The older I grow the more I realize that I cultivate and revel in my self-perceived status as an outlier, a misfit, a weirdo, an oddball. One of the earliest caveats I can remember my parents instilling in me is not to do something simply because everyone else is doing it. The phrase “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” was tossed about a lot. As a result I developed a knee jerk reaction against being what I perceive as a follower. The more popular an opinion is the more likely I am to find reason to disagree with it. The more popular a book or television show, the less likely I am to watch it (at least while it’s still popular anyway). Even the activities and hobbies I do enjoy, I tend to share with only a small group of friends. For example I am almost rabid about the TV show Supernatural. If you’re my friend you know that because I have made your ears bleed with analyses of the characters and plots as well as bitched about what irritated me. However I only recently joined a FaceBook fan group because I am well aware that there are fans out there whose opinions of the show and various character relationships will irritate me. So why subject myself to them or vice versa.
Being an outlier can sometimes be lonely. I often find that not only do I avoid following the trend, I don’t understand the mindset of those who do. For example, not only have I never desired to become a mother I cannot understand why anyone else would want to either. I have no desire to impose my attitudes on others but I cling to them fairly fiercely nonetheless.
Being an outlier means that you are often misunderstood. My sense of humor is quirky at best. Comments I intend to be humorous can often come off as dark, sarcastic or bewildering to someone who doesn’t know me or doesn’t get it. I know this about myself. I’m the first to admit that I’m an acquired taste. I have a feeling I have often unintentionally alienated people I would have liked as friends because I don’t realize until it’s too late that maybe that comment wasn’t appropriate. A bit of moderation on my part right result in fewer hurt feelings and more social connections. I have to admit that I can be quite oblivious to how my pronouncements sound to others until it’s too late.
One thing I know about myself is that I hate it when something I enjoy becomes popular. For example I have always colored. It is one of my few creative outlets. From the time I can remember happiness was a new box of 64 Crayola crayons. The smell of a new box affects me the way “new car” aroma affects car guys. I still have Barbie coloring books that I bought in the early 80s. Now coloring for adults has become a trend and while I enjoy the new adult oriented coloring books out there, I detest feeling as though I’ve joined the popular kids’ table. I have the same issue with Tarot. As long as it’s a fringe profession and interest I’ll be happy. Recently it’s become a popular party game with folks who have never used a Tarot deck before (rather like Ouija boards were in the 70s). I would never try to limit anyone’s access to Tarot knowledge but using it in such a silly manner irritates me. Once again, not trying to make any rules to stop folks from doing it this way but I’ll be glad when this trend passes.
Why am I mentioning all of this? Because I have decided to abandon that bastion of trendiness and popularity – Facebook. I only recently re-joined because I wanted to connect with my Tarot friends but I quickly realized that Facebook gives me hives. It’s pimping of my information offends me. If my ass is going to be sold then I deserve a piece of the profits. So I’ve decided to reclaim my outlier status and once again depart Facebook. It wasn’t until I made this decision that I realized how much Facebook irritates me. Yes, I love the fact that I can easily keep in touch with friends. However the truth is if I can’t bother writing an email or calling them on the phone I have to wonder how close our relationship is. I am staying on Twitter and Pinterest and I’ve joined MeWe. So if you’re on any of these platforms and want to keep in touch – please do. As for me, after July 31st Facebook will be a memory in my rearview mirror.