Ambiverts & Social Media

24

Sunday 23 February, 2014 by Uncle Spike

Social Media falls into two camps; whereby folk communicate with friends, and/or with complete strangers. But I find myself asking two questions; are the friends really just that, and conversely, are the strangers all that strange, and more’s the point, does it matter one iota in the everyday world of Social Media?

.

download

.

I’ve not posted one of my Sunday Philosophical Moments for quite some time, but as I now have a category for it, I’ve taken the opportunity to ponder on what we do here….

I have been following the thoughts of Chris from the excellent blog, 61 Musings. Introverts, by all accounts, live in a world away from social trappings and could be referred to in the past as ‘media shy’ by their very nature. However, Chris’ blog is both amusing and enlightening on the subject. In many ways I am quite the introvert, but at times, particularly in my younger days, quite the opposite. I guess you could say I would be more aptly described as just a private person, that’s all.

.

images (4)

.

Using media has, in general, always been the domain of the extrovert, or certainly those more comfortable with the sound of their own voice. Now we all know that Social Media has opened up a whole new medium of communication, and whilst it’s open to all, I think those of us with any slight tendencies to be an introvert are the clear winners. For now there is a communication medium which is both public, yet private and even anonymous.

.

images (2)

.

I mentioned friends. That term has changed over the past decade of Facebookerisation. When I was growing up, friends were people you knew well, who knew you, and with whom you shared special times and even your secrets. We also had acquaintances, people we just knew , but in Social Media terms, that separation seems to have dissipated into the realms of history – we now only have those who are our ‘friends’… and those who aren’t.

On Facebook and other similar direct means of Social Media, on the whole, friends are friends, and all are treated equally, and we share with them our personal photographs, snippets of happenings in our lives and priceless morsels such as “My train is late”, “I have a headache” or even “The sun is out today!”

.

images

.

We then have blogging, blogs, the blogosphere – a relatively new world to me, I’ll admit. Some people out there are anonymous, whilst others are not. But unless you personally know the blogger, it’s anyone’s guess half the time who is who. But does that really matter? I think not.

Sure, on Social Media such as Facebook, where we are invited or request approval to be ‘friends’, there is perhaps an overriding majority who do actually know each other; albeit from past lives such as from their elementary/primary school classroom, a shared former employer, or some distant relative who you’ve met just once or twice during childhood visits. But blogging is altogether different. We have readers and we have ‘followers’.

.

images (1)

.

Going back to the introvert/extrovert question, I wonder what the split would be on something like the WordPress community if such a question was posed. Blogging is a safe world. We can communicate, in anonymity if one so desires, with people from all walks of life, from all corners of the earth and we rarely differentiate between those we know personally and those we don’t. And that’s a good thing – I love the fact that everyone seems to be treated so equally.

Followers become friends of sorts too. We communicate on a regular basis, sometimes every day, and probably more so than we do with our real life friends and relatives. Why? Is is because we share an attraction for this distanced socialisation, or is it simply that it fills a human need we all share – to be sociable creatures? Is it down to the fact that it’s a safe world where we can share, communicate, bond and socialise in a way that is one-step removed from reality; a parallel world dislocated and immune from the troubles and humdrum of our daily lives?

.

download (1)

.

It’s a strange phenomenon I’ll admit, and one that I have no answers to, but here is my take on it; my Spikey perspective if you like. I’m a antisocial creature in many ways. I live in a world where I see virtually nobody all week. I work my farm on my own, my wife works away, and our kid is off at school for over 9 hours a day.

My daily life is quiet; I rarely hear human voices, and work every day on my own. It’s a life I love, so I’m in no way complaining. But is it enough? Arguably a couple of years ago I may have answered a resounding ‘yes’. Yet these days, since joining the blogging community, I am never alone. I have my blogging friends now, a parallel state where my social needs as a human are met by a wide-ranging ensemble of folk from all sots of walks of life.

.

images (5)

.

I used to consider Social Media as being quite an anti-social thing, whereby kids on Smart-phones would happily trade verbal communication for some super fast thumb movements on a hand-held touch-screen. But for me, and perhaps many others out there, Social Media has actually become a new form of socialisation altogether.

.

download (2)

.

To my followers, whether you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert or that middling type, known as an ambivert, I send a friendly wave to you my friends, this sunny Sunday. May we all be safe, happy and healthy; all in our disparate lives, across lands and seas… as photographers, truck drivers, opera singers, backpackers, parents, lecturers, civil servants, religious leaders, cattle ranchers, travellers, retirees, teachers, and in a whole host of other guises.

.

images (6)

For other philosophical moments brought to you by UNCLE SPIKE, check out my philosophy category.

.

24 thoughts on “Ambiverts & Social Media

  1. I’m a people person, I really enjoy blogging, it’s nice to converse with people who do something completely unrelated to your normal day to day activities, it’s better than tv and I get to see photos from all over the world 😉

    Like

  2. Ninna says:

    As an introvert, I generally find it more easy to write than to talk.
    BUT! When I feel comfortable with someone (one or more) I can be very talkative.
    BUT! When tired of voice, noice and mental stimulation, I need quiet space for myself. The more stimulation, the longer it takes to recharge the inner batteries. i.e. spending more time alone with myself in peace and quietness.

    Like

  3. pastsmith says:

    A friendly wave back atcha!

    Like

  4. raroto says:

    Whether one is an in, ex or ambi (-vert), we all need to connect, one way or the other lest we end up living like a hermit in a cave. For the reserved, shy and quiet Introverts, living in a world that is seemingly dominated by the extroverts, the social media is certainly the best platform to make themselves heard.
    I am an ambivert most of the time, and an introvert whenever I choose to be (is this arrangement even acceptable?!) LOL!!

    Like

  5. Robin says:

    Nice post! I have thought about this a lot actually. I guess I fall somewhere in the middle–I like people and being social sometimes, but need my “home” quiet time to recharge and am very comfortable alone…but in the last few years I have noticed some of my online friendships–here on WordPress and one other niche site in particular–have become increasingly important. I think online folks like us have learned how to be reciprocal, and supportive. I don’t know if it comes naturally, I had to learn to open up online, and trust, and once I did, I have met some amazing people who I “talk” to about issues important to me every day. These people have added hugely to my life. And with all this great sharing and support, I have to say, my friends in person seem lacking by comparison. I don’t know if it’s the shared interests we have here online and/or the fact that everyone who opens themselves up online have learned how awesome it is to be so reciprocal, where others really don’t…I don’t know. Would love to write about this subject one day but I have hesitated to publish anything friends read!

    Like

    • Uncle Spike says:

      Quite understand where you are coming from there Robin, and I must say I agree about the friends bit. But you are right, to write about it instigate problems with your relationships with your friends.

      I think it’s an interesting subject – I wonder what Pat, from the blog A New Day (http://imissmetoo.me), thinks about this from a Psychology perspective?

      Like

  6. annette2121 says:

    Very thought provoking blog – thanks.

    Like

  7. ambivert! thank you for acquainting me with that word … now my lexicon is complete 🙂 happy snowy Sunday from Vancouver, BC!

    Like

  8. fredrieka says:

    I am not shy. I set my blog up and speak through my dog fredrieka mainly to encourage adoption, obedience training and therapy dogs. It is my way of focusing not only on these subjects but reaching out to others for their experiences and even expertise. Getting ideas how to train Fred and what some cool things are to teach her. In the real world I do not have a problem speaking in front of a group which I have done for Therapy dog Inc. Also for other things I feel strongly about. Literacy being another one. This is a great format for sharing Ideas

    Like

    • Uncle Spike says:

      Certainly is. In my past business life I regularly presented to business forums, was manager of a large department and all those other so called great things, lol. But now I’m a happy hermit – and I blog 😀

      Like

  9. panikikubik says:

    Nice post.I would like to recommend the following TED talk

    Like

...waiting to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Page Views

  • 558,209 and counting...

Join 2,827 other followers

Posts by Category

Member of The Internet Defense League

Copyright

© Uncle Spike, Uncle Spike's Adventures, 2013-2020

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Uncle Spike and Uncle Spike's Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Reblogs, pingbacks and other such links in order to use Uncle Spike's material are of course welcomed.

%d bloggers like this: