If you subscribe to the Myers Briggs theory of personality, introversion/extroversion is a personality trait that looks like a normal curve. Half of people are introverts and half of people are extroverts. Indeed, this trait is a continuum such that people aren’t simply one or the other. Everyone has some degree of extroversion and introversion, and the ratio differs from person to person. But let’s press on.
How is social media killing social? Well, people are spending more and more time pulling those little electronic devices out of the purses and pockets and typing on them. Instead of meeting up with their friends, going to a coffee shop, and chatting in person, people are simply pulling out their phone and texting, or tweeting, or facebooking those conversations. And instead of lengthy, well-laid out conversations, they’re sending out quick sounds bites and pithy remarks all with the intent of getting a chuckle out of someone else sitting on their couch waiting for a pithy remark to respond to.
Is this reality? Maybe. If you’re an extrovert. But if you’re an introvert, it could very likely be a completely incorrect picture. You see, introverts don’t require the constant noise of five people talking over each other to entertain themselves. Introverts put up with all that noise because half of the world is extroverted and they don’t know how to be quiet for five minutes. Introverts have no need to constantly flap their lips and make noise and listen to themselves talk. When possible, introverts will simply avoid all that nonsense. It’s easier, it’s quieter, and it doesn’t create unnecessary white noise.
If you think about it, social media creates a quiet place where people can talk to each other without interrupting five other people who are also trying to fill their air with their noise. Social media creates a space where introverts want talk. A place for people who would have never talked in a crowd before can now share their opinions in a calm and quiet place. Social media creates a place for people who might have never shared their opinion before to share their thoughts with many different people. Social media is a tool that just so happens to increase the sociability of introverts. A place for them to meet people they would have never met otherwise. A place to make friends with people they would have never met otherwise.
Is social media killing social? Maybe if you’re an extrovert. But absolutely not if you’re an introvert. And the world could stand to listen to the other 50% of people for a change.