Tuesday, January 19, 2016
On January 13th I attended the lecture by H. Schenck about art in relation to society and environment. One of the most interesting things they talked about was the idea of human beings as social chameleons, constantly adapting ourselves and changing the way we present who we are to fit our social environments. I have definitely found this to be true in my own life, not so much in the sense that I pretend to be someone I'm not, but that being around different groups or in different situations brings out different aspects of my personality. For example, I naturally find myself being very polite and friendly around my parents friends, while around my friends I tend to make more jokes. I can talk seriously about social and political issues if I am in an environment where that is appropriate, but I can also spend hours gushing about my love for Lord of the Rings if I have a captive audience. In fact, I often find myself almost unconsciously taking on aspects of the people I surround myself with, using their common phrases and gestures, becoming more inclined to gossip at work because my coworkers do, while around my high school friends I would rarely do so. I find this idea of social adaptation very interesting, and I have always been aware of it, but never quite heard it explained the way it was by Schenck. This was extremely helpful in clarifying my thoughts about the topic as well as bringing up even more questions for me to explore, both about myself and others.