Technology: Enabling a "Golden Age" for Introverts?

CJ Westerberg, January 10, 2012 12:47 PM


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

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.


blog comments powered by Disqus
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
Follow The Daily Riff on Follow TDR on Twitter

find us on facebook


Cool Smart Teen: Changing the conversation about building stuff

SMW, 11.04.2013

Not just building an app to play with . . . but a test for cancer

Read Post | Comments

Riffing good stories innovation.jpg

Video: What is the link between "design-thinking" and creativity?

SMW, 11.03.2013

Creative Confidence: Must-Watch Interview on Charlie Rose

Read Post | Comments
early education.preschool.jpg

How Much Do Early Years Lead to Student Success?

CJ Westerberg, 11.03.2013

"The idea being that wasn't necessarily to create little engineers everywhere, though that would be great for us. The idea was to take advantage of the natural learning process and curiosity that children have at that age . . ." Tamika Lang, Boeing

Read Post | Comments

NEW: Weekend Reading

SMW, 11.03.2013

Looking for Intimacy in the Age of Facebook is a higher education course (yes, you heard right). Interestingly, social media may inhibit creativity and innovation

Read Post | Comments

The New Resume

SMW, 10.31.2013

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video game-like format is worth . . .

Read Post | Comments

Noam Chomsky: The Purpose of Education

CJ Westerberg, 10.31.2013

"Education is really aimed at helping students get to the point where they can learn on their own. . . "

Read Post | Comments

Noam Chomsky: In the news again, this time about Twitter and High Schoolers

SMW, 10.31.2013

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, "father of linguistics", political commentator.  From bio: "Besides his work in linguistics, Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today":               ...

Read Post | Comments

Choke: Test-taking - - - a different way to look at test-prep?

CJ Westerberg, 10.28.2013

"Most students will not find a steady diet of test-prep drills and worksheets to be particularly meaningful, and accordingly, they will not put forth optimal learning effort."

Read Post | Comments

Does your school have a beehive?

CJ Westerberg, 10.27.2013

"If we want children to be inventors, we have to give them opportunities to invent." - 5:00 mark, Mission Hill video

Read Post | Comments