It’s Friday night, and you are getting ready to go out with friends for a couple hours of fun. You put on your best outfit and pose in the mirror, when you realize you actually have no desire to carry through with plans dawns; staying home immersed in a sea of junk food and blankets sounds much more appealing.
While friends and family can make great company, thoughts and maybe a good book or movie to keep you company can prove healthy for your soul. Even going out alone sounds like a good idea; grabbing a bite to eat on personal time, or being able to eat as many snacks as possible at the movie theater without looking like a glutton seems like a good time.
Even putting your phone down can be therapeutic. Responding to numerous texts and messages from friends can be exhausting; sometimes you need a break. It is okay to turn off notifications for a while.
TechCrunch in 2017 reports, “The time U.S. users are spending in mobile apps is continuing to grow; according to new data released this week by analytics firm Flurry, we’re up to 5 hours per day on our mobile devices.” Many of us enjoy spending time on our phones texting friends and family; we continue to keep contact even though we are technically “alone.” However, a phone detox can be rewarding. Texting can be exhausting.
Yet, the fear of looking like a loner or a social pariah stops people from enjoying time alone, especially out in public. There is a stigma behind these activities without the presence of others; people wonder if someone stood you up, or if you have no friends after seeing you seated at a table for one. People stare, and it feels like you are the subject of every surrounding conversation.
When in fact, no one canceled, because you never made them, and you actually have an outing with a group of people next weekend.
Fortunately, there is a growing amount of memes and tweets on the Internet being shared amongst hundreds of social media users who can relate. So, being sighted out in public with only yourself as a date seems a little less scary.
How does one go about hanging out with themselves? Spending time by yourself without the distraction of friends and family can be really easy. Check the schedule, make sure there is nothing else to do for a couple of hours, and then you do whatever activity you want.
There are no friend groups to go back and forth with about time or what place to meet at. The process of making plans with yourself eliminates all arguments about carpooling, the hours spent choosing the perfect outfit, or the headache that is induced when brainstorming believable excuses to get out of your engagement early.
As teenagers with a lot going on in school and extracurriculars, along with a fair share of drama, a stress reliever is most welcome. Taking a step back from the bustle of life is relaxing; solitude can be extremely beneficial. Forbes in 2017 reports that alone time can increase empathy, productivity and creativity.
This is not to take away from maintaining good relationships. Being in touch with friends and family is important. However, you do not need to be around them all the time. Being independent is not the same as dropping all your connections.
Not every Friday night has to be busy with the chatter of friends. Put on that new pair of pants or favorite sweater for yourself; not to impress anybody else. Prioritize yourself and your wants first; you do you.