The End of the Drop In?…

I was chatting with fellow misho Scott this morning about the ‘drop in’.

You know – where rather than calling a friend and asking if you can come by, or waiting for an invite, you just drop in at their home… and hang out. Have coffee – chat – watch the footy etc.

I listened to the ‘drop in’ cop a fair old hiding from the 92.9 FM morning crew a little while back, as something people no longer appreciate. The message they gave was ‘if you’re going to come by then at least ring and let me know – but under no circumstances should you just drop in!’

Is the ‘drop in’ going the way of the dinosaur?

Does it matter?

As Scott I discussed it this morning we were reflecting on what makes the drop in possible. Here are some thoughts.

1) Proximity – I am unlikely to drop in on you if you live in Mandurah! The chances of casually dropping in are much higher if we are in the same locale.

2) Familiarity – I was going to say the ‘length’ of the friendship, but its not really that. Its more to do with the shape the relationship takes and the degree of comfort people feel with each other.

3) Availability – I reckon this one is huge and is part of the reason the ‘drop in’ has been drop kicked. Most people are so damn busy that either they don’t have time to drop in or when they do you aren’t home anyway because you are also so busy.

4) Personality – (for want of a better term) I think some people aren’t really all that excited by either dropping in or having someone drop in, while others find the spontaneity of it all just makes their day.

Of course it is als0 probably true to suggest that the reason drop ins have diminished is because we no longer base community on proximity like we used to, we have few significant relationships and most of us are too busy to be able to live with that degree of spontaneity.

Ironically Danelle is a ‘drop in’ lover who will lob in on you fairly easily and equally will welcome you warmly if you ever drop in over here. Whereas I am much less likely to just drop in on you. I will usually have a reason for calling and wouldn’t want to feel like I am imposing on you. (And you sure as hell better have a reason if you come here too!)

Seriously… is this an issue we need to consider? Is it a symptom of stuff gone wrong in our society or is it just where we are at and is neither good nor bad?

As I reflect on our Upstream communities mob here in Brighton the ‘drop in’ has not been a big part of our DNA. Its has been moreso for the girls who are home during the day, but for the guys it would seem odd to have someone just stop by for a while. It wouldn’t be bad, but I imagine we’d all be wondering ‘what do you want?!’

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