Everything was going great during Hugh Riminton’s fireside chat with Hugh Mackay until the very end. Until the point when Hugh Mackay suggested that the digital world was making it harder for people to actually see and connect with each other.
Now, as a very generalized rule, I generally agree. But it’s a point of view that will resonate much more with extraverts who make up arguably half of the population. And extraverts are the half of the population who, by definition, regularly see and personally interact with lots of other people. Putting a digital device into their hands may very well change the number of in-person interactions taking place.
But for people on the introverted side of the curve, the silent half, the quiet half, the half that doesn’t blather on for hours because they need to hear their own voice, the half that stays behind closed doors much of the day, the half that loves libraries and forests and other places of peaceful solitude, the digital world does not close doors. Rather, it opens doors.
For some people, the digital world is the only door to the outside. For some, the outer world is too loud, too complicated, too busy, too distracting. For others, it is too stressful, too fearful, or too anxiety provoking. The digital world offers them a way to experience the wider world with less stress and distractions. It allows them to practice interacting with people in a slow and calculated way.
Pish posh, you say. Get over it, you say. Well, then perhaps you ought to completely change your personality, or maybe just stop being scared of heights or flying or bats. Maybe now is the time to register for that class in empathy. The world is not built like you. Stop expecting everyone to be the same as you.
As for the rest of us, we’ll continue to take full advantage of the digital world. It’s a wondrous thing.
[tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]My blog goes through ups and downs. Sometimes I have nothing to say and other times I have ten posts ready at the end of a day. But why do I blog at all?
- Blogging clarifies my thinking. I have tons of ideas but writing them down means I have to think through the arguments carefully so that they become solid. I often find that my positions shift a little or a lot as a result.
- Every blog increases my subject line experiment by a sample size of 1. Will this title put a blip in the reader chart? Will this content put a blip in the comment chart? I love seeing the little blips in the charts and trying to figure out why it happened. Charts are my friends.
- I find like-minded friends. Sometimes I think I have an uncommon opinion but as soon as I post it, lots of people share their ‘me toos!’ What I thought was a risky opinion may actually be a common opinion just waiting to get out. And…I find different minded friends. These folks challenge my opinions and make me think harder. No matter whether I change my mind, my argument and my thought process is better for it.
- I meet people from around the world many of whom I would have never met otherwise, many of whom feel like penpals now. The world seems even smaller now than my pre-blogging days now that I have researcher friends in Australia, Belgium, Israel, and many other countries I have never even been to.
- It’s a good way to practice your writing skills in a small, but regular way. Bit by bit, I can tell that my writing is improving and I can write a lot more, a lot quicker, a lot more coherently.
- I’m really not a social person but this way, I can be. Take note all you introverted and/or shy people.
Why do you blog? Why DON’T you blog?
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[tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]Inspired by @PeterFlom
1) In kindergarten, I won an award for having the quietest voice and the sweetest smile. I figure it was the teachers nice way of saying I need to speak up more. Or at least once.
2) I was hit in the head with an axe when I was ten years old. I didn’t feel any pain even though it gushed all over. I remember being worried that my mom would get me in trouble for misbehaving and for using up an entire box of kleenex to stop the blood. A hospital visit with needles and stitches ensued and all was fine. And how you ask? I was careless enough to walk behind my ten year old friend as he swung the axe over his head in preparation for a big swing forwards.
3) I am shy. People who I meet now don’t believe it but those who knew me before I was 20 can tell you. Couldn’t order food in a restaurant. Couldn’t purchase items in a store. Couldn’t smile at or say hi to someone passing in the hallway. When I hear shy people being called arrogant for not talking to people, it upsets me because I know the pain they are going through. I’m still shy but I work very hard to hide it. Sometimes I succeed. Please don’t point it out. You’ll only make it worse.
4) I would only have things that are pink if the world so produced and the people in it didn’t think I was utterly insane. Pink clothes, shoes, computers, houses, sugar.
5) I can gross people out by bending my thumb backwards. Did it work on you?