Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Do you make an effort to be interested in things outside your realm of comfort?

Asked by wundayatta (58525points) November 30th, 2011

I was thinking about why some questions are interesting and others aren’t and wondering if it has to do with our areas of interest or if there is something inherently interesting about some questions simply due to the way they are written. Or if a person isn’t interested in the topic, is there nothing you can do to grab their interest?

I’ve noticed that if you put NSFW before your question, you are likely to get people to give you an extra look. More people seem to be interested in titillating topics.

But this question is about whether you try to expand your area of knowledge or not. Do you focus on what you know you are interested to the exclusion of most other things, or do you actively try to expand your areas of interest?

I have always thought of myself as a generalist and I have, therefore, pushed myself to learn about things I am not naturally interested in, such as fishing and golf. I have not yet managed to get myself interested in sewing, however, although I am interested in weaving. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the hand-eye coordination necessary to sew.

What about you?

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21 Answers

zensky's avatar

NSFW questions I avoid if I can. Been there, done that – don’t feel like reading about it. I look for questions in General about topics unfamiliar to me, and questions in Social by people that interest me. Of course there are the genuine questions that seek information which I may have. Those are few and far between.

Judi's avatar

I am a very non flexible yogi. I have realized that a lot of people do yoga because they are flexible and comfortable with it. I do it because I’m not.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I very often go to the browse section of the questions here to see if there is one that interests me, even though it is not on my list of usual interests.

Blondesjon's avatar


Paradox25's avatar

I’m not sure how to answer this since it seems like you’re asking at least 2 different questions here. As far as interesting topics go that seems relative to those who look at the questions, not in absolute terms. Just because flutherites don’t find a topic interesting it doesn’t mean it’s not a great question in general.

Answering your other question it seems that I do indeed get bored with the same old same old after a while and I do try to find interest in other areas. Most where I live seem to be interested in only 2 things, hunting and cars, which frankly are not my cup of tea so I guess that is why I blog. Personally I could never live (and be truely happy) being obsessed with such a few things like others around me can. I’m always trying to learn or read about something new. Sometimes I’m willing to even try something new too.

Blackberry's avatar

I’ll lend an ear just to maybe learn something quickly, but I can’t force myself to be interested in something. Although I am generally interested in a wide range of topics, it’s just that who am I going to consult for actual experience with something. If I don’t know any golfers, why go through the trouble to find a golfer to befriend.

TheIntern55's avatar

In life, yes. I’m always trying new things that I don’t usually do. I’m glad to have a great school with tons of unique courses. For example, I never thought of writing in a newspaper. Then, I worked on the school paper, took the journalism course and now I’m hoping to go to college for it.
On fluther, I also do this and have learned alot looking and asking. NSFW questions, I do avoid, however.

Berserker's avatar

If I’m not interested in something, sad to say, I usually bypass. I can make decent effort yes, if I feel the need to, for whatever reason. And this doesn’t mean I don’t ever get curious, especially on Fluther. (although NSFW isn’t a big incentive for me to look at something) But generally, whether here or in my life, if I don’t think fishing is interesting, I’m not gonna bother trying it. Or at least, I won’t go out of my way to do it. But it is always cool whenever I learn anything new.

Sunny2's avatar

I often read questions and answers because I don’t know much about the subject and am curious. I often don’t make a comment for the same reason.

Blondesjon's avatar

<—now ready to begin

gailcalled's avatar

Staring at my new Macbook with the touch pad that my daughter just bullied me into buying, I would say I do try.

Earthgirl's avatar

There are topics I stay away from in conversation and on Fluther. Politics bores me. I know it is important and I make an effort to know what I need to know to make informed decisions but the ins and outs of it and the over analyzing that goes on and the polarization of taking sides is such a huge turnoff for me. I am interested in the problems that government is supposed to help solve, such as health care reform for instance. It just seems like all the politics gets in the way of real solutions.

Therefore it would be very rare for me to answer a question about politics.
Many, many other topics interest me. I have a very curious nature. Most of what interests me has to do with people. Anthropology, Psychology, Theology, Philosophy,Education, Sociology, Art, Literature, History, Pop Culture, Arts and Crafts, etc. (and of course, Fashion) Nature is also interesting to me.

I don’t like things that are too abstract like Physics and Chemistry.

Those are my basic likes and dislikes. But I really make an effort to be well rounded. I don’t feel compelled to waste time on things I am not really interested in because there is never enough time to even begin to scratch the surface of studying the things I am interested in.

Of course there are different levels of being “interested in” something. You can learn about it by reading or by doing. Wundayatta Want to learn how to sew? lol

wundayatta's avatar

@Earthgirl Been there, done that. Sewing, for me, is painful. My fingers don’t work that way and my eyes can’t see clearly enough. I can’t thread a needle. What kind of sewer can’t thread a needle? Not even with one of those threader thingies? Besides which, I’m just not cut out for a coffee klatch.

Earthgirl's avatar

Wundayatta better stick with glue guns then,lol. (no pun intended)

wundayatta's avatar

No pun intended? Of course not! God forbid! Let me sew that onto a doily!

gailcalled's avatar

(Feeling a bit slow tonight. Please explain the pun to me)

Many expert seamstresses cannot thread a needle. There are little gadgets that solve the problem. The eye of a quilting needle is the size of a Higgs boson.

Earthgirl's avatar

gailcalled stick with glue


I usually only make an effort to be interested in those things that interest me, not necessarily in those things that are in my “comfort zone.” Things that interest me can often be things that I’m not knowledgeable about, yet I will make an effort to engage in them. Those things that bore me I have no time for. But if I find something to talk about, I will often go on talking and talking….(I think you know what I mean @wundayatta).! ;)

wundayatta's avatar

@gailcalled Stick means both to stay with and also to adhere to (like glue). Stick with glue has the dual meaning and the redundancy is the pun. Don’t you just love explanations of puns?

And, as I already said, I can’t make those threading gadgets work any better than the thread alone. You still have to be able to get something through the eye of the needle, and it generally takes me about five minutes to accomplish that. But I’m getting new glasses. Perhaps that will help.

gailcalled's avatar

The explanation is even more turgid than the pun. I had thought (hoped) that I missed something subtle.

I now have bifocals, glasses for the computer, glasses for the piano, sunglasses, a spare in the glove compartment in the car and an old RX in my purse for reading the bottom shelves at the library.

martianspringtime's avatar

I don’t usually go out of my way to learn about something I have no interest in at all, but if someone is talking to me about something they quite like, I will give my full attention to it. There are too many things I am interested in to pursue studying things I don’t find interesting, not to mention that I probably wouldn’t be motivated enough to actually retain any of the information.
However someone else being interested in something makes it more interesting to me. Even if I don’t particularly care about a topic, if someone I know is rather intrigued by it and wants to talk about it, I’ll take a genuine interest in it at least for the time being. That’s how you pick up new interests, anyway.

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