Has our accessibility made just ‘dropping in’ unacceptable?

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day and we were talking about community spirit and friendship. Not the online community type but the real life, borrow a cup of sugar, walk straight through the front door type. He said that real community comes when people just drop in unannounced. I think it’s true. And these days it is rare.

It’s so easy to find out if someone is home that you don’t need to go and knock on the door.

People, and their locations are so accessible. You can see their foursquare, their path or even just call their mobile. You don’t need to waste time going over to someones house with the risk that they might not be there.

At the same time, I find myself not just ‘popping in’ if I happen to be going by. This whole accessibility thing has made me feel like I should always check first… because I always can.

That the unannounced drop-in is almost no longer acceptable. 

This is sad. There is something unique in the sincere friendship of the unannounced drop in. That you know the person on the other side of the door will welcome you – even if you have caught them in the middle of cleaning the shower, watching a movie, or drinking alone. You get people as they were. Going about their daily activities behind closed doors. That’s community spirit. Being able to trust the unpredictability of friendship. The online version is much more predictable and measured.

I like unpredictability and so I am going to work to add the unannounced drop-in back into my life and not left it fall off the IRL radar.

What do you think? Is the unannounced drop-in still acceptable?

4 thoughts on “Has our accessibility made just ‘dropping in’ unacceptable?

  1. Most of us move house so often, and take the car instead of walking to go shopping so there’s little opportunity to even meet the neighbours, let alone ask for an egg! I agree, unpredictability is invigorating, I’m going to drop in too!

  2. I think you’re right, Sarah. It’s a little sad that we don’t “pop” in anymore. But I reckon it’s also about our lifestyles being so busy with all our “planned” and organised activities, that we don’t have as much spare time to pop in. And we are so spread out in the suburbs that you often don’t go near people you want to pop into. When did “social” stop being social?! Great post – got me thinking. Thanks.

    • Thanks JYMurfey! I agree – all the planned and scheduled activities has meant that there is less spontaneous action in our lives. It is great that it has become so much easier to manage our time and actions as we are all so much more connected and accessible. But I do think we miss out on the real friendship and community associated with unpredictable drop-ins if everything is predetermined. Glad it got you thinking too 🙂

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