Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Social Media and (Lazy) Introverts

I think I'm mostly an introvert, although not completely.  Being alone tends to energize me, whereas being with lots of people tires me out.  And I can go long periods with little social interaction and be fine, whereas I can't go long periods without alone time and still feel sane.

Currently, my social needs are met through family and coworkers, and I seldom to never hang out with actual friends.  I'm fine with this set-up for the time being, although I do miss my old friends from high school and college, and jump at the chance to spend time with them when I can, which usually necessitates travel.  Fortunately, I'm able to catch up with many of them via facebook.  And my introverted side thinks that social media, especially facebook, is perfect for the introvert!  Here's why:
  • You're mostly friends with people you already know from previous points in your life, so you don't have to meet new people, which is (to me) one of the most exhausting parts of socializing.  Granted, there are those few "friends" who you only accepted because they clearly graduated from your high school, the year you graduated, and you felt bad enough for having no memory of them whatsoever, so you accepted their friend request, despite the fact that they're effectively total strangers.  But for the most part, you already know the people you're facebook friends with. 
  • You don't have to get dressed up (or even dressed!), or leave the comfort of your living room to see what people are up to.    And, yes, I know, I know, it's probably good for me to get dressed in nice clothes once in a while for something other than work, but yoga pants?  Hoodies?  C'mon!  Am I the only one who walks in the door and beelines right to the soft cotton happiness that is loungewear?  Enough said.
  • Everything happens on your schedule.  Nobody's late, and keeping you waiting.  You're not the late one, keeping everyone else waiting.  You're not going to miss the baby's "window" of hang out time and feel a crushing sense of disappointment that your only chance at social hour is ruined.  Better yet, when you've had enough of people, you can make everyone leave your house immediately with the push of a button.  No awkward scenes where you make up excuses explain why you need to leave the get together early, or sit glumly on your couch wondering when everyone else is finally going to leave.  I've spent years wishing I could make people disappear with the push of a button, and now I can! 
  • If people are boring, you can simply ignore them.  Never comment on a single boring thing they say, and that's not considered rude.  If they're offensive, you can even block them from your entire existence and they'll never know.  Now, if only this option could somehow be expanded to apply to family reunions...?  I think I'm onto something good here!  Millions in the making! 
  • You get to learn about the customs and holidays of other socio-cultural subgroups.  For example, I hadn't realized today was a special holiday to celebrate the pot-smoker.  But facebook knew!  And it told me all about it.  And then others, apparently suffering under the tyranny of a greater number of stoned and outspoken facebook smokers than I, jumped in to scold the 420ers for their sensimilla oversharing, admonishing them to shut up already, smoke in silence, or abandon the herb all together.  Now I can consider myself educated on this controversial new holiday, without having to share any of my snacks with in-person tokers seeking munchies.
I swear, despite my introversion and selfishness with snacks, I do like people.  Mainly from afar, but in theory, people are nice and awesome!  And especially when they come with on, off and mute!  Yay for social networking!  And happy 420 pot heads!  Although I'll not be joining your celebrations today, I've logged enough couch time in sweatsuits to feel a kindred spirit with your lackadaisical ways!  I raise two fingers to you, in the age old sign of peace.  And then, even better, I roll over and close my eyes, in the age old sign of nap.  No worries, I'm not missing a thing.  Facebook can catch me up whenever I awake.  As an introvert, all this talk of socialization requires me to recharge!

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