Thoughts and illustrations on living on the autism spectrum.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Let's Be Better-Than-Nothings

“So much ink has been spilled deriding the false concept of a ‘Facebook friend,’ but I can tell you that a ‘Facebook friend’ is better than nothing.”

So declared Paul Miller this week upon ending a year-long self-imposed exile from the internet.

“No duh!” declared many of us on the autism spectrum. Indeed, some of us base an entire social life on Better Than Nothing!

So to celebrate the end of Paul's communication shutdown, I present an ode to a few other things that are Better Than Nothing.

Discussing your day with a pen pal.

Your comment on that “Parks & Recreation” recap gets one Like from some random dude.

Being named a #followfriday for “Awesome.”

The “guru” invites you to join their network.

Favoriting a celebrity’s tweet.

Friend emails to say, “Saw this meme and thought of you!”

Do you have a favorite Better-Than-Nothing? Join the funfest and share in the comments.


  1. Having a pen pal, and not knowing if the outside of the "loneliness that is not spoken of" would have anything to do with each other IRL. (Real life is a LOT of work.)

    1. Agreed, and I'm certain we wouldn't have anything to do with each other, but that's the fun of pen pals.

  2. A random hug.

    I work with a colleague who is incredibly tactile - friendly hugs every day for all. When he gives me a hug, I know it really means nothing to him and it's his equivalent of those "mwah-mwah" air kisses. But to me, that hug is "better than nothing" - everyone who knows me as an aspie knows I'm not that keen on physical contact, so I don't tend to get them any more from those closest to me.

    I love the penguin poster, BTW. Just how I feel about "friends" who only seem to email jokes and memes.

  3. Retracting from my Aspie beloved, after too many long drives for shouted-over attempts to sit and soothe, to gaze, to talk about books I might send or family I might call or homes we might actually make together, or say plan his post-jail rejoining of the world with me as hostess/guide, I struggle to put in writing what he won't hear but won't assuage, or reason away, either. If he sends this letter back with "FU" scrawled on the back, I fear I'll wallow in deadly pity and possibly regret. So I'm going to make it better than that. Better than nothing. With the help of Google translate, I'm going to send a candle-lit greeting card in Norwegian, Latin, Greek, Korean, Gujurati, and, at the top, Hebrew. The English I'll bury somewhere between Gaelic [Irish] and Welsh, so he'll know it but good and be ready to laugh, and maybe even think about what he might someday want, and then tell someone.
    And not just under his breath, as a punchline to some long ago tragedy he's blaming on this brand new feat-of-engineering bridge after its burned down. I had no idea that's what real life was like. It really is a lot of terrible work.

  4. Washing dishes pals 4eva! :D Awesome comic!

    - Hanne

    1. Sounds like someone enjoyed their dishwashing. ^_^

  5. Hey, would you like to post a one line/one picture cartoon on my blog. Check it out.

    1. Hello, thank you for your invitation to guest post. Unfortunately, I must decline, as your web site advocates a "cure" for autism, which is contrary to my philosophy. I welcome offers of collaboration from readers who support acceptance and neurodiversity.