Synths, strictly speaking, do not have a culture entirely for themselves, but rather see themselves as culturally intertwined with the society that surrounds them, which is the culture of the Outer Rim. More often than not the goal of most Synths is to fit into the culture that surrounds them and to be a respected member of society, while still identifying as Synths. However, even though they blend into the society that surrounds hem, their synthetic origin and way of living differs from the organics around them in some inescapable ways.
Synths are entirely synthetic and have ways of powering their bodies that differ greatly from that of organics. Organics have to consume food to gain nutrition, which their bodies convert into energy to power the body's processes, from movement to cognition. Without this energy, a body will die. Synths require regular charging of their battery tissue to keep them alive. This has led to charging points being a common thing all throughout the Outer Rim. Just as organics like having sources of food around, Synths feel comfortable knowing that they can sit on a bench nearby to recharge their batteries when they feel tired. The ubiquity of charging points often leads to Synths forgetting that they require energy to live, since they so often enter places or use furniture that charges them without them even noticing. Battery extensions and modules that generate power themselves make the need to charge even less noticable.
Energy is seen as a basic right for Synths throughout the Outer Rim and is therefore available for free. Places that don't have a ubiquitous energy supply are often considered wild or underdeveloped. One of the first things that happen when a new planet is colonized within the Outer Rim is that a charging network for Synths is set up to allow movement throughout the colony and to reduce the threat of a Synth being stranded somewhere without the chance to charge.
It is seen as fashionable for Synths to wear modules that do the charging for them, by generating power or amplifying the power transmitted through charging points. Typical modules of that sort would be skin plating covered in solar cells, crests and fins that act as solar panels as well as, in rare cases, miniature nuclear reactor modules built into the Synth's frame. Due to the ubiquity of charging points such modules are usually not really necessary, but tend to be used as fashion items and as a display of independence and style.
Food and Drink
While Synths do not require food or drink for sustenance or to generate energy, it is instead used to provide their bodies with materials required for maintenance as well as the change of their frame size through their metabolism. Since the bodies of Synths are made of entirely different materials than those of organics, the substances they consume are also entirely different. Whereas organics will eat food based on carbohydrates, fats and protein, Synths will prefer foods heavy in carbon, minerals and metals.
While synths can theoretically eat and digest organic food, it does not appeal to them in either taste, smell or looks. It also tends to give them slight indigestion, since organic food does not contain the nutrition they require for their internal chemical processes.
Since the majority of a Synth's body consists of carbon based materials, the majority of their diet is also carbon. Popular carbon based food items include carbon crisps, graphite bars and graphene flakes. Carbon can come in many different shapes, including fullerene based drinks, or in form of polymers. Polymer noodles and polymüsli are popular meals.
It is not uncommon for Synths to season their food with materials that would be a bit risky for organics, such as bismuth, rust or (for those who like it very spicy) uranium. Food items that could be dangerous to organics around Synths are marked with danger indicators to remind Synths not to put others in danger and to please make sure not to leave too many uranium crumbs all over the place.
Commercial batteries are not classified as Synth food items
no matter how tasty they are .
Synths can have very varied diets, with many of them only consuming little food to begin with. Since food consumption is only necessary to maintain a Synth's body or to re-shape it and Synths generally don't use food for energy generation, they typically only eat regular meals during times of extensive physical change. A small, incomplete list of Synth foods can be found here: List of Synth Food Examples
Synths are particularly important for the filling of certain work roles that organics are not able to fill without putting themselves in a lot of danger. Due to their modular nature, Synths can change their body parts to be more suited for the task at hand. They are able to wear different types of skin that shield them from gamma radiation, making them well suited for jobs that require handling of radioactive materials without having to wear any particular protective clothing. They can also be useful for their abilities to change the size of their frames over time, allowing them to mount particularly heavy and large modules used during construction. This versatility could be backed up with many more examples and makes Synths popular as a workforce.
Synths also have, due to their History, an innate urge to be helpful, making them want to be useful to the society they are part of. Having Synths as part of your workforce is a morale boost for other workers around them for that reason.
Leisure, Hobbies and Wellness
Synths are able to take on almost any hobby or leisure activity that organics are also capable of, with some small differences here or there. Their physical differences to organic life simply make certain things different. For example you will rarely see a Synth at a sauna, since there is no real point to such an activity, due to a Synth's lack of sweat glands. Synths would still join a sauna, if asked to join by organic friends, but would most likely spend the time worrying about overheating while wondering why organics find this sort of thing enjoyable.
Synths do have a sense of wellness though and also partake in activities that increase their feelings of wellness, such as going to Synth spas. These spas are fashioned specifically for the needs of synthetic bodies and offer wide varieties of wellness options to help Synths relax and feel healthier. They typically offer ethanol baths, to get as clean as one could possibly get, rice baths, which pull all humidity right out of your joints, and gyms with trainers that know just how to get you to exercise to get to the sparkling, strong machine body you want.
Exercise is a popular leisure activity, which can also be enjoyed by Synths, since it helps with keeping their nanites busy by creating microfissures in their muscles, which then need to be repaired, helping muscle and frame growth. Exercise is also very helpful for those Synths who choose a large or muscular blueprint, since it helps with building up pneumatic muscles through the same process. It also is something fun to do with organic friends.
Synths can take up a great variety of hobbies, spanning the wide range of activities that organics like to do in their spare time as well. Some Synths like to socialize and visit clubs at night, others spend their time at home, playing games, collecting things, or making NewTube™ videos. Some like to take their helperbots for a walk every day and yet others go hiking. The range of leisure activities Synths can partake in is only limited by one's imagination and the laws of physics.
Rest and Sleep
Synths, due to having a sapient mind, require rest from time to time. The Synth brain is very complex and functions in ways that are difficult to understand. For example it is difficult to imagine why a synthetic body would need to rest or why a synthetic mind would need to sleep from time to time. There are however multiple reasons for Synths to sleep on a nightly basis:
- It gives Synths a chance to recharge on a nightly basis. Synth beds typically act as charging points, allowing Synths to fully recharge their batteries as they sleep.
- The Synth brain requires sleep as a chance to arrange memories and experiences within itself. It can be compared to a kind of "defragmentation", that is also common in organics. This can also lead to Synths dreaming. Also no, Synths don't dream of electric sheep, but they dream of helperbots.
When not in need of sleep, but a simple recharge, Synths tend to use furniture that act as charging points. Being able to sit down for a minute to literally "recharge your batteries" feels refreshing to them.
Relationships and Sexuality
Synths, being synthetic, don't reproduce sexually, but still have platonic as well as sexual relationships with each other and with organics. This is mostly because Synths grew up in a culture dominated by organics and their behaviours. Synths adjust to the culture they grow up within, developing friendships and loving relationships with other Synths and organics and are able to feel pleasure from sexual interactions. This leads to relationships among Synths and between Synths and organics being common and considered normal. Same sex relationships, asexuality, bisexuality and many others are all considered normal as well. As long as consent is involved and everyone involved is of age, the culture of the Outer Rim is open to it.
Sex and Gender
Synths don't reproduce sexually, so the concept of differentiating between different Synth sexes does not appear to make much sense at first. Synths are, however, a product of the culture they live in. Many Synths therefore choose to identify with one sex or gender or another, since most organics around them do the same, but don't necessarily have to. The fact that they are modular makes it simple for them to change their pysical gender expressions, or to simply represent as agender, if they so choose to. Every Synth is different and has their own preferences, so they have a lot of freedom to style themselves, take different body shapes and can be attracted to many different things. The culture of the Outer Rim is fully open and accepting of any gender representation Synths or organics choose, with the transition between genders or the lack of a gender being common things that are considered normal.
Over the course of a Synth's life, they can sometimes explore multiple different genders and the changes of gender expression that come with them. Most of them will eventually settle with whatever feels best for them and keep the body shape they feel the most comfortable in.
Synth Specific Fashion
Synth fashion can be very different from fashion for organics, since synthetic fashion tends to revolve mostly around styling synthetic bodies rather than clothing. This happens primarily through the use of different modules, but also through colours, skin, alternative frames, glowing parts and even holographic elements. More on Synth fashion can be learned from the page specifically dedicated to it.
Synths, much like organics, have to grow up through experiencing and learning many things. Every child in the Outer Rim is educated through a public school system that takes them all the way from learning about fundamentals like reading, writing, mathematics as well as several of the most important languages spoken throughout the Outer Rim to higher education at universities. Synths and organics go to the same schools and same classes and are not seperated. Growing up and going to school together is the best way to ensure understanding for each other, despite the physical differences.
Even though Synths are not pushed in any particular direction, when they make their choice of what to focus their studies on during their time at a university, they have a tendency of choosing majors that are heavily focused on technology and science. This is a tendency and not a rule though, so you can also find many Synths in agricultural studies, economics and many others.
All education is provided by the Outer Rim free of charge, whether a person decides to go for a PhD or not to go to a university at all. There are incentives of higher monthly income as a reward for getting a higher education though.
Coexistence with Organics
Throughout the history of the Outer Rim Synths have played an important role of the development of culture and society as a whole. The connection between Synths and organics has always been vital, since Synths were originally created by the organics of the Outer Rim to help out with the production of food, leading to Synths being an important part of the continued survival of all organic species. Organics and Synths both enjoy each other's mutual respect for that reason. Yet there are big differences in the way of synthetic and organic life. These differences are what makes the cultural interactions between these species interesting.
Synths require no food to live, since they depend entirely on electrical energy to sustain themselves. Synth food merely exists for two reasons:
- To supply their bodies with materials they need for repairs, maintenance and change of body shape.
- As a way to meaningfully interact with organics and to share a common activity.
The second point is important for social interaction between Synths and organics. When organics consume food, this will often happen at a social setting. It is a chance to bond with people around you. Synths therefore also prefer to eat while other people around them are eating, simply because it is the social thing to do. Eating with others strenghthens relationship and furthers cultural exchange, because it involves conversation and the discovery of whatever interesting things the person you are talking to is eating.
Since Synths don't need to eat food to supply their bodies with energy and don't need to supply their bodies with replacement materials very often, they tend to choose foods that are very light, but flavourful. Examples of food eaten around social settings are aerogel or polymer foam based foods. These can come in many interesting flavours (That is, interesting for Synths. Organics care very little for the intricacies of the difference between copper and tin flavours).
Synths will often partake in leisure activities with organics, whether it is exercise, travel, shopping or meeting up to watch the newest, funny 5D meme videos online. Friendships between Synths and organics are just as common as friendships among Synths. There typically is not much of a difference, except that you might want to hide any tasty looking batteries before your Synth buddies come over for a visit. Relationships between Synths and organics are also fully accepted and considered normal.
Synths often find the way organics live fascinating, since it can feel pretty foreign to them. They will often try to emulate certain things to feel more part of the same society. In theory it does not make much sense for a synthetic creature to take and enjoy drugs, like alcohol or caffeine, yet Synths have developed substances they can ingest, which trigger neural responses in their bodies, which simulate these experiences. This allows them to partake in fun activities like "getting drunk and regretting it the day after" or "having way too much coffee and not being able to sleep".
Interaction with machines
Even though the argument could be made that Synths are just particularly intelligent and conscious machines, they do not identify themselves as machines. They recognize that they are, as a matter of fact, like machines, but if confronted with that fact, they will typically respond by pointing out that organics are basically machines too. They "just happen to be more squishy and less energy efficient". This leads to Synths treating other machines in the exact same way as organics would treat machines. Machines that are not at the cognitive level of consciousness are considered to be tools, or cute robot pets, but never living beings with minds. The deciding factor that makes a machine alive to a Synth is whether or not a conscious mind resides within it. This does, however, not mean that Synths are incapable of feeling affection for machines less intelligent than them. It is popular to own small, unintelligent service robots, like helperbots (also known as owobots), which are sometimes treated as pets.