The general cycle of infobinging. Anatomy of an Autistic Special Interest.

Feeling better today so here is a quickpost.

Infobinging. A term a friend of mine on tumblr at Eschatological coined. So what is it? It’s the “Oh god this is a special interest now” kind of manic feel. Your whole body buzzing with the compulsion to gather more and more and more information on a topic. Infodumping is its better known cousin…because as with all things neurodiversity related, most descriptions are of things that affect neurotypicals, without the inside view of what it is like to experience the neurodivergence in question. So infodumping is when you just let loose all of that information you have previously binged on as a collector and proprietor of information for which you have developed a neurological affinity for. Infobinging is the precursor. The drive to collect information. The hours of hyperfocussed collecting, those hours when you lose time, forget to eat, forget to sleep…and if you do sleep, you dream of it, and wake up with your head buzzing in the middle of the night with the overwhelming urge to binge on more information related to your affinity. It is physical, it is visceral, it is palpable.

Infobinging is the next stop after you get smacked upside the head with a special interest. When you’re standing at the crosswalk minding your own business when your special interest runs a red light and blindsides you, coming into bumper to butt contact as you try to cross the street to the other side(wherever that is. Who cares).

It is after you have become swept up and saturated in the strongest desire to know everything, to be near it, to hold it close. It is a physical need, a special interest and the subsequent binging and dumping sessions that inevitably leave your eyes bloodshot and the fall out of a storm behind you as people try to process everything that just happened to them. In that sense, a special interest is very much like an infatuation, a crush, a limerance. It consumes you and you must, at all costs, learn everything about it. So you binge, and you can feel it coursing through your veins. You binge on it, you organise it, you sort it, and you dump it all out for the next poor soul who says the wrong word that triggers the flood. At the end, sometimes it goes away, and you are left with a sense of grief and emptiness when it is gone. But until then, you saturate yourself. Autism is very much a state of constant saturation in that sense.

Approximation of what infobinging feels like.

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