Small talk is so boring and terrible. It makes me want to shout, don’t you have anything real to say! Some people just say things like “how are you” or “what’s new”, but some extra boring people like to chat about the weather, without actually saying anything. Yeah, the sun’s out. Sure, it’s snowing. But how do you really feel?
Today is Weatherman’s Day! I don’t know what that means, but in honor of that, let’s bring back talking about the weather, but the actual weather. It’s such a beautiful thing and can be really interesting, but don’t bore the pants off of everyone by having nothing to say. Because really, if you have nothing to say, maybe don’t say anything.
It would be silly and also annoying to start out your non-small-talk with things that are way too obvious. So steer clear of things like “the sun is out” and “it is snowing” as noted above. Better topics would be long term observances or predictions, discussion of related weather systems, or subjective ideas about ideal situations.
Try to be positive about the weather! Rather than say, I hate this rain, try, “I prefer sunshine, I can’t wait for that to happen.” What color is the sky? Be creative and learn some new color words. Is there a breeze? What does it smell like? Don’t actually talk about that last one, unless it’s a nice smell.
The problem with small talk is that you are literally just talking in order to have a conversation. This is not how social skills work! Yes, you should be polite and try to be engaging. And when you are talking to strangers, acquaintances or, for some people, coworkers, you may not have a lot to say. But the foundation of social skills is, in my expert opinion, engaging the other person. Try to find out what they want to talk about or bring up something they might enjoy. I think this is why many people resort to talking about music, but that is boring as shit please.
Weather Emergencies: Everyone’s a Meteorologist!
I am told that when you live in a place with real weather events, you often learn a lot about them on the news from your friendly local meteorologist.
In various parts of the developed world, you might experience extreme weather such as: hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, droughts, or floods. Recently a storm called Jonas made me late to work for a full week! I learned a bit about what moisture in the air does to snow forecasts, that they send up extra weather balloons to learn more about emergencies, and that everyone specifically blames their mayor for the snow accumulation.
There are some great places you can learn about weather outside of an emergency situation. Here at Sneer Campaign we are fans of Wunderground. There, you can find maps and forecasts, learn about weather systems, and more! When you check the weather in your city, it has a regular ol’ forecast, but if you scroll down you can learn all sorts of things. They also have a great weather blog, where I learned this gem for today’s holiday:
Happy National Weatherperson’s Day! This American holiday takes place each year on February 5, the birthdate of John Jeffries (1745-1819). Jeffries was a military surgeon during the American Revolution, and later the family physician to future President John Adams, but he gained his greatest meteorological fame by taking observations from a hot-air balloon above London.
Cloud Collecting: Fun for All Ages
Everyone says that they love a blue sky, but we all know clouds are the real stars of the show. From altocumulus lenticularis to cumulus mediocris arcus, being a cloud expert or amateur will let you spot the most delightful wonders of the sky. We will most definitely have a future post all about Cloud Collecting, but for now, you should familiarize yourself with those guys.
If you have an iPhone, well, you’re in luck. The Cloud Spotter App is finally back in the App Store. You can take pictures of clouds you identify, for them to get approved by the real life Cloud Appreciation Society‘s team of cloud experts. You get little achievements too! It’s the only reason that I wish I had an iPhone. If you don’t have one, I can recommend these two very excellent books: The Cloud Collector’s Handbook and The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds.
Hey, it’s a lot better than talking about music.