Communicating with people far away through the internet magic of social media may give you the illusion of having an active social life. Still, there are 5 signs that it could be turning you into an introvert. In this article, we will look at the signs that your online habits contribute to you becoming an introvert instead of having quality real-life social connections.
What Is An Introvert
According to Psychology Today, an introvert is a personality type, generally a quiet, reserved, and thoughtful individual. They don’t seek special attention or social engagements, as these events can leave introverts feeling exhausted and drained.
Introverts are the opposite of extroverts. Extroverts are often described as the life of the party. They seek out interaction and conversations. They aren’t one to miss a social gathering, and they thrive in the frenzy of a busy environment.
There are a couple of ways that you can tell if you’re an introvert. Here are seven of the most apparent behavioral signs of introversion.
1 – You enjoy having time to yourself
The best hours of your day are the hours you spend indoors, playing video games and reading a good book. There’s nothing wrong with loving your own space, and, incredibly, most people are owning up. Not everyone is super comfortable within social gatherings, even though it isn’t a bad idea to let your hair down every once in a while.
2 – Your best thinking occurs when you’re by yourself.
Group works are cute but have you ever wondered why you seem to work best when left alone. There has to be a reason you’re so good with researching when you’re in your safe space. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with being a soloist, as some of the world’s best brains shared such a trait. As such, “having the opportunity to reflect quietly on a problem allows you to make the maximum use of your ability to engage in original thought and to produce results about which you can feel proud.”
3 – You’re content to sit back and let others take center stage.
Your lecturer just asked a question in class, a question that you know the answer to. However, you instead leave your hand unraised, as other people answer and take the shine. There’s nothing wrong with that, there’s nothing weird about that, and it’s pretty standard if you ask me. That’s just you being an introvert and letting more outgoing people have a bite at the cherry. “Extraverts tend to be ready and eager to stand out in any academic or social situation.” On the other hand, you are a more hands-off participator, leaving your grades to do the talking.
4 – You often wear headphones when you’re in a public situation.
What would introverts do without the incredible inventions that are earphones? These tools are a necessary part of a typical introvert’s dressing, as they hold the keys to avoiding awkwardness. “Whether it’s making your way through a crowded bus station or just navigating a crowded street, if you’re an introvert, you most likely don’t seek a great deal of contact with others.” Long gone are the days when you had to look down and walk briskly across. Now, all you need to do is bump your favorite artiste as you navigate through a crowded and potentially awkward situation.
5 – You receive more calls, texts, and emails than you make.
Introverts rather text, and if that doesn’t work, they might resort to anonymous letters and messages in a bottle. Just kidding, but it’s a very introverted thing to be getting more calls and texts than you make. Furthermore, it’s pretty likely that if you’re a true introvert, you will avoid jobs in which you have to engage in such outreach, such as becoming a telemarketing representative. However, an introvert might take that kind of job to break even, as they are known to be pretty driven individuals. “All other things being equal, people high in introversion don’t reach out voluntarily to their social circles. If they have a few minutes to spare, they won’t initiate a call to pass the time by socializing.”
6 – You don’t initiate small talk with salespeople or others with whom you have casual contact.
Extroverts are the master of flirting, small talk, and keeping people in their immediate environment occupied. The introvert, on the other hand, can’t do much to save his life. That’s because conversations aren’t exactly easy to bring up, as they take careful preparation and a lot of deep breaths.
7 – You prefer not to engage with people who seem angry or upset.
A true introvert reads the room, and he or she is unlikely to engage a potentially angry person. Introverts instead keep to themselves, so anything that can keep them from a potential conflict would be readily chosen. Introverts are the complete opposite of intruders, and the last thing on their minds is getting involved with a potentially problematic individual.
Being an introvert does not necessarily make you socially awkward; it just means that you rather stay on your own and make calculated decisions. Introverts are just as productive as extroverts, if not more so. There’s a lot to achieve in minding your own business and taking a step at a time. And that’s the hallmark of a true introvert.
5 Signs Social Media Is Turning You Into An Introvert
Just because you prefer to be at home clicking, posting, commenting, and sharing doesn’t mean you’re an introvert. There are different levels of social introversion, and they range from socially shy to socially avoidant.
Some people use the word ‘antisocial’ to describe social withdrawal, but psychologists use this word to mean that a person acts against society or does harmful things to others. In psychology, someone with an antisocial personality disorder is someone with psychological problems like narcissism, sociopathy, or psychopathy.
The amount of social networking site usage varies from person to person. Some people stay connected on and off, checking several social media sites for updates throughout the day. Some people only use one or two social media sites and spend an hour or less per day online.
According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans use Facebook, and 70% of those people are on the website daily. Other daily website usages for Americans include 59% for Instagram, 38% for Twitter, 27% are on Pinterest, and 22% use LinkedIn daily. globalwebindex.net says that a 2014 survey of people ages 16-64 showed that we are online through a desktop or laptop computer an average of 4.9 hours per day and 2.5 hours per day on a mobile device.
But how much online social media usage is too much? Will you start to turn you into an introvert, and is that a bad thing?
1. You find it difficult to choose going out over staying in and engaging in social media
It’s not necessarily a bad thing t0 be an introvert, but it could be bad for your health. In our recent article, we talked about how lacking a social support system as an introvert can negatively affect your immune system’s ability to fight off illness.
Excessive use of social media can lead to other negative consequences as well. According to British researchers being online too much can cause ‘a neglect of real-life social connections including the compromising of personal relationships, and a detrimental impact on academic and/or work performance.’
Researchers say that avoiding one opportunity to go out so that you can stay home and enjoy the quiet of your online activities makes you more likely to avoid the next opportunity for hanging out with friends also. This social isolation is particularly concerning for young adults and teens who are just learning about how to have productive social interactions with others.
2. You find more enjoyment from your online activity than you do going out
Researchers in the journal Developmental Psychology looked at problematic media like violent video games, gambling sites, or the use of pornography online. They say that they could predict that a person who used these types of online activities would become even more socially withdrawn over the course of a year than they were at the beginning of the year.
3. Your social media friends understand you more
If you feel like your online friends are a better support system than your real friends, social media may be turning you into an introvert. This is common, especially for those who have found a specific niche community online that they feel a significant part of.
For example, you could be involved in an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder support group online but are too shy to try to go to an in-person support group. The connections you get online are meaningful to you, which is great, but it’s also keeping you shut in.
4. You feel anxious when you know that you will have to go out in public
In the past, have you typically been anxious when you go out in public, or is this something about yourself that has changed? Social anxiety is common for introverts, so feeling this way is a sign you turn into an introvert.
You can improve your level of social interaction by practicing relaxation techniques before you go out and while you are around others. For example, deep breathing and controlling fidgeting movements when you feel anxious can help you enjoy talking with people more.
5. You look forward to going on social media
Eventually, you begin to get a sense of pleasure from being an introvert and focusing on social media. Whether you enjoy seeing your friends’ comments, likes, and shares, or you enjoy the online sense of community, the pleasure and reward center of your brain has been activated, and now you’re hooked.
Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with introversion as a personality type. Introverts are reliable, thoughtful people who foster healthy relationships. But if you find that you are bordering on becoming anti-social, perhaps you can find some ways to break away from your inner thoughts. Step away from social media and get out with your real-life friends more often.
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