A Thing About Introverts

And here is where I make a little bit of a departure from my usual types of vlogs and I am going to talk about an issue that is prevalent in today’s society and it is something that matters to me because I fall into this category and yes it is based on a project I did for school. What I am going to talk about now is the concepts of introverts and how they can survive in a world that is predominately extroverted. Everyone ready? Here we go.

Picture this for a moment. You are at a party surrounded by hundreds of people looking as though they are having a good time. For every one of those partygoers, there will always be that one person who feels out of place. This is a person that feels as though he or she does not belong there and would rather be at home than out in public surrounded by happy people. If you see such a person, chances are that person may be an introvert.

Introverts are people who normally keep to themselves and who usually direct their social energy inwards as opposed to their counterpart, the extrovert who usually direct their social energy outwards. The extrovert enjoys being around people and thrives off of being around them while the introvert on the other hand feels more comfortable not being in social situations too long. According to the book Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D., the introvert makes up more than half of the population and yet we assume that introverts are an occasional deviation—the geeks in the shadows.

In short, America has become a land of extroverts.

In order to compare how introverts and extroverts fare in today’s world, we would have to take a look inside the minds of both parties. According to an article on livescience.com, scientific research has led to the conclusion that certain neural differences in people’s brains can determine a person’s characteristics. Study researcher Inna Fishman of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California observed that the study was just another piece of evidence to support the theory that personality is more than just a psychological concept.

To support their theory, Fishman and her colleagues recruited twenty-eight participants between the ages of eighteen to forty years old who varied from introverted to somewhat extroverted to very extroverted.  Using electroencephalography, or EEG as it is more commonly known, the researchers studied a change in the brain’s electrical activity known as P300. P300 refers to the amount of time in which a person reacts to a change in their environment. In this case, the reaction occurred within 300 milliseconds.

In the experiment, the subjects saw a series of photographs featuring human faces and were also shown pictures of purple flowers interspersed with pictures of yellow ones. As a result, the higher the subjects scored on a test for extroversion, the greater their P300 response was to human faces. In other words, extroverts pay more attention to human faces than the introverts did.

When they were tested, the introverted subjects were revealed to have very similar responses to the images that the extroverts had. However as Fishman observed, the introverts regarded the human faces with indifference. In the end, Fishman concluded that extroverts held more importance with social interactions than introverted people did.

According to the article “The Science of What Makes an Introvert and an Extrovert,” personality is part of what makes us who we are, so it’s not surprising that introversion and extroversion have wide-ranging effects on our lives which also includes engaging in risky behavior. Extroverts are more prone to engage in risky behavior as opposed to their introverted counterparts, most notably in drinking, unprotected sex, and high-risk sports to name a few.

The article also goes on to say that extroverted traits are more highly valued in today’s society, and this can make introverts feel like something is wrong with them. However, author Susan Cain noted that schools and workplaces are designed to work in favor of extroverts, explaining that collaboration is key to creativity and productivity, which is the opposite of the introvert’s need for solitude. The article ended with the statement that Cain was calling for a new educational and workplace system that allows introverts the freedom and solitude they need to thrive and be successful.

For many, the real test over how introverts and extroverts interact with the world around them is in the workplace. A place of employment many times require people to interact with people more often than not. The workplace is where extroverts really tend to shine and depending on the job, this is where the introvert tends to feel out of place. When it comes to work, introverts prefer to concentrate on one task at a time, and observe a situation before deciding to get involved.

Careers that promote the strengths of introverts include scientists, writers, and artists while extroverts tend to be politicians, teachers, and salespeople where quick-thinking, problem-solving and the ability to multitask brings out the extrovert’s abilities really well as opposed to the fact that the introvert tends to desire the need to complete the task on their own.

However as it is on the streets, extroverts still try to force the introverts to “come out of their shells” and try to be more socially interactive. Hence the misconceptions that both parties face on a regular basis come out. For example the introvert is seen as shy or withdrawn while the introvert could see the extrovert as too bossy and too loud. The article goes even further to point out that in order to be a successful employee, it is crucial to understand not only yourself, but also the personalities of those around you in the workplace.

Even to this day, introverts are misunderstood by their extroverted counterparts as far as their quiet demeanor goes. The only way for the misconceptions to end is for the extroverts to give the introverts the space they need to thrive. In return the introverts also need to learn that the extroverts mean well when they say that they are trying to bring them out of their shells and that they are not trying to offend them.

While extroverts have the advantage when it comes to traditional social interactions, introverts have found a place where they can socially interact on their terms: The Internet. It was found that introverted and neurotic people were able to locate their “real me” on the Internet, most notably in today’s social media-dominated world.  Thanks to sites such as Facebook, Twitter and even dating sites, introverts have the ability to interact without fear of becoming too overwhelmed which tends to take place whenever they go out in public. Therefore, they have the right to remain anonymous until they feel comfortable enough to meet a person in public. They also have the right to rewrite what they say online whereas in the real world, if an introvert says the wrong thing then they run the risk of being rejected by the person or people that they are trying to connect to.

However the introvert’s concept of living in a virtual world can be a dangerous one primarily because of the fact that they tend to view the Internet as a replacement for real-life interactions. It has also been said that people who cannot express themselves are prone to suffer from serious psychological disorders. And that thought in itself is as good a reason as any to continue looking into this phenomenon about the social interaction between the user and the Internet and its impact on said person’s well-being.

It has been proven that extroverts hold more importance on the world of social interactions than the introverts do. After all as was mentioned before at the beginning of this report, America is the land of extroverts and they have more advantages as far as traditional social interactions go as opposed to the introverts. Extroverts also take the most risks while the introverts are more quiet, thoughtful and more likely to go it alone on various tasks. Of course in recent years, introverts have discovered the newest phase of social interaction offered by the Internet. On the Internet, those who cannot interact socially in the real world routinely run the risk of having the world offered by the use of social media and the Internet replace the real world.

In the article How to Thrive in an Extroverted/Introverted Workplace, a list of three simple rules that extroverts need to know about their introverted colleagues. For example , if an introvert needs alone time, the extrovert should respect it and not take it personally; that they should wait patiently for an introvert’s opinion because they are not in a rush to speak up; and that extroverts should not try to turn an introvert into an extrovert.

The article also explains in turn of what introverts should know about their extroverted colleagues: That the extroverts actually mean well and are not trying to be annoying; that they can help with small talk; and that there are extroverts who also have a quiet side to them as well.

In the end it is little things like this that can help bridge the long-term gap between the introverts and the extroverts to a state where both can find harmony.

Now I have pretty much always been an introvert so you can tell that this segment as well as its original incarnation as a project for school is very important to me because I truly found out I was an introvert when I took a Sales and Promo course during my last semester as a Radio/TV major at Herkimer College and we had to take a simple psychology test to determine whether you are an introvert or an extrovert and my results revealed that I was an ISTP which stands for Introvert Sensing Thinking Perception. And as a result that was kind of unnerving to me because the Radio/TV industry is predominately extrovert. That was probably why I wasn’t really doing well in that class and as a result that’s what actually led me to drop the course and change my major to Communication Arts New Media where I probably should have been since my work has been mainly on the Internet.

In the end, I should really be thankful for that test because I’m in a place where I truly belong and I have the option to thrive in a medium where I can act on my own terms and practically be myself. Besides being an introvert is not that bad. There are a lot of cool people who are introverts. In fact, my top 2 favorite superheroes Spider-Man and Batman are introverts as well. So yeah. I’m in good company.

Advertisements

Rot In Hell, Mr. Bin Laden

Well, I’m sure by now everyone has heard the good news. Last night, President Obama held a late-night news conference saying that Osama Bin Laden, mastermind behind 9/11 and one of the most evil men in the history of the free world, has been killed by US forces during an invasion of his compound in Pakistan. I was originally planning to do a video of this on YouTube but then since I was tired from work last night, I decided that a written blog would be better.

There is a hint of irony as far as the date May 1, when Osama was officially confirmed dead. Also on that date in 1945, another evil man was officially declared dead and of course I am talking about Adolf Hitler, whose body was found by Allied forces a day after he committed suicide rather than face justice for crimes against humanity. As far as Bin Laden goes, justice has officially been done. And the fact that this news comes four months before the 10th anniversary of 9/11 makes this major victory much better.

So I just want to take this time to thank all the troops who have risked everything and continue to put their lives on the line to keep people like you and me safe. And now, I like to take the time for everyone to join me in a moment of silence for Osama Bin Laden so we can give him the respect he deserves: “Good riddance, you evil bastard! May you rot in hell!” Thank you.

Resolutions

What the cat said.

What the cat said.

Well here we are. The last day of 2008. And what better way to end the year than with another snowstorm to annoy me. But instead of getting into another rant about how bad the snow’s been here in Central New York, I’m going to do another retropective on the year 2008.

The year 2008 has been a really historic and important year. For one thing, America elected Barack Obama as the first-ever black President of the United States but it’s not just the fact that he was elected. The whole election campaign was also a major historic event because of the fact that it also had a female vice-presidential candidate that was more or less reviled by the world. Also in 2008 news, “The Dark Knight” dominated the box office thanks largely to the late Heath Ledger as the Joker (may he rest in peace); and how about that Michael Phelps, eh? And it ends on a pretty high note because we finally saw OJ Simpson go to jail for armed robbery and kidnapping.

For me, other than the fact that I officially took my Internet life to the next level and started making YouTube videos, the year was more or less uneventful. Even as this year ends, I officially have 320 subscribers on YouTube and growing. I also added Facebook and Twitter to my Internet list. I also have obtained a side job with the Historical Society mowing their lawn and shoveling them out. Speaking of the Historical Society, my book is now officially on permanent hold because I found out about another book that is being written that pretty much parallels what I’m doing. I may decide instead to do a video for YouTube.

As far as 2009 goes, I have really high hopes that it will be my breakout year on the Internet, especially on YouTube. I have several goals I hope to accomplish there but perhaps the biggest goal I would like to achieve next year is that I want to get partnership on YouTube so I can start making money on my videos. As far as what directions I want to go with my videos, I have a variety of ideas that I want to try out, like maybe do some videos that are based on what I write here on this blog and I might do a tutorial video because I had received some comments that asked me for advice about how to make cat videos. Besides, I hear that tutorial videos do really well on YouTube.

Tonight is probably the worst night for me to work, especially since tonight is New Year’s Eve and usually you’re supposed to be with a loved one or with a new relationship instead of being at work. Tonight is really going to suck. Hopefully that will change next year.

Election Day

Well, today’s the big day for Americans everywhere. Everything that has been in the news for the course of the year has been leading up to this day. That’s right, it is Election Day and also the day where we will be voting for a new President of the United States.

This year’s election has been called by Senator Joe Biden “the most important Presidential election since 1932” basically because there is so much at stake in this year’s election. A bad economy, the ongoing war in Iraq and the war on terrorism are among the many issues being dealt with, not to mention that this election is historic because of the fact that one of the candidates, Barack Obama, is the first black candidate for a major political party to run for President of the United States.

I have usually tried to shy away from politics in both my blogs and my videos because of the fact that this is a hot-button topic and that so many people are talking about it, although I did take a swipe at Sarah Palin because she just annoys me to no avail. However this week, especially today, it is pretty much unavoidable. This is further proof that this election affects everyone, not just in the U.S. but all around the world.

Okay, I said my piece. Now I got to go off to the polls and do my part to get Obama into office.