Contrarianism

In continuing on my theme about culture and why it can be so hard for people to go against the grain and to do things that aren't necessary considered 'normal', consider a hypothetical twenty-something. He is a professional and works a typical 9-5 office job. He is single and likes to go out to happy hours after work. Every week, he usually goes out four times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday and Saturday night he sits at home and watches TV shows recorded on his DVR.


Some people would suggest that this person is a bit of a social outcast because he spends his Friday and Saturday nights alone watching TV. But if you reverse the situation, and say that our hypothetical twenty-something stays at home watching TV Monday through Thursday and then goes out to bars and clubs on Friday and Saturday night, most people would think nothing of it. Few would argue that he's anything other than a typical single twenty-something.

To some extent this is a practical consideration. People have to work during the week; so if they do go out and socialize, they can't go crazy or stay out all night. Some people might also believe going out on the weekend is more fun because they are more people around. For some people, this may be true. To others, who don't like being crammed elbow to elbow every place they go, or who like inexpensive food and drink specials (there aren't many places running specials or discounts on Friday and Saturday) then weeknights are prime-time for going out.

The point is to demonstrate that, even though our hypothetical twenty-something goes out more often than the weekend partier, he is still perceived as less social. That's another example of the power of culture.

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