Introvert Issues: I Wish I Could Quit Social Media, But Due To My Work’s Nature I Have To Be “Always-On”
Many introverts and HSPs will know the feeling: While you are watching your smartphone charge and scroll through your social feeds, you feel your own energy level sink. Despite spending a lot of time on your couch, you do not feel rested, but drained, perhaps even restless. The reason: Your socials are demanding all your attention.
Do not get me wrong. I know about the many benefits Social Media holds for introverts, which include:
You Decide When And How You Want To Communicate
Many of us choose emails over phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Many introverts consider writing their strong suit. But even those among us, who dislike writing, would often choose it as their “go-to” means of communication whenever they deal with situations outside their comfort zone.
You have enough time to phrase your thoughts and express them only when you are ready. A lot of online communication is written, which makes Social Media an ideal supporter of your introvert needs.
You Can Express Your Talents That Otherwise Might Go Unnoticed
It probably has happened to you, too: You stumble across a personality test asking if you are “rather easygoing” or “rather reserved”, which gets you thinking:
“I’d like to see myself as easygoing and a fun person to be around. Any of my close friends would attest to that. Sometimes they even cry-laugh at my stories and tell me not to let that comedic talent go to waste. At work, however, it’s an entirely different story. I know that my coworkers perceive me as earnest and hardworking, at times even as a little too reserved for my own good.”
Many introverts have troubles engaging in office banter, let alone initiating it. You would have to feel very comfortable around your coworkers to act as carefree as you do with your close friends.
Your friends are right though. Do not let your talent go unnoticed! Whether you are a singer-songwriter, a comedian or a storyteller: If you have not found your creative outlet and you are too afraid to sing, talk or read in front of an audience, Social Media works as your stage.
You Can Speak In Front Of A Big Audience Without Having To Speak In Front Of A Big Audience
As an introvert, you know how terrifying it can be to present yourself in front of people. With Social Media, however, you do not have to imagine your audience naked to calm your nerves. It is an excellent self-promotion tool for people, who are uncomfortable promoting themselves. You do not have to shout off an actual stage “LOOK WHAT I CAN DO AND HOW GREAT I AM”, but you can build your own virtual stage without being afraid of tripping every time you walk on. Plus, your online persona can live up to the extrovert ideal, even if the real you does not.
Self-Marketing On Social Media: When “Twenty Four Seven” Becomes The New “Nine To Five”
And now, take everything I just said with a pinch of salt.
Last year I got sick. Sick of Social Media and its overstimulating ways, which brought out the worst, obsessive side in me. I decided to leave Facebook after nine years in November and quickly began to feel somewhat renovated.
I felt clear and focused. Ditching my private social channels was the best decision I had made in a long time.
Everything changed, however, when I realized that as an aspiring writer I would have to build an audience long before I approach publishers and hand in a manuscript. I read that sometimes it takes a large number of fans and followers online just to get your newbie work read at all.
If I do things without meaning, I suffer. This will probably ring true for most of you on the introvert and HSP spectrum. Last year, I quit my unfulfilling day job and started a journey into the unknown. The idea of being one’s own boss probably appeals to many of you, as well. Maybe you are working as a freelancer or solo entrepreneur yourself.
As long as you can leave the likes of Facebook behind when you close your office door, you are in the clear.
If you are running your own business, on the other hand, Social Media will not let you of its hook easily. Especially creative professionals know that it is just as important to promote yourself, as it is to promote your work. This is the dangerous moment where the lines between private and professional life begin to blur and being on Social Media is no longer a choice, but a must.
I Tried To Avoid Brain Clutter At All Costs. But Having To Use Social Media Professionally, I Find Myself Scrolling, Posting And Sharing All Over Again.
At home, I had quit Facebook because of its time-sucking and addictive nature. Yet, I had to be present somewhere “out there” to build that much-needed audience.
Therefore, I signed up on “Twitter” two days after leaving Facebook.
I had read Joanne Mallon’s “Social Media for Writers”, where the author compares Twitter to an “Irish pub”, where everyone joins and leaves a conversation within the blink of an eye.
I couldn’t agree more with her metaphor. If Twitter and its cousins were human, they would come in the shape of your most demanding, extroverted friends, constantly nudging you:
“Check this out!” (Click)
“What do you think?” (Comment)
“Isn’t it amazing?” (Like)
“You should tell others!” (Share)
After having regained some precious time by abandoning my Facebook, I suddenly found myself scrolling through newsfeeds, posting and following all over again! At home.
Do not underestimate how much time you waste by using social networks.
Spending time online takes a toll on everyone’s energy. But highly sensitive and introverted people, who need calm and quiet to recharge their batteries, suffer the most.
You may be able to post, share, comment and connect from the comfort of your own home.
But doesn’t the impatient, entertainment craving nature of Social Media go against your introverted nature?
Isn’t the never-ending circle of constant content creation and consumption just as draining as many activities that correspond to the extrovert ideal?
In my case, I guess, I have to look at the positives of Social Media as an extroverted means to give me a voice and try to shut out the brain clutter. Quite an impossible mission.
Julia is a writer, who loves to explore all aspects of the human mind. As an introverted HSP, she sometimes finds herself in challenging situations that make her question the extrovert ideal. She wants introverted voices to be heard and stories of introversion to be read. Julia is also passionate about topics, such as social justice, feminism, parenting and mental health. She has abandoned most of her socials now. You can get in touch by emailing her: firstname.lastname@example.org