I've been asking myself this question a lot lately and I've come up with two answers: Yes and No.
YES - During my days as an undergrad and the year or so before I started grad school, I was a loner. I had very few friends, and those friends lived quite a distance away and I only saw them maybe once or twice a year. It was during that period of my life (from the ages of 21 to 25) that I watched a lot of classic films. I would fill up my free time with Turner Classic movies. Films from bygone eras were my escape from the harsh reality of this so-called "real world". I tried to fill the void of not having friends by filling them with classic film stars. It couldn't completely console my loneliness though. I'm a very social creature by nature but I can be crippled by my shyness. When I started Grad school, I made an effort to make friends, to go out and to put myself out of my comfort zone. I feel that earlier in my life, I was avoiding dealing with real people by watching classic films. While I still watch classic movies to this day, I don't watch them voraciously as I used to because I want to use some of my free time to hang out with friends, family and the beau. If I continued to watch classic films like I used to, I would have just continued to alienate myself from real people in real life and would continue to be miserable, wallowing in my own loneliness.
NO - Having a particular interest that you are passionate about is a social catalyst. It gives you a topic of conversation, you can use it to pique someone's interest and you can use that passion to find other like-minded folks. Even in my days of lonely classic film consumption, I still had a burning desire within me to share and talk about the movies I was watching with other people. When I developed new friendships in my mid-20s, I cautiously started talking about classic movies. As soon as I opened up the gates, a flood ensued. I wanted to find more and more opportunities to talk about films with people. At one point, it started to drive me crazy and I needed an outlet to get my thoughts out there. That's when I started Out of the Past ~ A Classic Film Blog and I have been happy as a clam chatting about classic films ever since. I've developed great friendships both online and off through this blog. I met my good friend Kevin when I took his Film Noir class and Carlos and I immediately bonded with a shared interest in film. I've shared classic films with other friends to get some culture in their life. Other classic film bloggers have developed great friendships with each other referring to those friends as "non-fleshies". Two of my best non-fleshie friends, Jonas of All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing! and Mark of Bookmark Zero, I met online through my blog and mutual interest in classic movies. So in this way, classic films made me more social than I have ever been before!
Dear readers. If you were to pose this question to yourself, what would be your answer? I want to hear your thoughts.
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