Are you comfortable going to movies alone or do you feel that you need company?
Are people who cannot go the movies alone less confident and independent in life than people that are capable of going alone?
My video response below:
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You will often notice another patron watching the same film as you but they are sitting by themselves. You assume their film companion has gone for a toilet break or rushed off to get some last minute popcorn. The movie starts and you notice that they are still sitting alone. You keep looking over from time to time and they are still sitting alone. You realize that they are at the movies alone.
Many activities which are often seen as group activities cause panic if they become a solo activity. On Sex and The City, Carrie Bradshaw couldn’t help but wonder “when does doing things on your own becomes pathetic?”
Everyone has different guidelines for what is an acceptable solo outing. It is well within social norms to go the gym or go shopping alone. However cinemas, restaurants, bars, museums, concerts, nightclubs, and travel often fall out of those norms. It could be a matter of self consciousness ingrained by habit and reminder of conventional standards. It isn’t much fun when you are alone and surrounded by people who know others in the same space that have set designated company. You appear unpopular and feel like an outcast.
A University of Maryland study found, through a series of surveys and experiments, that consumers worry if they engage in activities alone observers will conclude they could not find friends to accompany them. Even worse, they have very few friends or no friends at all. The study defined hedonic activities which are simply about having fun, as opposed to utilitarian activities which involve a veneer of productivity (doing paperwork while eating in a restaurant alone).
A person can reduce the degree in which an activity is perceived as hedonic by bringing a book along to a solo cafe session. This suggests that there is nothing really uncomfortable about sitting in a cafe alone. However the discomfort comes from the perceived judgement of others condemning a solo outing, and that discomfort can largely dissolve if props are in place (paperwork, book, magazine). The study believes that concerns of being seen as a loner and solo outing phobia could contribute to a vicious cycle among those who really do lack sufficient companionship.
I often go to the movies alone and I find it both enjoyable and relaxing. I am alone but I never feel lonely, neglected or embarrassed.
- If there is a movie or concert that I want to see I may ask a friend of two. If no one wants to come it won’t stop me from attending. I may not even ask anyone and plan a solo outing from the beginning. Not having company is no excuse to miss out.
- People who can go to the movies alone are not only brave, they are also showing independence. They are self-sufficient and will not put their life on hold until they have company.
- Watching a film doesn’t require social interaction with another person. The only interaction that occurs is between you and the film. Therefore, you are never really alone. A relationship is formed between you and the film, and it may be a positive or negative one. It may simply entertain you or it might educate, challenge and confront you.
- Just because you didn’t attend the movies with another person doesn’t mean you have no one to discuss it with later. There are always people to discuss it with at any given time. Facebook, Twitter, IMDB (Internet Movie Database) and other film discussions sites are options. You may also have friends you know that have seen it that you can phone or meet up with to talk about the film.
- By going solo you don’t have to worry about people talking through previews. You can chose where you want to sit and you can pick what you want to eat and drink . It’s also good to avoid people who may have a tendency to talk throughout a film.
- You are solely in charge of selecting a film that you want to see that caters to your tastes and interests. No need for film compromise.
- Solo film going removes the concern of worrying about others. If they are not enjoying it and you are, they might make a display of it. They might want to leave if they are uncomfortable or disturbed by the film. If you are enjoying the film you are put in an awkward and frustrating position.
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