I've outed myself before and I'm going to do it again. Hi, I'm Karen. (This is where you all say "Hi, Karen" in unison). And I am an introvert. I've been one my entire life, but I'm really just beginning to grasp what this means in my life.
The first step was admitting I was an introvert. Seriously. There are still those who know me who might question this because I've done such a great job of hiding it from myself and others for so many years. Let's face it, being introverted is socially unacceptable. Introverts are seen as the death of the party, the non-team players, the people you have to work really hard to get to know.
So you would think that the proliferation of social media would make reaching out or being reached out to so much easier. In a way it does but while some social sites make our lives easier others make us want to dig deeper into our caves. And within each site there can be some areas where we shine and others we avoid. So, where can you find introverts on social media? (and why would you want to?) Let me start with the first question.
Pintrest is the most introvert-friendly form of all the social media sites. It's all about pinning/sharing things that are about you, but in a round about way. No one expects you to post personal photos or specific personal information. It also doesn't require you to be present to participate. You can pin anytime of day or night and the info you pinned doesn't disappear quickly. The most fantastic feature is the search bar which allow you to find others who've self-identified as introverts. The first time you find a page of memes about being introverted you know you've found home.
Despite it's name Instagram can work well for introverts. The trick is to follow people who post exciting pictures and information and never post anything yourself, ever. I've found lots of my favorite shows, movies, celebrities, designers, etc. on Instagram and I give them hearts for their efforts often. This is a great medium for people with exciting lives and people, like me, who are happy to stand on the sidelines and cheer for them.
Facebook is slightly less introvert friendly, but still not too intimidating. The best feature is connecting with people you already know in a no-pressure situation. You can see vacation pics, note when their kids reach major milestones, etc. Your friends and family might notice your lack of posts but that depends on how out of the introvert closet you are. I definitely fall into a category called "lurker" which is people who only read and almost never post. It's hard to explain to extroverts how long it takes me to decide on a topic, compose a post, find a corresponding photo (preferably one I'm not in) then remember to actually create a post. I cannot fathom the idea of randomly throwing up a bunch of pics of me and my friends at the beach (but I enjoy everyone else's).
Then there's Twitter. I feel like an elderly Luddite on Twitter. It's fast paced communication of small bits of highly encrypted information. And it's a game of volume--the number of followers you have. I'm constantly encouraged to follow my friends and have them follow me. OK, that's ten or twenty people, who I already communicate with in other ways... It took me a while to catch on, but I have found one benefit to using Twitter. Writers love it (many of whom are introverts). They post links to their writing. I post links to mine and voila--I'm being social from the relative calm and safety of my office.
So, question number two; why would you want to find introverts on social media? The best answer is because you are one and you would like to find like minded individuals but they are, like you, prone to not go out and be found. It's a misconception that introverts don't like people or are shy. Most of us are actually dying to meet others, especially others like ourselves. We would just like to do it in our own way--no pressure, indirectly, at our own pace.
I hope you found my guide helpful and if you did I'd love to hear from you in a comment...only you probably won't, because that's another thing introverts are not likely to do, comment. But we are big on sharing so if you think this article would be helpful to your introvert friends then please pin, post, share and tweet. Thanks.
Labels: facebook, instagram, introvert, pintrest, social media, twitter