Anti-social Media

That’s ‘Anti-social’ Media not ANTI-   Social Media, if you follow me.

I’m a pretty typical INFJ. If that means nothing to you, let’s summarize it by saying that I am a fairly social introvert. I need lots of time at home or my energy flags, I find casual conversations exhausting sometimes, and I don’t seek out social interaction often – but I’m in no way shy, and I can find something to talk about with almost anyone.

It’s hard to be a social introvert on social media. It takes a lot of my energy to engage with people in blog comments, or on twitter, or even on facebook, because there is so much room to be misunderstood and the effort required to maintain all of those (fairly) casual social outlets seems exhausting to me.

Sure, I can retweet what you just said. Or answer your call for information. Or I can post a ‘I’m sorry that happened’ or ‘Whoo hoo!’ in your blog comments or in reply to your facebook status but engaging in extended conversations or planning to comment on blogs/facebook/twitter feels really hard. *

I like to dig deep when I’m talking to someone. I don’t like to argue, and I try not to pry, but I do try to figure out where you’re coming from, why you think that way, and if we have common ground.

That’s hard to do online. There’s the time lag, the problem with lack of tone (my sense of humour relies a lot on tone, so it’s hard to convey my own funny), the potential to be misread or to mispeak. It makes for awkward. A whole wall of awkward I have to climb or tunnel under before I can chat with you online.

Adding to the awkward are my privacy issues. I don’t want people on twitter to know exactly where I am. I don’t want random people to be able to identify my kids from pictures on my blog. I don’t want to publish all the details of my life. The idea of doing so makes me make a squirmy motion that there are no words to describe.

The thoughts I choose to share are probably very telling in themselves. No doubt people can tell all sorts of things about me from my writing that I didn’t intend to reveal but I can live with that risk.

So, that leaves me feeling like the most Antisocial Social Media participant ever. I will chat, but only about x,y,z. I lurk and rarely comment. I’m on facebook, but I might leave a status up for a week and I hardly ever pictures. I tweet, but not every thought in my head.

I blog, but I go long stretches without saying anything. And since I won’t get too much into the details of my family’s life, I don’t always know what to talk about .

I feel like I am not fully participating in blogging, tweeting, facebooking, socializing online, but I am inching forward. I can see the Great Wall of Awkward** at all times, though, and I may never break it down. I’m not even sure I want to.

*Well, for personal stuff anyway, it’s easier for business stuff because the rules are clearer.

**Not unlike the Great Wall of China, but I doubt it is visible from space. At least I hope not. ergh