guy friends, for instance, would always talk about settling down as if it means giving up the freedoms they currently have — no more regular basketball live-streaming with their mates, no more beer pong and video game weekends. My girl friends would also freak out a little when imagining their lives as a soccer mom, when their everyday would be consumed by helping kids get ready in the morning, bringing them to school, doing stuff around the house, fetching kids from school, and repeating the cycle all over the next day.

But I always felt like this isn’t necessarily the case. We romanticize the idea of peaking during our high school or college years, thinking that’s when we live the best of our lives because we have the best people around us. Everything else that comes after is just the natural course of things after the end of our glory days. I disagree. For me, meaningful interactions are not necessarily limited to our youth.

Of course, our teenage years are fraught with self-discovery. That’s when we first have an inkling of our passions and the things we like to do. High school is a time to try out your interests and maybe decide what to pursue in the future. But aside from discovering your identity, it is also a time to have fun with friends and make the craziest, most random memories. Most of us also probably had our first kisses then. I mean, who didn’t go to prom? Being a teenager is like being in a whirlwind of new emotions; it’s fun, adventurous, and romantic.

Unfortunately, some of us stay behind and linger with those memories, choosing instead to idealize those golden days and not to go on and have more adventures, even as an adult. Believing that your teenage years are all there is to life is detrimental to your growth as a person.

I’m sure everyone’s college days were also intense and significant. I, for one, probably had my first real and severe experience of distress during my time in college. Algebra homework in high school? Pfffft. Between my terrifying cultural studies professor who demands a reaction paper on every reading, my thesis that doesn’t seem to want me to graduate, and my fear of unemployment once I do graduate, it’s a whole new level of exhaustion. But this can only mean that our early 20s is a time to harness one’s strengths and start working on maturity.

University is also probably where you get to meet the most diverse set of people. So it’s not just a time to gain fun friends to create crazy memories with, but also to find those who can really help you pursue your goals. Despite of and maybe even because of the raging hormones that are ever-present throughout college, it might also present opportunities to grow into the kind of mature person who can handle actual relationships.

Up to one’s late 20s, I think, is a good time to make mistakes and learn from them, through the different people you meet and the different meaningful interactions that you have, whether romantic or platonic.

I myself am in my mid-20s. And like I’ve mentioned before, real adulthood is what people my age are really afraid of. People in their 30s and 40s are probably more likely to prioritize their careers and families. The assumption is, by then, you will get so caught up in living a normal, stable, and secure life that it just becomes tedious — what meaningful interactions are there for me if I just follow the scripts?

Assuming responsibility is definitely important. But being in one’s 30s or 40s also means extending yourself fully and sharing your life with others. Putting one’s family first doesn’t necessarily entail choosing obligation over passion; maybe it’ll even be fruitful to open up to your kids and have them open up to you about things all of you feel passionate about. Likewise, marriage doesn’t have to kill romance; it can provide a whole different and exciting arena for it.

And finally, because you’ve been working all these years to settle down, now might be a good time to go out and know your community. Meaningful interactions can happen in the seemingly most simple events. Grocery shopping is just a routine, but who knows what interesting people you’ll meet there? Just because you have a home life doesn’t mean no opportunities for spontaneous friendships will make themselves present.

In one’s 30s or 40s, people can’t really afford to rethink their priorities. And they don’t have to. Just treating your neighbors sometime could suffice. Smile at someone in the park. Help a stranger out. Everyone you meet will surely give you a meaningful interaction if you let them.

* This post is inspired by BeepBeep Nation, an app that provides a platform for people to request for the help they need and others to offer their help. By facilitating face-to-face human interaction and creating a culture of kindness, it aims to make the world better. Pre-sale of the ICO that fuels the BeepBeep Nation app is already available. Check out the EMINENT token now!

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Helpers, Requestors, and Spontaneous Friendships

In a world where we’d rather send links to interesting articles and random memes to our friends, pester them in our chatboxes, and click the “Like” button on their vacation photos, it’s hard to remember what the old times were like. Even though we still meet up every now and then with friends for coffee or cocktails and catching up on each other’s lives, one thing I do miss is experiencing spontaneous friendships.

I know part of adult friendships is really just exerting small efforts to maintain your high school or college peers, or perhaps revelling in your co-workers’ company for Friday nights. Meeting new friends is almost out of the question. (The only new people we let into our lives are mostly new business affiliates. At least that’s what happens with me.) But I can’t help but wax nostalgic about the times when you would randomly talk to someone, discover that they’re super interesting and that you jive so well, and then exchange contact details. Where are those circumstances now?

I mean, I’m aware that online friendships are not so bad. I see my teenage niece and nephew spend hours on Twitter and I wouldn’t berate them for it. They get the online social life that they need. But I can’t help but ask if they ever wonder about some kind of bonding other than their friends tweeting about their dog or Snapchatting their sandwiches. Do they even go to sneaky house parties nowadays? Kidding. But on a more serious note, I think technology brings people closer together, but it also maintains this distance between people somehow.

That’s why the BeepBeep Nation app is an amazing project to look forward to. Not only does it offer a platform for people to request for the specific kind of help they need — like perhaps sharing a ride or having a tour guide — and then for other people near the area to respond, it does so with an exciting motive in mind. Let’s see what the creators have to say:

[We’re returning] our users to the days when being social means actually meeting up in person and talking to each other face to face, instead of doing it mainly through the screen of a smartphone and hardly ever seeing each other.

[I]n what appears to be a paradox, we’re using cold technology itself to enhance warm human values and human interaction in ways that are far removed from the technology itself.

The people who beep when they need something are called requestors, while the people who provide help are called helpers. BeepBeep nation aims to foster dynamic and spontaneous friendships between requestors and helpers, as everytime a need arises, so does the opportunity to get to know someone new. At the end of the day, not only do you get the help you need or feel good for helping, you just might create new and exciting friendships.

So here’s to prospective requestors: don’t be afraid. Your hands might be full to do a particular thing, so look for an extra hand. It’s actually a sign of maturity to realize you can’t do everything alone. Seek help and if you want, you can give your helper a gratitude tip, you can simply say thanks, or maybe keep in touch. Not only can asking for help make you feel human, it will also show your interest in other humans who can be there for you.

And here’s to prospective helpers: it doesn’t have to be a big effort to help out. Sometimes, you may not even have to go out of your way. Shopping for a requestor’s item at a store you’re going to anyway doesn’t cost any extra time, right? Not only can doing a little kindness make you feel good, you can also inspire the person you’re helping to pay the kindness forward. And what’s a tiny favor in exchange for possibly great, spontaneous friendships?

And of course, while the guarantee of friendship still depends on the people involved, at the very least requestors and helpers could have a random, engaging conversation for the day. What’s not to love about that?

To get started on BeepBeep Nation, find out more about the EMINENT token a.k.a. fuel for the amazing app. Coming soon in selected cities worldwide!

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