The Evolutionary Advantage of Shyness and Social Anxiety

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I used to think of my shyness and social anxiety as a disorder—something wrong with me. As if I got unlucky and inherited a genetic defect. Then, I heard that social anxiety is not something you’re born with—it’s developed. Which didn’t make sense either because I’ve been shy and socially anxious my entire life. It wasn’t until I learned about evolutionary psychology that everything started to make sense. I was born with the tendency to be shy around strangers and worry about what other people think of me, but that wasn’t a genetic mistake. Shyness and social anxiety were actually an evolutionary advantage. Continue reading

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Audiobooks vs. Reading

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I love listening to podcasts, but for some reason I never got into audiobooks. I couldn’t quite connect with a novel by listening to it in the same way I did by reading it. Which I found odd. Oral storytelling is evolutionarily ingrained in humans, dating back to when our prehistoric ancestors told stories around the campfire. Therefore, audiobooks should be more natural than reading. Which explains why I prefer listening to podcasts over reading transcripts or articles. However, I still prefer reading books over audiobooks. Why the apparent discrepancy? Continue reading

Social Anxiety in Black Mirror: White Christmas

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Black Mirror is one of my favorite shows on television. It’s like a modern version of The Twilight Zone, an anthology series exploring the ramifications of technology on life in the present and near-future. “White Christmas,” the seventh overall episode of Black Mirror, touches on some ways in which technology might help people with social anxiety in the future. Continue reading

How to Fix the NBA (By Getting Rid of the Draft)

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The NBA draft is one of my favorite nights in sports. The suspense of which team will pick which player, the inevitable trades, and of course the fancy suits. It’s insanely fun. I probably enjoy the draft more than the actual games. But in today’s era, the NBA draft is completely unnecessary, and the league would probably be better as a whole if they got rid of it entirely. Continue reading

The Allure of the Reclusive Author

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I wish I could be like J.D. Salinger or Thomas Pynchon, a famous author who stays completely out of the public eye. No interviews. No social media. No website. Retain an air of mystery about myself. Build a mystique. It’s an alluring idea, but I’m not sure if it’s possible anymore to be both a famous author and a recluse. Continue reading