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Real Life vs Online Introversion

Many years ago, I read that being an introvert does not necessarily mean that you are shy. While it it true that many introverts are shy by nature, the main difference between introverts and extroverts is the source of their energy: extroverts get energy from people and objects outside themselves whereas introverts gain energy from within themselves.

Introverts need time to “recharge” after being around others, while extroverts thrive off outside energy.

‘Yes! That’s EXACTLY me!’ I thought as I nodded my head in agreement. I like to go out and I like to be with friends. However, I feel drained after a day of being around others, and often need time alone at home, doing introverted activities, in order to feel like myself again.

And I have found that I have become more introvert as I grow older.

J, on the other hand, is a typical extrovert. His niche is in a loud, crowded room. He needs to be around other people at all times, and when he stays indoors for extended periods of time, he gets restless, fidgety, and cranky.

I think we balance each other well in this respect. J helps me out of my shell and encourages me to try new things and interact with new people. In return, I help J stay grounded and seek solace in solitary activities.

Are you and your spouse/SO on the same spectrum when it comes to introversion vs extroversion?

How do you think it helps your relationship?

Yesterday, I read an article titled Caring for Your Online Introvert. In it, the author discusses the fact that he is an introvert in real life and an introvert online as well.

“Social media drains me like a large party might,” he writes. “I just deactivated Facebook. And I don’t @ much on Twitter. Too often it feels like the ‘fog of [an extrovert’s] 98-percent-content-free talk,’ as Rauch put it.”

The topic of real life vs online introversion struck an odd chord with me. I always considered myself an introvert, and all my friends would agree with me. After all, I am a textbook ISFP.

However, I realized that I am an online extrovert.

I love making conversation via Twitter. I am an active member of several online communities. Before I deactivated my Facebook account, I was on it all the time, consistently updating, commenting, and “liking.”

I would even go as far to say that I make friends easily online, whereas I have always had trouble making friends in the real world.

What about you?

Do you consider yourself an online introvert or extrovert?

Is it different from your real-life persona?

For an old but excellent article on introversion, see Jonathan Rauch’s Caring for Your Introvert.

And for some additional introvert-empowerment in this extrovert-dominant world, check out Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength by Laurie Helgoe.