Is socialising good for an academic?

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In summary: I also spent hours weekly in the professor's office going over papers and discussing potential research projects. All of this was socialising on some level. I can't imagine doing any of that if I wasn't social.

Should an academic socialise?

  • Yes

    Votes: 30 96.8%
  • No

    Votes: 1 3.2%

  • Total voters
    31
  • #1
tgt
522
2
Academic as in a very keen student or who works in academia. Let's say a very apriori or theoretical field such maths or theoretical physics. Keep this into account when voting.

I find that after socializing, I get too excited and can't concentrate on the work. However, not socializing leads to unwanted consequences which also manifests into not being able to concentrate. But if one tries hard then the latter can be controlled. i.e Newton was one who was an expert at doing that.

Life is complicated. What to do?
 
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  • #2
Socializing within the academic circle you wish to be successful in is always a good idea, if for no other reason than people will know you.

Of course if you are obnoxious, that could be a bad thing.
 
  • #3
tgt said:
However, not socializing leads to unwanted consequences which also manifests into not being able to concentrate.
Socialize. Otherwise you're going to go blind.
 
  • #4
tgt said:
I find that after socializing, I get too excited and can't concentrate on the work. However, not socializing leads to unwanted consequences which also manifests into not being able to concentrate.
Find a middle way, and balance between socializing and not. Socializing, like any activity, takes time. Allocate some portion of the week or weekend to socializing, e.g. sharing a meal, or some sports activity, or even a lecture. Professional scientists gather at conferences to socialize as well as exchange information and ideas.

Life is complicated.
Not necessarily. People just have some innate tendency to complicated their lives.
 
  • #5
There is a time for small talk and science talk. Scientists enjoy both of them. I couldn't imagine getting too serious and intimate with ones work with another scientist without ever having small talk (personal on some level) between each other.
 
  • #6
Of COURSE you need to socialize! It keeps you sane, for starters.
 
  • #7
I am not an academic, (gosh that sounds like a rejection of some addiction), but i would love to be able to talk to some intelligent persons, every day i get bombarded with information about game shows and football, or vivid descriptions of the removal of a wart on a co worker big toe,
these topics are just so not interesting.
 
  • #8
jimmysnyder said:
Socialize. Otherwise you're going to go blind.

Moonbear said:
Of COURSE you need to socialize! It keeps you sane, for starters.

Well, I thought I understood what we were talking about in this thread, now I'm not so sure...:biggrin:
 
  • #9
JasonRox said:
There is a time for small talk and science talk. Scientists enjoy both of them. I couldn't imagine getting too serious and intimate with ones work with another scientist without ever having small talk (personal on some level) between each other.

I take it that you are a sociable one. There are some that aren't like that. I think that if one loves one's work enough and is competent enough, no small talk is needed in communicating with another scientist.
 
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  • #10
G01 said:
Well, I thought I understood what we were talking about in this thread, now I'm not so sure...:biggrin:

Those comments were looking at the macro scenario which is relevant. I was asking on the more micro level.
 
  • #11
I wonder if lecturing or tutoring is considered socialising because if it is then academics in academia certainly would get enough of it.
 
  • #12
tgt said:
I take it that you are a sociable one. There are some that aren't like that. I think that if one loves one's work enough and is competent enough, no small talk is needed in communicating with another scientist.

You couldn't be more wrong. Just go out and talk to people.
 
  • #13
G01 said:
Well, I thought I understood what we were talking about in this thread, now I'm not so sure...:biggrin:

:rofl: Same here!
 
  • #14
tgt said:
Those comments were looking at the macro scenario which is relevant. I was asking on the more micro level.

so.. how's your sense of humor?
 
  • #15
If you have to work at dealing with others (personally, professionally, whatever) it might be well to back off a bit, and develop some intellectual/personal interests that will bring you into contact with others in a tangential fashion. You may have an interest in a particular field of music or another art, or perhaps you might like bird-watching or cooking, or gardening, or hiking, or fly-fishing. These can be solitary pursuits, but they can bring you even more enjoyment when you share your discoveries and experiences with others. When you find these "aha" moments, you will be socializing instinctively with no effort on your part. Good luck, and best wishes.
 
  • #16
You can in fact build an academic career purely on socialising :wink:
 
  • #17
When I was in grad school, I was a member of a research group under the same professor. We all worked in an area of advanced nuclear technology, but different aspects ranging from materials and fuel systems all the way up to integrated power systems. We had regular technical meetings to go over progress and exchange ideas and information. In that sense, the socializing was strictly related to work.

However, on Friday afternoons, some would gather at nearby bar for drinks ($1 margaritas), and others would head to a nearby burger joint, which had a great selection of foreign beers, and eat dinner. I usually went for the beer and burgers. Occassionally we were joined by professors. In addition to work, we'd talk about sports, music, and other activities that folks enjoyed. The point was to relax and just enjoy the gathering.
 
  • #18
Why have a voice if you are afraid to use it? Get out and relax! Just don't get drunk to the point you socialize with hot women in the bar if you have a significant other. That's definitely not a positive leap. :rofl:
 
  • #19
tgt said:
I take it that you are a sociable one. There are some that aren't like that. I think that if one loves one's work enough and is competent enough, no small talk is needed in communicating with another scientist.

Then you'd be wrong. Good communication takes practice, and if you never talk to people except about work, you won't get much practice...and you'll be insufferably boring. There is more to life than your job and career. It's wonderful that most people in academics are fortunate to love their careers; it makes it easy to show up for work every day. But, they are not one-dimensional people who ONLY do science. And, just in terms of careers, networking is essential. I've actually gotten to know one of the top people in my field, who is sometimes a bit aloof at conferences, because I promised if I went to lunch with him, I wouldn't talk about any science. Because his work is so well-known, he said he would get bored with everyone wanting to only talk to him about science all the time. And, when work involves collaborations, or visiting someone's lab to learn about a technique they use, you are more likely to get such an invitation if you make more of a personal rather than purely professional connection...they know it'll be fun to work with you and pleasant to spend a week or month with you at a time while you visit their lab (since visiting for an extended time often involves staying at the home of your host...better than living in a hotel and eating nothing but restaurant food for such a long time).
 
  • #20
Moonbear said:
Then you'd be wrong. Good communication takes practice, and if you never talk to people except about work, you won't get much practice...and you'll be insufferably boring. There is more to life than your job and career. It's wonderful that most people in academics are fortunate to love their careers; it makes it easy to show up for work every day. But, they are not one-dimensional people who ONLY do science. And, just in terms of careers, networking is essential. I've actually gotten to know one of the top people in my field, who is sometimes a bit aloof at conferences, because I promised if I went to lunch with him, I wouldn't talk about any science. Because his work is so well-known, he said he would get bored with everyone wanting to only talk to him about science all the time. And, when work involves collaborations, or visiting someone's lab to learn about a technique they use, you are more likely to get such an invitation if you make more of a personal rather than purely professional connection...they know it'll be fun to work with you and pleasant to spend a week or month with you at a time while you visit their lab (since visiting for an extended time often involves staying at the home of your host...better than living in a hotel and eating nothing but restaurant food for such a long time).

Interesting insider point of view, although I was considering more the theoretical people, who only needs pen and paper.
 

1. Is socialising a distraction for academics?

No, socialising can actually help improve academic performance by reducing stress and providing a break from intense studying. It also allows for networking and exchanging knowledge with others in the academic community.

2. Can socialising negatively impact academic success?

It depends on the individual and the amount of time and effort they put into socialising. Excessive socialising can lead to procrastination and neglect of academic responsibilities, but moderate and balanced social interactions can actually enhance academic success.

3. How does socialising contribute to academic growth?

Socialising allows for exposure to new ideas and perspectives, which can stimulate critical thinking and creativity. It also provides opportunities for collaboration and feedback, which can improve the quality of academic work.

4. Is socialising only beneficial for extroverted academics?

No, socialising can benefit introverted academics as well. It is not about the quantity of social interactions, but the quality. Introverted individuals may prefer smaller and more intimate social gatherings, but still reap the benefits of socialising in a more comfortable setting.

5. How can academics find a balance between socialising and academic commitments?

It is important for academics to prioritize their academic responsibilities and schedule social activities accordingly. Finding a balance between the two can be achieved by setting specific times for socialising and sticking to a study schedule. It may also be helpful to find social activities that align with academic interests or goals.

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