When you check my Facebook wall or scroll through my Twitter stream, do you view me as just another avatar? How much of myself do I reveal through my social channels? You just might be surprised at how much data I disclose publicly, as long as it’s online.
Social media is still burgeoning as a medium for self-expression, especially for deep thinkers and introverts. While reading the book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts, I am discovering that many other social media cyber-lebrities are also introverts.
They, like me, feel most powerful when they are clickety-clacking on their keyboards to process through their thoughts. They imagine their computer screen as their two-way filter, for both incoming and outgoing information. By filtering their incoming data, they can digest valuable content and exclude the rest without feeling daunted. By screening their outgoing thoughts before posting on social media, they feel comfortable divulging their contemplations.
Behind my avatar, I am a self-assessed introvert. Through interacting via social media and creating original (I’d like to think) content, I am shaping both who I am and who I’d like to become. In this space, I can express the deepest and most meaningful components of my identity. If you want to know the “real me,” you will discover my quirks and ticks through “social stalking.” It’s not a coincidence.
I am not alone in my self-expression via social media. Each day, I discover at least one other social media enthusiast, like me. We are not alone. We do not hide behind our avatars, but we use our avatars as our “public faces.”
I may decline your live event invitations, since they are rampant with noise and extroverts. I may have difficulty returning your phone calls, unless I can Slydial your voicemail. I may prefer to spend a quiet evening at home reading a book instead of going out for drinks after work. I may purposely schedule my sleep time, so that I have 2.5 hours of solitude in the middle of the night. I may be diagnosed with “Social Anxiety Disorder.”
Is my avatar my coping mechanism in an extroverted world? Maybe. Instead of perceiving this trait as my weaknesses, I have discovered that introversion can become my asset in social media, the environment in which I thrive.
Behind my avatar, I feel empowered to relinquish my inherent introversion to become an effervescent online extrovert.
How would you classify yourself along the introvert, ambivert, and extrovert spectrum? I’d like to hear your confession.