I love staying indoors, but this past Friday I had a craving to go out. It seemed that most of my friends were busy, so it was a night to myself. I decided to take a solo trip to the local movie theater, but I definitely was reluctant.
When the thought popped into my head, I immediately texted a friend group chat asking, “Is going to the movies by yourself socially acceptable at 21 years old?”
They all said yes and encouraged it, and so I went.
According to statistics from Statista, 29 percent of the U.S. goes to the movies a few times a year, 21 percent goes once a month or more, and the other half barely goes to the theater or not at all. It is unclear how much of the population goes alone; however, a poll with almost 2000 votes from High-Def Digest has 41 percent of voters saying they would go alone, 32 percent saying they would prefer to be with company but would go alone, and nine percent saying it does not matter. Eleven percent say they would not solo the movies because it is weird, and seven percent say they only watch movies at home.
I love doing things by myself, but there is a social stigma for certain activities like going bowling, eating at a fancy restaurant and in this case, seeing a movie at a theater. There is nothing wrong with being alone, but because these activities are usually done in groups, it could make one feel like an outcast and feel weird. I think it stems back from grade school, where there is pressure to fit in and have friends at lunch. Society continues to instill this desire to fit in, but the older one gets the less one cares.
The theater I went to was fancy and had electronic, reclining love seats to choose from, which proves that it is seen as a social event.
No one noticed or seemed to care that I was by myself, as I expected, but it was still a weird feeling at first. Looking around, most if not everybody, was with someone.
As the film began, I became engrossed in the movie of my choice. I saw “A Simple Favor.” It was hilarious and Blake Lively will forever be my girl crush. It was great not having distractions from a friend or a date. We have all been to the movies with someone who keeps talking. I did not have to worry about that.
I left satisfied. Usually I like talking about a movie with whoever I saw the movie with, but this time the discussion was like an internalized reflection. I could choose to keep my thoughts to myself or recommend the movie to a friend. I liked the power of that choice.
I will definitely be going to the movies by myself again, and I encourage you to as well. You can see whatever movie you want at whatever time works best for you. You do not have to argue over what snacks and seats to pick. It is ideal.