It is well-documented those with Autism Spectrum Disorder are not likely to be the social bufferlies in their community. Social awkwardness is one of the symptoms I can claim hands down. Unlike my dear friends who are social butterflies, I could manage to go days in solitary confinement without going mad. But if I was forced to be among people around the clock, with no break of lone time, I would probably have a meltdown by the stroke of midnight.
“Group” is a word I’m allergic to. It can be followed by the words “meeting” or “social” and I will have the same reaction. It is similar to the reaction I have at the smell of turnips cooking, or the bass sound of a loud stereo, or the glare of the bright lights. I’d rather be sitting on the roof than sitting inside at a group gathering pretending to listen while hoping someone will volunteer to be the first to leave.
The other day I was screening my list of 66 Facebook (FB) friends. That may seem like a lot of social contacts for someone who claims to have a social interaction deficit. Well, when I compare 66 to those FB friends who are social butterflies, I come up awfully short. I’m not complaining that I don’t have 700 more or less friends. Goodness no! It’s just an observation on my part because one of the things I don’t have a deficit of is “analyzing” statistics. Another common autism trait, by the way, is an attraction for numbers.
I know two sisters who are in competition when it comes to number of FB friends. They are trying to outdo each other. They are long retired and have the time to solicit friends on FB. When their birthdays come up, they will respond to every single birthday greeting. The last time I checked, one sister had 502 and the other had 511. It takes up a good bit of their birthday time to reach their goal of responding to each “Happy Birthday” greeting they receive, but they enjoy it. I also make a point of responding to all my birthday wishes but it’s not as an enormous task as it is for the sisters. Sometimes a social interaction deficit has its benefits.