|photo credit: TarikB via photopin cc|
In the past few months, I've had the relatively recent phenomenon of meeting people in "real life" after we have connected first from my online writing, including this blog and social media.
Almost always, at some point the conversation turns to my introverted personality in seeming contradiction to my internet persona. "I don't want to offend you or anything, but you seem different than you do on Twitter."
It is here where the greatest benefit and temptation lies for introverts on social media.
Benefit: It allows others to see our true personality.
For many introverts, social media allows an end around our tendency toward social awkwardness. My Twitter feed may not represent who I am in a crowd or a new situation, but it much more closely resembles who I am with family and close friends.
Having social media provides freedom for the introvert. It lets others get to know more of who they are before the introverts truly feels comfortable enough around them in person to behave as they would at home.
Temptation: It can encourage us to create a false persona.
This can be tempting for everyone, but possibly even more so for the introvert. Social media provides individuals with a filter through which they can project themselves. While we all know the over-sharer who posts everything on Facebook, creative introverts can construct a social media character to portray, instead of giving followers and friends a peak into their true self.
I've written before about the propensity to develop fake social media accounts. In some ways, this is inevitable because we aren't sharing every triumph or trial in our life. But we can also work to cultivate a hypocritical social media mask that bears no resemblance to who we truly are.
As with every other means of socialization the introvert (and the extrovert) must learn the best ways to be authentic on social media.
What are some ways you have found social media helped you to show others who you are? How have you learned to fight the temptation to become more of an actor or actress on social media?