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guywithAS
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31 Aug 2011, 10:45 am

i found this comic by the oatmeal to be hilarious and i feel like it might strike at the heart of why we have special interests:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/online_gaming

i'm wondering if we have a special interest purely because

a) we're more socially isolated and thus have less external social influences to take us in different directions
b) doing the special interest beats hanging out with other people when we're going to have social problems anyways

what do you think?



MagicMeerkat
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31 Aug 2011, 11:03 am

My special intrests always sprung up on me. It's more like they chose me as opposed to me choosing them. A lot of them them sprung up slowly.


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TPE2
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31 Aug 2011, 11:37 am

My theory is that, if you take a NT person, take away social interaction and expand their current hobbies to occupy the (now) empty time, perhaps you will end up with something very similar to an autistic special interest.



Ettina
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31 Aug 2011, 12:36 pm

No, it's definitely not lack of other time-occupiers with me. I've had intense interests when I was socially isolated, I've had intense interests when I was socially accepted. The intensity never really changed (the topic tends to, though, as when I'm depressed I get obsessed with depressing things).

From comparing myself with my NT (probably) brother, I'd say the big difference in our interests is that for him, it has to be social to be interesting. He's even torn himself away from a fun game to walk with me to the convenience store because the game is less fun for him if he's alone - even though I wasn't interacting with him before I decided to leave!

Of course, the funnest thing is when I can combine socialization and my interests. Such as when I visited my friend this past weekend and we watched Ted Bundy's last interview and chatted about the nature of psychopathy. My parents get creeped out when I talk about psychopathy, but my friend's a psych major too and she's interested in it.