Thursday, March 25, 2010


I am somewhat ‘anti-social’ when it comes to Social Media outlets.

I’m a pretty typical INFJ (Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging -- Hello?! Myers Briggs Personality Test. Get with the program.)

If that means nothing to you, let’s summarize it by saying that I am a fairly social introvert. I need lots of alone time and time at home without too many social interactions or my energy evaporates. I often find casual conversations exhausting and I don’t seek out social interaction often – but, having said that, I’m in no way shy in most social situations. I can find something to talk about with most folks.

It’s hard to be a social introvert on social media. It takes a lot of my energy to engage with people in blog comments, Facebook, or even via email. There is so much room to be misunderstood and the effort required to maintain all of those (fairly) casual social outlets seems exhausting to me.

Sure, I can answer your email call for information or I can post a ‘I’m sorry that happened’ or ‘Whoo hoo!’ in your blog comments or in reply to your Facebook status but engaging in extended conversations or planning to comment on blogs, facebook, etc feels really hard.

I like to dig deep when I’m talking to someone. I don’t like to argue, and I try not to pry (even though I really like all the details). I try to figure out where you’re coming from, why you think that way, and if we have common ground.

That’s hard to do online. There’s the time lag, the problem with lack of tone, the potential to be misread or to misspeak and my sense of humor relies a lot on tone of voice, so it’s hard to convey my own funny. It makes for a lot of awkwardness. A whole wall of awkwardness I have to climb or tunnel under before I can chat with you via your choice of electronic media.

Adding to the awkwardness are my privacy issues. I don’t want people on twitter to know exactly where I am. I don’t want random people to be able to identify my kids from pictures on my blog. I don’t want to publish all the details of my life. The idea of doing so makes me make a squirmy mess.

The thoughts I choose to share are probably very telling in themselves. No doubt people can tell all sorts of things about me from my writing that I didn’t intend to reveal but I can live with that risk.

So, that leaves me feeling like the most Anti-social Social Media participant ever. I will chat, but only about x,y,z. I lurk and rarely comment. I’m on Facebook, but I might only leave a status update once a week.

I blog, but I sometimes go long stretches without saying anything -- although usually that's because I am just so darn busy with all the wee ones. And since there are certain topics that I won't blog or Facebook about to avoid getting into too much into the details of my family’s life. Sometimes that leaves me with not knowing what to talk about.

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