Look down, look down
Don’t look ’em in the eye
Look down, look down,
You’re here until you die!
That’s the death knell that rings in my ear whenever I meet an introvert on the internet.
The Internet as we all know it is a place where anybody can be anyone. You could be yourself, you could masquerade yourself as someone else, or you could adorn a persona that you think you could pull off, just to fit in.
But to an introvert, it is a heaven.
This space is where they control the terms of their social engagement. Where they can unplug at any time. And still, enjoy the benefits of communicating with others, of feeling heard and valued.
This heaven could also be shared by the shy extroverts. The limitless advantages could be the reason why they join the bandwagon. Well, birds of a feather flock together, they say.
But this way of habitation is, in fact, infectious.
The poor, conforming regular extroverts, soon get grappled by the perks, adopt the new norms and starts turning into sly, alone, internet-dwelling introverts.
No, I’m definitely NOT pointing fingers here. I am not judging. And, I don’t want you to be offended either. I have plenty of introvert/extrovert friends who mean the world to me. And I’ve been trying to understand them for a long time now.
My intention here is to educate you. I want you to understand the reason for you being YOU! (If you already think you know what you are, stop reading. Stat!)
So please, wipe out that scorn/displeasure on your face. ‘Cos the 4 lines of lyrics at the start is just a song from the musical drama Les Miserables. But, I’m sure the lyrics relate well with you. Especially, if you hate making eye contact with anyone or if you feel that you are better off on your own.
Right now, maybe the first thing on your mind is how I gauge an introvert on the internet?
It’s not easy really. But, if you’ve noticed a person who can debate hours long on Facebook, share a video that shows “how not to judge people” from one of the pages and put up statuses/tweets that are either a quote from a book or a some really catchy lyrics. Then, there you have it. He/She might be an introvert*.
*There are a lot more to add to that. I’ll let you decide them for the better.
So, how introvertish are you?
Here’s a checklist, for you to decide whether you are an introvert or not.
- Do you find it easy to chat with people than talk to them? Yes/No
- Do you think that time spent alone (with a book or your laptop) is better than spending them with people partying or even hanging out? Yes/No
- Do you use a lot of sarcasm in uncomfortable situations? Yes/No
- Do you have a preset ideal, that you don’t break, even if there is a lot of peer pressure? Yes/No
- Do you behave differently to people on social media and in real life? Yes/No
- Do you get the constant feeling of “Why the fuck am I here” when in a public place? Yes/No
- Do you dream of a lonesome place where you can be all but yourself, reading your favorite novel (or maybe binge watch a TV series), enjoying an amazing meal, and giving no fucks about the rest of the world? Yes/No
Well if you nodded a “Yes” for most of the above, then congrats you are an INTROVERT!
(Spoiler Alert: you might have already known that)
Quite recently a friend of mine introduced me to the Myers Briggs Test.
For the uninitiated, this test is sort of a way to judge your own personality. It asks you questions on the real-life scenarios (a hell lot of ‘em, actually) and judging by your answers, it gives you a tag. The tag basically categorizes you into a specific type of personality.
So, I ended up being recognized as an ENTP-A. It’s basically EXTROVERTED INTUITIVE THINKING PROSPECTING – ASSERTIVE. (According to the image above, I’m more like Barack Obama. Yea sure!)
(Here’s a simpler version of the test, if you are really curious about what you are!)
Well, people nowadays are hell bent on categorizing themselves. So, I felt the need of simplifying things and breaking it down to something more understandable.
Now, let’s get to the crux of the matter.
How did the internet make you an introvert?
The internet as you see is cluttered with people of different personalities.
You have the opportunity to connect with people who you’ve never met. You could be an opinionated person to a complete stranger. You could stalk someone you like without them knowing it. You could be a totally different person virtually. You could even get fascinated with a dog/cat wearing shoes and not let the world know that you are scared of dogs/cats!
Hell, the possibilities are so many.
But do you do all of it in the pleasure of your own company?
That is exactly what I am trying to talk about.
You have put yourself in an INTERNET BUBBLE, that makes you happy. You don’t really need to get out, witness things for real to be content or maybe feel the happiness.
You are happy in your INTERNET BUBBLE.
As a person who is both an introvert and an extrovert, I think that’s perverse. (Not, that you would care!)
In the end, you are still happy with all that you do! So, that counts. Doesn’t it?
Well frankly, to be honest, you are gonna get bored of it soon!
The Internet might have been the start of it. Social media put everything into the spotlight. A few years down the line, you might even enjoy hosting private musicals/shows/judgments of things then live, to the public.
But, that doesn’t change you as a person. Does it?
Well, if I were to say, it does, would you believe me?
We all seek balance!
Take away the technology we have today. What do we become?
We become people who talk to each other. We will have to converse to make a living. We’ll need people for our own survival. We definitely needn’t have a tag that defines the type of out personality.
It all changed in the 20th century when a Swiss psychiatrist called Carl Jung tagged us humans into Introverts and Extroverts. I urge you to read more on that if you are curious.
But, I don’t think that tag helps in any way.
I have a friend who can make way with any girl who he talks to. He takes pride in being an extrovert. And he loves the jealous eyes of his introvert friends who were hopeful to reach out to that girl until he comes into the scene and steals the limelight.
Then, something happened!
The moment the girl goes out of his reach and on to the social media, he becomes the blindsided one. The other introvert friend of mine scored through Facebook, and then Whatsapp, and well they are in a freaking amazing relationship now!
So yeah, does that tag help anyhow?
Introvert or an extrovert doesn’t really matter nowadays. The world is changing every time, with every word spoken. (Or left unsaid)
The truth is, your personality goes way beyond a simple label. But having a label helps you understand the different traits that you have. And in turn, it helps you understand yourself better. And perhaps that helps you to be more successful in all that you do in your everyday life.
Here’s a challenge.
Try the Myers-Briggs test, a few months or a year later, I guarantee you that you will get a completely different result.
Maybe then, you will believe that you have what it takes to find that balance.
Thanks for bearing with me. Cheers!
Do let me know your views/suggestions/feedbacks/criticism in the comments below. Honesty is appreciated. 🙂