Edit October 2010 :: When I first posted this article back in 2008, I find it interesting that I was not sensitive to the extrovert digs that appear in this article and in my own responses to it. I think the fact I was insensitive shows how very dark those days were for me. I can truly say that July 2008 was a very dark time for me personally. Yesterday I was reviewing some of that past history and it led me back here. I can definitely remember that in 2008 I did not at all see any negative aspects to the viewpoints of the article. I think I was feeling victimized. Something I'd never thought I'd hear myself saying about myself. And coming from that space, all I could think was "hell, yes!"
Now in 2010, coming out from a 2 year period where I've undergone some reflection, growth, and healing, I re-read this article last night and did notice and wish there had not been extrovert bashing. I winced a little at the digs at extroverts. I just didn't bother to point that out in my relinking; which I should have. After responding to a insightful comment byjeeronie
, I decided to provide some new 2010 context here. I still very much liked the points about introverts. However, turning the tables "against" extroverts doesn't make those points any stronger. I've always liked to think I believe in tolerance and balance. Recognizing that I can have my own episodes of intolerance is not something I enjoy. I'm not going to change any of the original post below because it helps me frame that time of my life for me. Perhaps the original article was only trying for humor. But I just want to say that the world needs both introverts and extroverts. I know I very much depend on my main extrovert in my life, my husband. My life without this key characteristic of him would have been a lot less vibrant and enjoyable. And if I've offended any extroverts, I apologize for that.
This is going to be one of those TL:DR posts. Triggered by another day at work. The day itself was not bad actually. But my continuing frustration with "people" continues. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em (really, you sure about that???)
Anyway I was thinking about fickleone
's response to a recent meme where she said something like LJ or the Internet seems to be full of introverts. When I woke up this morning I found myself thinking about how the Internet seems to be freeing up introverts into a world of socialization--but without the pressure and/or angst that comes with socialization in the real world.
Surely, I thought, someone out there has done a study and/or master's on this or something.
So at the end of today's work day, as I was walking through the parking garage thinking about how strange people were and how I could never seem to truly deal with politics and competition and territorial in-fighting and one-up-manship. I mean I just DON'T CARE and I sometimes don't get why others DO?
When I got home I remembered my thoughts of the morning, so I went a web-surfin'. I googled "Introverts and Internet."
I guess my thoughts were not unique. I found master's and blogs and articles all over the place. Some as early as 1996---and that's only looking through about two-pages worth of hits.
I won't get into some of the anger and frustration I felt when I found some folks who loved to equate introversion with being neurotic. I mean some folks used the two terms interchangeably.
And of course, I re-found the an Atlantic article I remembered finding and reading before. "Caring for Your Introvert" by Jonathan Rauch
published in March 2003. I can remember finding it an having an email conversation with fickleone
about it at the time. Being an extreme introvert married to an extreme extrovert I can so identify with this article. If you haven't read it--GO THERE now. A excerpt to entice you:
Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.
And this speaks to my thoughts of this morning..
Your article has also been one of the most popular pages on our Web site. We posted it three years ago, and it still gets more hits than practically anything else on the site.
Yes. The Internet is the perfect medium for introverts. You could almost call it the Intronet. You know the old New Yorker cartoon with a dog sitting at a computer saying to another dog, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog." Well, on the Internet, no one knows you're an introvert. So it's kind of a natural that when The Atlantic put this piece online, introverts beat a path to it; it's the ideal distribution mechanism by which introverts can reach other introverts and spread the word.