The cost of companionship

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It all started when I moved to here to Barcelona, to a different city, where I had to make friends and family from scratch. Some people are inherently good at this, while most of us are not so gifted. Well, there;s nothing wrong with suffering from the inability to make friends because if all of us were good at just about everything in life, then there wouldn’t be trade, growth in economies, globalisation (my globe professor Pankaj Ghemawat may not agree very much with me here) and what not. So, it’s okay. For us, the cost of companionship is crazy high. This is a problem that needs to be solved since making and retaining friends and family is a desirable state to be in.

Last night, I had plans to meet some people (a group of 20-25 people, some close, most not) for dinner at a Thai restaurant. Normally, I’d have no second thoughts about dinner at a Thai restaurant but I wasn’t feeling too well and hence, preferred to eat something more soothing like Japanese. So, I asked my flatmate if he wants to join me for dinner since he didn’t have any dinner plans. He said he’d been going out too much lately and was planning to cut down on spending (He’d have to spend around 20 Euros for the Japanese dinner). I offered to pay for him but he wasn’t too happy about that. I quickly realised that the price of him accompanying me for dinner was far greater than 20 euros if I’d to persistently convince him to join me since for all you know the opportunity cost of joining me for a Japanese meal was probably pretty high for him. Having found no excuse to skip my prior commitment, I set sail to the Thai dinner.

Now, if there was someway to just find someone to go out for this Japanese meal with at almost zero cost, it would have been wonderful. Mind you, texting people randomly on Whatsapp groups asking if someone’s up for dinner has a very high cost given the low probability of double coincidence of wants. So, I propose an idea for a social discovery app, that I’d like to call “InstaFriend”, which would allow you to look for people around you who’d be willing to join you to do different activities at a moment’s notice and you can propose restaurants, bars, etc located nearby to meet. You’d have the possibility to learn about their interests from their profile before you initiate engagement. Any enthusiastic entrepreneur is welcome to steal this idea and then pay me credit through equity. You’re welcome.

Until this solution is implemented, I guess I’m on my own. The Japenese cravings couldn’t wait, so I went to this really nice restaurant for lunch this afternoon and thulped a Japanese Bento, all by myself. And guess what, it felt great to not have to talk while eating. I am not propagating navigating one’s entire life alonely, but if companionship costs too much, it may not be worth it. It’s perfectly alright if you can’t afford company sometimes. There’s no need to beat yourselves up about this. It happens to everyone some time or the other. It’s better we start getting used to it unless of course, someone does manage to steal my idea and implement it.

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