Lisa Schmeiser gets into the costs and benefits of “cocooning” (via Simon Woods), and I just wanted to say that this bit here in fact pretty closely matches how I have to approach my actually-autistic life just to maintain my general day-to-day sanity.
Cocooning actually doesn’t help us acquire or retain the necessary skills for interacting with others (or even recognizing their innate humanity) outside our highly selective bubbles. What it does do is give us the option to watch what we want, eat what we want, talk online with whom we choose to chat, and do so in our space on our timeline. If people feel so compelled to exert such control over their time, it may be a subconscious or wholly deliberate response to the perception that there’s just too much outside their control.
In my case, there’s nothing subconscious about it at all: so much of living is unpredictable, I’ve got to structure as much of it as possible to be as close to predictable as possible. Doing so, in fact, is a significant factor in being capable of handling the truly unexpected, or the minor variations that nonetheless always will manage to creep into one’s designed predictability.
It’s not a perception “that there’s just too much outside” my control. That’s really how the world is; some of us are just a bit more predictable in our need to hold unpredictabiity at arm’s length.
- In fact, not to ever-so-slightly disagree with that first bit: controlling as much as I can — up to and including cocooning — might not “help [me] acquire or retain the necessary skills for interacting with others” but it does conserve resources that then might be available to interact with others when it’s necessary.