Culture

THE NEW WAY TO LOOK AT EDUCATION

Technology: Enabling a "Golden Age" for Introverts?

CJ Westerberg, January 10, 2012 12:47 PM

Elizabeth.the-golden-age.jpg

image from film: Elizabeth I: The Golden Age

"Rather than riding the texture of a live conversation
to figure out how to give and receive information,
people are now used to simply pushing their thoughts
out into the world, to be responded to
at some undetermined future point.
"

Four Ways
Technology Can Enable Your Inner Introvert

Philip Bump, in The Atlantic, writes (excerpts):
       
" . . . .For introverts like myself, it takes energy to engage with other people. Doing so requires thoughtfulness. It's tiring. Expending energy, for us, isn't energizing. Please note: we're not talking about shyness, some character flaw. . . (snip)

So how are we helped by the technology our nerdy allies have built?

The illusion of busyness. You know what I did over the weekend? Took a road trip to Baltimore, attended two work-related parties, and spent most of Sunday offline, hiking in the woods. . .

Yeah, no I didn't. But with a few simple posts on Facebook . . . (snip)

Serial communication at work.
In the Mad Men days, everyone worked together in one location, walking to each others' desks or offices, or exchanging occasional memos. Now? We're in offices all over the place, using email. We sit quietly hunched over laptops, transitioning even our water cooler conversations to our keyboards. . .(snip)

Serial communication everywhere else.
This is maybe the most remarkable achievement. Interacting with people primarily online or serially is now the norm. It's easier to send a message to a friend on Facebook than to call; even for extraverts, it ensures that the outreach isn't a waste of time.

The reduction of communication to information-sharing.
Moreover, people expect streamlined transfers of information. A text message, a Facebook message, a tweet -- each is a discrete, articulated piece of information being shared. Rather than riding the texture of a live conversation to figure out how to give and receive information, people are now used to simply pushing their thoughts out into the world, to be responded to at some undetermined future point . . . "

Link to full article here, which includes a short historical view and descriptions of the two personality type preferences.  Being an extrovert (or, more accurately, an ambivert), I lament the dwindling of face-to-face time, mis-understood cryptic messages, the dearth of the joys of eye-contact, the signals of body language, and the vibe of "presence."  Some people hide behind the screen, and yet others, as Bump points out, blossom, or at the very least, are more comfortable.  The advantages of technology are numerous and I enjoy these, too (sometimes having better conversations, meeting peeps I never would have, etc.).  It's always a question of balance.
 
So be it.
                                                                                 - CJW

published August 2011

Related:
Shyness:  An Evolutionary Tactic?  - The New York Times

Are You More Extrovert or Introvert? 

 
  • Not one, but two peeps just suggested that the lead quote to this post described our present-day Congress/government relationship.

    Hmm.

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