The Joys of Living an Antisocial Life


Fredrick Tendong

Gaming is one of my personal joys in an antisocial lifestyle.

Angie Leung, Reporter

My ideal weekend consists of gaming PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, PUBG, until midnight every day in my bedroom with dimmed lights, closed doors and black curtains. Contrary to this, however, is the next Monday morning during which I’m hurled into the intensely bright-lit classrooms at Presentation where cacophonous noises of chit-chat strike against my ears, signaling the start of another week of tedious banter and interactions with groups of people.

Whereas I would rather avoid being awake during any time tagged with “a.m.” to shut off the bustling of cars nearby and to limit all human voices except ones that project from my 2.5-by-5.5 inch screen, burdensome social commitments chip away from my preferred antisocial lifestyle.

Considering antisocialness is often associated with social awkwardness, it’s generally regarded as a negative quality, for the ability to socialize with peers is valuable in terms of building connections in the workforce and social life.

But even so, the stigma around antisocialness undermines the key understanding that antisocialness is a personal choice to lean toward individual-oriented behavior, rather than societal groupthink. Moreover, I derive joys from living an antisocial life.

Perhaps the most personality-conflicting experience I’ve had at PHS was my first — and only — mixer. Upon arriving at the center, I was horrified by hordes of students — too close to each other — jamming to eardrum-exploding beats. The co-ed interactions, which consisted of cursory glances over the shoulder and tacit codes, inexplicable by any “how to be social tutorials” I’ve browsed, apparently indicated that an act from “Romeo and Juliet” was about to go down.

Of course I, being the quintessence of antisocialness, went to an empty table and texted my way through the night.

While some might pity my lack of social interactions, I view this lifestyle as rather enjoyable. I enjoy binge watching Korean dramas and movies in my confined room and not intrinsically being self-conscious of tearing up at the packed movie theaters during the ending of “Avengers: Endgame.” I’m content with eating by myself as I have no pressure to match my eating pace with that of my peers or endure uncomfortably loud, live ASMR chewing sounds.

At the dining table, I don’t need to indifferently provide automated responses to my relatives’ nettlesome interviews about my progress in the college process, sparing me the trivial “how are you?”’s, the white lies exchanged over the dinner table and the stifling social conventions.

And although at times, my attitude and comments toward society are often pessimistic, I view them as enlightening remarks that distinctly characterize my emphasis on the individual as opposed to societal norms. For this reason, I don’t view antisocialness as unpleasant or even pitiable, as it is an individual lifestyle choice that gives personal delight.