‘Social suicide’ – a term made popular through the film Mean Girls in 2004 runs through our society like a stab to the gut for many of us. We live in fear of the idea of participating in activities alone or having an interest that might not be the norm for others, expecting to be ridiculed by our friends, family and oddly enough (surprisingly mostly) complete strangers.
The fear of seeming weird or lonely has haunted everyone at some point. There was a point in my life when I was anxious that I might get judged for buying those pathetic ‘meal for one’ ready meals from Asda as I looked into the cashier’s eyes knowing they can basically sum up my life with the friendless, disgusting packaged lasagne slowly crawling it’s way closer to the till. ‘Y’alright love ‘ she’d say. Of course, she was just being nice yet I would go on the defense, get all sweaty and probably reply in a low mumble – I want my shitty lasagne not a therapy session.
Nowadays I’m a lot more confident (some would say too much) yet there is still a huge taboo about doing things alone or out of the ordinary.
An obvious choice is the cinema. A majority of the population are under the assumption that it’s pretty sad to go to the cinema alone. As if the rest of the audience won’t be watching the latest blockbuster, holding more interest in that bloke sat on his own, he must be a weirdo. Why would you dare go to sit in the dark for a few hours watching a film in silence…alone?! Must be a right prat.
Walking through the city can be tiresome, perhaps you get a little peckish? You don’t fancy some rubbish fast food but a decent meal. It’s not even peak ‘date’ time in the restaurants, surely you’ll be okay? In fact, there’s about 6 other people there. You can’t seriously be thinking of ordering that table for one can you? It’s an unwritten rule that you must be able to converse with someone in a restaurant, not just eat your food! Must be a right flatulent.
Your favourite musician/singer is performing nearby? If only your friends enjoyed them too. Don’t even consider buying a ticket for one, you’ll probably get a call from a band member telling you how ridiculous you’ll look not having anyone to look at whilst reciting the lyrics to a song like a constipated seagull. Must be a right tool.
Of course, it’d be silly to say that the above and more can’t be enjoyed or even enhanced with friends. Say you notice something funny or memorable, you’d be the only one to think about it.
That isn’t what this post is about, more the fact that it’s perfectly acceptable to be alone or ‘different’ sometimes. In this day and age our peers know more about us than any other point in history due to social networking making it impossible for them to not know our whereabouts or activities due to status updates, tagged photos, etc. It’s pointless letting others expectations dictate your life, where’s the fun and individuality in that?
It’s time to let you be you – nobody fancies a bite to eat? So what, you’re hungry. Nobody you know likes collecting something random? Don’t stop on their account. Nobody likes your unhealthy obsession with dressing up like a superhero every now and then? Must be a complete tosspot.