Nothing Is For Sure

A quick vlog about why I’ve become so active on YouTube lately, some more college updates and a couple shout-outs and some subscription suggestions for you on YouTube.

The Retro Ave.: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP-axZxHmj7kpc1O7BbeK2w

John Davern: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOHTIKRbiDSloB-Ckw3jGhA

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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.

Another New Semester

In case you may or may not be aware, I have officially started my third year at HCCC this week. Yes, folks. The beginning of the end has arrived. And this is my first semester in my new major which is Communication Arts and New Media. And so far, things are going pretty good. I think my courses may be easier this time around.

Oh, what’s that? What do I have for courses this semester? Well, on Mondays and Wednesdays I have Photography and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have Computer Graphics and Design. And that’s not all. I am also taking a web design course. And it’s an online course so I don’t really have to be on campus a whole lot compared to the last two years. And I have Fridays off like I did towards the end of last semester. The way it stands right now it doesn’t look like any of the problems that plagued me last semester will rear its ugly head. But it’s college, you know.

In Photography, I’ll be going old school with some old school black and white equipment. In Computer Graphics, I’ll be learning how to design regular stuff using Photoshop and various other stuff which I’ve only had mediocre success with in the past. And as far as my online course Web Design goes, my ultimate goal will be to create my own website. I don’t really think it’s going to be connected with my regular activities here, but at least it will be very useful when I continue to expand. Next thing you know, I’ll be able to rule the Interwebs. 😄

Sometimes it isn’t easy transitioning back to college after taking a summer off. However, I don’t really have that heavy a workload this semester. Right now I don’t really have to worry about tests or anything. Most of the final exams I have will mainly be presentations which is a load off. Hopefully, I will be able to avoid the disaster that befell me last semester with the erratic scheduling.

So yeah, there you go. My final year of college has officially begun and it will be a recurring theme throughout the remainder of the year and into next year. As far as what I plan to do after I graduate, I don’t know. One idea I have and probably should do is relocate to another state and I’m not sure. Maybe continue my education in a college, but I gotta go where I can have better opportunities to be successful be it job, relationship, whatever. Because whatever I’m looking for I’m obviously not gonna find it here in New York. I’ve gotta go where the opportunities are.

My Life as a College Student

Well, it’s been a while since I was last here so I figure I’d come back and reconnect with everyone. The last time I posted, I was just starting college and now I have just made it through the middle of the semester. So far I am happy to report that things have been going really well. I am doing well in all of my classes. I’m actually starting to feel like a college student.

One of the things I found out is that there is always something to do on campus. Not a day goes by that there isn’t something going on while I am on campus. I also have found the time practically every day to go to the gym there being that I have access. Unfortunately, since I am not a gym student (at least not this semester,) I can’t use their nice fitness center. However, I do have access to their weight room (which looks like a power lifter’s gym) and that is pretty awesome. I also have access to their track where I can walk around and stuff. That’s pretty awesome.

They also show movies here, mainly movies that are fresh out of the theater yet have not found their way to DVD. And it’s free too. That’s really awesome. I actually saw a movie on campus during Fall Fest (A Place in the Sun) and I am planning to go tonight since I am on vacation from work again. Tonight I am going to see both “Hangover” movies. I have never seen the original “Hangover” and since they’re both playing tonight, I figure that now would be as good a time as any to go see it.

However, there is a bit of a downside, mainly in the social department. I found that being a 33-year-old man in a crowd of students who are 15 years younger than you actually feels a bit awkward. Yet I’m trying to make the best of it like I do any situation. It’s still kinda hard I gotta admit.

But all in all, I am still glad I made the decision to go back to school while I still can, mainly because I’m sick of being stuck in neutral. It’s actually time to make something of myself and move forward. I will continue to keep you posted on any new developments.

”Student

Back to School

Well, I figure I’d take a little time out of my orientation to blog about me starting a new chapter in my life: Going back to school.

As of today, I have officially begun my orientation as a student at Herkimer County Community College where I will be majoring in Radio and TV Broadcasting and so far it is going pretty good. Although it means that I may be focusing on school work more than my regular activities here on the web (I’ll still be doing Facebook and Twitter at work and at home via my mobile web), I think that it’s finally time for me to move on and I think that college may very well be what I need to help myself become an even bigger success on the web.

As of June, I am out of action indefinitely as far as making YouTube videos goes, primarily because I need new equipment that I can’t really afford right now. I was also trying to remedy some other matters closer to home as well which had been my goal all summer. And now here I am, a college student. Hey, it only took me fourteen years to come to the decision that I actually need college to succeed rather than my wits which I have been going by for years.

I know the road ahead will not be easy. Then again nothing in my life ever has been easy. I am only going part-time because of my job, so there’s the possibility that I might be going at least three years. But I have always met every challenge head on no matter how ill-equipped I was or how bad the situation was and I will get through this one.

Whatever happens, I will be ready, I will meet and I will rise up to the challenge as I always do. And I will give everyone reason to be proud of your friendly neighborhood Blackcatloner.