in Friends, Life

Technology Can Help the Introvert

Something that’s making the rounds on blogs lately is an article on The Atlantic talking about ways technology has helped introverts. It shouldn’t be too surprising to find out that a lot of people who write blogs or keep up websites are introverted – myself included.

Interesting timing as we were just talking about introverts and extroverts with friends on the weekend. A friend had read the book, The Introvert Advantage: Making the Most of Your Inner Strengths, and so naturally we were analyzing each other – particularly our spouses. [ref]I’m married to an extrovert so I’m quite familiar with the arguments involved.[/ref]

It is interesting to note that, at least in my circles, most of the people that are critical of technology and the terror and horror it brings to society could also be classified as extroverts. [ref]There is plenty of things to be concerned about when technology is used without any thought and having critical thinkers question new technologies is something we definitely need in our culture.[/ref]

I find it freeing to realize that, at least in part, some of the reasons why I enjoy using some of these tools to communicate is because it is more natural for me.

For introverts like myself, it takes energy to engage with other people. Doing so requires thoughtfulness. It’s tiring. Expending energy, for us, isn’t energizing. Please note: we’re not talking about shyness, some character flaw. The problem isn’t with the introvert — it’s with the demands you make on the introvert. An introvert can’t force an extrovert to sit quietly in a room and read a book, but extroverts (and the stigmas they’ve inadvertently created) can impose social demands with ease.

It’s often the extroverts who actually have more trouble controlling their use of technology to communicate – they’re the ones head down into their phones or laptops when others are talking around them because they can’t risk the chance that they’ll miss out on something being said by someone. An introvert knows it’s not worth the energy or time to try to keep up with every conversation and if something is really important, it’ll bubble up to the top.

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