A third place? I’m not sure I even have a second anymore.
The first office I ever worked in, a typical second place.
I don’t know who coined the term “third place” and while I don’t
really care, my understanding is that a third place is something along the lines of a hobby
group, sports club, church, barbershop, or other place you go
to socialize outside of your first and second places, home and work.
There have been many words written over the years about the loss of
these third places in North America, something which has lead to both social
and personal problems for a great number of people within our society.
My question is though, what does one do when they no longer even
have a second place (work)?
Sure I have a job, but I’ve been remote since January of 2019. There
is little to no social aspect of my job anymore, just an endless
stream of meetings people don’t want to be in and Jira tickets to
be worked on. The rare moments of socialization are fleeting and
increasingly fewer as time goes on.
A not insignificant number of us have seen our first and second
place merge into one and we’ve lost much of what made our second
place a second place. In some more extreme examples like mine,
people have never met their coworkers in person, or even know what
some of their co-workers look like.
In a world where a third place is increasingly difficult to find,
what do we do when we lose our second place as well? I honestly
don’t know and I have no insight to offer as I’m completely
unqualified to do so, but I can say that I’ve noticed the affect
it has had on my life more and more as time has gone on.
Perhaps this isn’t a real issue for people, or perhaps I notice
it more because I’m single and childless leading to no at home
socialization, but I’m confident I’m not the only one who’s
thought about this.