"Are you sick?" Thing 1 asked me the other day.
"No. Why do you ask?"
"Because you're in pajamas."
"What is the point of Sundays if I am not free to spend it in pajamas?"
Not only am I an introvert, I'm an early bird. I am—for the most part—content to potter about the house, and I manage to tick off most of my "to-dos" by 8:30 am.
Molly Young opines ("Is Staying in the New Going Out?") how binge-watching and ordering in are now the usual "plans" for city dwellers. It's the ultimate way of staying safe—modest, guaranteed contentment, the middle path—as opposed to the extremes that "going out" harbor —
The upside is huge: You could have a life-altering adventure, meet your soul mate, find your new best friend. The potential downside is equally monumental. You could run into an ex, lose your wallet, suffer a grope, be rejected. The scope of experience at a party or a bar is, as the hedge funders might put it, high beta. We do it for the possibility of encountering the spectacular. This rarely happens.
There are opportunity costs associated with chronic staying in, too. A year’s worth of weekends spent at home is a bit like never moving out of your parents’ house: At some point you have to leave the nest. Leaving the nest, even just to get outside, is how we grow, challenge ourselves and discover things that have not been tailored to our relevant interests by an algorithm.
But I think of it along these lines: With the invention of Netflix and non-interactive means of ordering food, introverts have stumbled upon socially-acceptable heaven. Out of the closet we come—one-third to one-half of the population—forgoing the stress that outings usually exacerbate. It's not that technology has hypnotized the socially outgoing into abandoning their preferences, but rather it has provided the means for the introverts to morph into official homebodies.
The extroverts, I guarantee you, are not being wooed by online streaming and cereal. They're still leaving the house and doing . . . stuff. Very possibly "living" more than my kind do, but that is a chance we are willing to take.
So yes, we know what we’re losing when we hibernate. For proof, observe that nesting remains indefensible as an excuse; if someone invites you out, you can’t refuse by telling them that you’ve got “plans to stay in,” because a plan to stay in still counts as no plan at all. We burrow with a slight wince, in a blanket of mild contrition. But, oh, what a cozy blanket.
No contrition here.