Being Alone

Or, Why FaceBook is perfect for introverts… 


Introverts have gotten a lot of press in the past few years, which is a good thing. We were misunderstood for so long! Now it’s becoming more well understood that we’re not shy, we don’t dislike being around other people, and we aren’t (necessarily) misanthropic.

The main differentiator between extroverts and introverts is that introverts get drained from being around other people for too long, while extroverts get energized. Introverts need alone-time to get recharged.

That’s why FaceBook is perfect for introverts! We can interact with other people in short spurts, to get our human fix. We can see our friends, keep up with what’s happening in their lives, and share little bits of ourselves. All at our own time and pace, as manageble packets of interaction.

My life is enriched by my friends: their caring, their thoughts, their art, their talents, their support. But people take energy and time, and for introverts, that’s hard. Social energy is in limited supply. How I envy you extroverts, who can hang out with other people effortlessly! Those of us in the introvert pavilion do our best, but we just need to be alone. A lot.

I love being able to log onto FB, check out what everyone’s doing, cheer for their accomplishments, share in their happiness, commiserate with their hardships, and laugh at their silly pets.

Without FaceBook, my life would be less rich. But I wouldn’t be lonely, because I sort of never get lonely. I just really like being alone.

Which reminds me of a party that Husband and I attended, some 20-odd years ago. It was a pot-luck gathering for a group of cyclists (Husband is a hard-core cyclist), and the hosts asked everyone who entered to don a name tag, and write one word or phrase on the name tag as a conversation-starter.

I put “Being Alone” and my husband wrote “Advocacy.” Everyone else? Kittens, babies, cooking, and such. And we wondered why no one came up to us that evening. But who wants to bother someone who would prefer being alone? And who wants to be railed at by an advocate?

It didn’t occur to me at the time that I was being anti-social. I honestly thought “Being Alone” might stimulate some interesting discussion. Well, it didn’t.

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