Carrie Rubin (of carrierubin.com) showed up on Freshly Pressed today with the article ‘Birth of a Social Networking Loner’. Some of her points were actually things I found myself nodding in agreement to.
(her points are in quotations and italics, mine follow the —)
“..but I’m certainly twittering. And Goodreading. And WordPressing. And commenting and liking and Linking on In.” — while I use WordPress, Twitter, Facebook (sparingly), Tumblr and LiveJournal, I also use social apps like Path and Instagr.am. I have a GoodReads account but barely use it. I don’t bother with Linked In.
“Writers know marketing is part of the publishing process. They also know it should start early, well before a book summons its first paying reader. But here’s the snag. Many writers are introverts. That is probably why we like to write. We are alone. With our thoughts. Thoughts easier to reveal by keyboard than mouth.” —I do write and while I’m not published (yet) it is something I plan to do with both memoirs of living with mental illness and misdiagnosises, as well as living with an eating disorder and being told I cannot have help. These are things I plan to write about but asking me about them in person? I’m liable to stumble over my words and would not sound anywhere near as eloquent or ‘smart’ as I appear in text. I’m nervous by nature, and writing is easier than speaking for me.
“So how does a reticent networker network? Surprisingly easily. In fact, maybe these sites were developed with the introvert in mind. Express yourself in 140 characters or less? No problem.” —I can Twitter about things far easier than I can sit and say them to someone in person. In person, the only one I’m comfortable enough around to share my thoughts is my best friend.
“Join a discussion without the usual pressure of verbal tongue-tie? Groovy.” —Easier online than in person. I don’t have to deal with social anxiety or agoraphobia and if I’m having a bad health day, between discussion postings I can zip off to the bathroom or take a nap and it isn’t going to be awkward or weird like it would if things were in person.
“Comment on blog posts you find insightful and interesting, all from the comfort of your timid cocoon? (Or Snuggie if you’re one of those. I am not). Hey, count me in.” —I’m more apt to do so when I’m in my own comfort zone. If someone read me a blog post aloud and expected to hear my thoughts on it, I would clam up entirely.
So, it goes to show – both being an introvert and someone with intense social anxiety, agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder – that social networking is likely the easiest way to be ‘social’ when you otherwise do not have the energy (nor spoons) to do so in the flesh.