Hanging out. All of us could probably stand to do more of it, especially if it doesn’t come with a calendar invite. In her new book, Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time, Sheila Liming writes that she’s found herself “an accidental witness to a growing crisis: people struggling to hang out, or else voicing concern and anxiety about how to hang out.” The coronavirus may have heightened this struggle, but its root causes—our increased obsession with our phones, the shrinking of public spaces, widening income inequality, American individualism—predate the pandemic. Liming, a professor of communications at Champlain College, joins us on the podcast to discuss both what we have to lose by not spending unstructured time together and how we can get it back.
Go beyond the episode:
- Sheila Liming’s Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time
- Liming learned a lot about the art of the hang through her time playing in the Catamount Pipe Band and the jam band The Armadillos
- Ray Oldenburg celebrated all the “third places” where people hang out in The Great Good Place
- You know what would make hanging out a lot easier? The 15-minute city
- Practice doing nothing much with one of these great hangout films
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