On Online Introversion

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Recently, I started reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking in an attempt to better understand my introversion and how I relate to others. At the beginning of the book, the author presents a simple quiz to help the reader determine their level of introversion/extroversion. The more times you answer “true,” the more introverted you are. I answered 17 out of 20 questions in the affirmative. In other words, I’m 85% introverted! Umm, what? Should I have actually become a hermit? For the rest of my life I’m probably going to struggle to figure out where my place is in a world that just won’t shut up. Especially in this weird online world to which we’re connected.

We’re encouraged to vlog, to Snapchat, to professional network via LinkedIn, to Instagram Story, to Facebook live, to whatever, all with the end goal of creating a name for ourselves and sharing our lives with the world. The catch is that we have to make our lives worthy to share with the rest of the world. That will be measured by likes and comments and retweets and whatever else, and if you’re not getting enough of that feedback, then you might want to think about reworking your content so that you are. Re-branding yourself, until your online presence becomes something that isn’t even you. And as an introvert, that is the worst kind of self-betrayal I could commit.

I have Instagram, but I always feel a tad disingenuous when I post, because the pictures attached to my account that you see on your phone are not an accurate representation of my life. In fact, they don’t even begin to scratch the surface of my life. They don’t tell you that I may have been lonely that day or just had an argument with my husband or that I would really like a break from Sophia or that I might be dying for someone to ask how I’m doing or give me a hug and that’s why I’m posting the picture. One of the reasons I like having a blog is become I’m able to think, long and hard, before I post anything. Sometimes I circulate ideas for blog posts in my head for weeks before I feel comfortable enough to put them down on “paper.” With a blog, I’m able to share a little bit about what’s going on in my heart. To be (hopefully) understood. To be able to express myself in a way that I have never been able to express myself verbally (no, I don’t have a Youtube channel and you will never find me doing Instagram stories) or with a clever caption or hashtag.

We all know that I didn’t become a hermit. I’m just a girl, having to fake it when I’m in most group situations so people won’t think I’m a too-reserved weirdo with a processing disorder. I feel like myself (my 85% introverted self) when I’m at home, probably with a good book in my hands and Carlos next to me on the couch. And definitely with the Instagram app deleted on my phone, until I feel ready to re-download it a few days later and brave that loud, loud online world once again.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. George Lee says:

    I very much identify, Emily, as assuredly you already know.

  2. Ernesto says:

    It’s beautiful to be introvert cuse the difference between kid and a mature person is the capacity of introspection

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