On Facebook, no one knows I’m an introvert (project proposal #2)

 

Are these images familiar? Do you find yourself or anyone you know in these pictures? If yes, how have/has you or your friend changed since you

or your friend got the first smartphone?

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source: Daily Japan Press

I have to admit that I was once addicted to the Internet, and to be more specific, social media. I had always thought social media was a bunch of nonsense until I started using it. Social media is such an interesting way of communication that I used to spend half a day just to “go online” and talk with my virtual friends, and my dad was so afraid that I was being more quiet since I was born a quiet person.

The Internet has been accused of making us more quiet, or as some said, it’s creating a more introverted generation. They say that humans are more and more dependent in social media in communication that many young people may lose their actual communication skills. Some articles argue that this is especially dangerous for introverts because of their quiet tendency in actual communication. Let’s talk about use of the Internet by introverts, does it really make things worse or it helps them communicate with the world better, since introversion is not an excuse for sticking our eyes to screen for a whole day?

The first thing we tend to use to differentiate an innie with an outie is how much they talk in a group. Some say we hate people, some say we’re anti social, but actually, we just socialise in our own way. Our silence can be explained by a few reasons:

  • We prefer listening to speaking (a lot!) and before saying something, we make sure that we have listened carefully.
  • We have different dopamine pathway. Because of long dopamine pathway, it takes us more time to process information. Sometimes, we want to speak out our opinion, but we realise that by the time we’re ready to speak, we’ve been left behind and people are already talking about another topic (ODD!)
  • If we have to speak in a group, it’s always easier to speak to a small group of 3-5 people than a big one with 20 people. It’s not anti social or shy but the feeling of being stared at by 40 eyes is not so comfortable for most of us, and our brain may freeze.
  • This doesn’t happen at all times, but introverts are daydreamers. We can suddenly think of an absolute non-related thing when we are concentrating on an issue, thus, we leave ourselves behind.

However, it’s different on the Internet. As I said the previous blog post, we can be anyone on the Internet. If I want to be an innie on social media, piece of cake! But if I want to be someone else different to who I really am, I just need to fake it without fear of any judging look. Many introverts perform very active and sociable on social media. This is referred to as “online extrovert – offline introvert”. While it seems like social media is poisoning us, it acts as sort of a “remedy” for innies to fit in the extraverted world. Due to extraversion characteristics, extraverts are expected to engage in high amounts of interactions as it has consistently shown strong in prior studies, however, more extraverted individuals reported significantly less frequent use of Facebook for keeping up with others than introverts (Moore & McElroy, 2011). Now it looks like the Internet is an introvert realm.

So for my digital artefact, I’ll keep working on my existing project and posting about general knowledge about introversion as I did last semester. However, use of the Internet and social media by introverts is a new highlight for this time. In my upcoming posts, I will try to tackle these question, and hopefully, in different platforms:

  • What makes the Internet a chosen platform?
  • What do introverts use Internet for?
  • How do introverts perform on social media?
  • What are the typical differences when an introvert and an extrovert use social media?

Reference:

  • Adweek 2013, “How digital Technology is creating a world of introverts”, Adweek, July 3 < http://www.adweek.com/digital/how-social-media-is-creating-a-world-of-introverts/>
  • Amichai-Hamburger, Y, & Vinitzky, G 2010, ‘Social network use and personality’, Computers In Human Behavior, 26, Online Interactivity: Role of Technology in Behavior Change, pp. 1289-1295, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 April 2017.
  • Moore, K, & McElroy, J 2012, ‘The influence of personality on Facebook usage, wall postings, and regret’, Computers In Human Behavior, 28, pp. 267-274, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 April 2017.
  • Ross, C, Orr, E, Sisic, M, Arseneault, J, Simmering, M, & Orr, R 2009, ‘Personality and motivations associated with Facebook use’, Computers In Human Behavior, 25, Including the Special Issue: State of the Art Research into Cognitive Load Theory, pp. 578-586, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 April 2017.
  • Said, U 2015, “Social media making millennials less social: Study”, CNBC, October 17, < http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/15/social-media-making-millennials-less-social-study.html>
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