A Thing About Introverts

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. 

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.

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Episode 5- Welcome to 2015

A podcast version of an old video from January 2015 about how 2014 went for me, a new segment where I talk about the Stephen King novel Revival, my thoughts on the Star Wars: Episode 7 teaser trailer, what Back to the Future Part 2 got right and wrong about 2015, an anti-smoking rant, and a couple of reshot videos including a video on how to survive on YouTube and more.

Q & A: I Wanna Be The Sexiest Zombie Alive!

Here’s the latest installment of my Q & A vlog series with more questions from Formspring.me and Myyearbook.com, and as always, let’s begin with the Formspring.me questions first:

Q: What ice cream flavor describes your personality the best?

A: Neapolitan because I’m so complex.

Q: Do you believe in ghosts?

A: Yes.

Q: What’s the secret to happiness?

A: You tell me.

Q: What’s your favorite sport?

A: Don’t really have one right now.

Q: What was the most interesting place you’ve traveled to?

A: Puerto Rico.

Q: Would you rather be a zombie or a mummy?

A: Zombie because they’re cooler. Brraaaaaiiiiiinnnnnsssss!

Q: If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose?

A: There’s so many to choose from.

Q: What’s the best place near you to get some ice cream?

A: I usually don’t get ice cream at the stands. I usually get it at Ponderosa whenever I eat there.

Q: Cake or pie?

A: Cake, but I do enjoy some pie on occasion.

Q: If girls with large breasts work at Hooters, then do girls with one leg work at IHOP?

A: Well that would make sense now, wouldn’t it? 😉

Q: What’s your favorite type of food?

A: Italian.

Q: If you could have any woman on earth who would it be?

A: Either someone who’s hot and famous or someone who has quite a bit in common with me and someone who I can easily gel with. The latter I haven’t really found yet. 🙁

Q: What was your favorite childhood meal?

A: Spaghetti and meatballs. I still eat it to this day.

Q: If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?

A: Haters.

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: Simple and informal.

Q: What would be the best thing about being a vampire?

A: Aside from living forever, nothing. Twilight ruined the vampire genre. 🙁

Q: Do you believe in angels?

A: Can I get back to you on that one?

Q: What would you try if you had no fear?

A: Bungee jumping.

Q: Do you have any scars on your body? If so, how’d you get them?

A: I have quite a few scars actually. I have a horse bite scar on my back (hardly visible) and the back of my right arm (which happened during Woodstock ’94. At that time, I was living directly across the Hudson River from where they had the concert in Saugerties.) In addition to those, I also have two scars on my left hand, and one on my right elbow from a spill I took while I was trying to outrun a thunderstorm on my way to work last year.

Q: Who’s the most famous person you’ve met?

A: I will be meeting Sylvester Stallone and Mike Tyson June 12 when they get inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Q: What do you think was the greatest invention in your lifetime?

A: The Internet.

Q: If your YouTube videos never received more than 50 views, do you think you would still continue making them?

A: Yes I would.  After all, YouTube and my blog are all I really have to look forward to.

Q: What kind of music can you just not stand to listen to?

A: Classical music. I also find New Age music annoying too. Just saying.

Q: What one thing are you exceptionally bad at?

A: Sports.

Q: What was the best job you’ve ever had?

A: No comment.

Q: When was the last time you received flowers?

A: Never.

Q: Would you rather vacation at the beach or in the mountains?

A: Beach.

Q: What do you think is your most attractive feature?

A: Some people say its my eyes, but beyond that IDK.

Q: If you could only watch one TV show what would it be?

A: Jersey Shore.

Q: Who’s the sexiest man alive?

A: Um… hello. I’m a man so it’s not my question to answer.

Q: Sneakers or sandals?

A: Sneakers.

Q: What’s the best place near you to get a drink?

A: Applebee’s in H-town.

Q: Is there a film that you have seen where you were actually rooting for the villain? Who was this character and why did you support him/her?

A: John Travolta in Broken Arrow. He played this evil Air Force pilot who was trying to steal nukes. He was so cool in that role.

And now on to the Myyearbook questions:

Q: Do you think anyone currently has a crush on you?

A: Probably not, but anything’s possible.

Q: How would you describe the first time and last time you made love?

A: Two words: No comment!

Q: Have you ever met someone online that had a nice photo of them and then when you met her/him face to face was the opposite?

A: Not yet. The two women I met online and later in person were nice.

Q: You’ve been given a paid two week vacation to anywhere in the U.S. Where do you go?

A: Either LA or Miami, where hot chicks grow on trees.

And I got a YouTube comment question on my last Q & A vlog from an old friend of mine from school Jake (aka neojake999gamer) and he asked:

Q: What music do you use in your background?

A: And for those of you who are new to my videos, the music I normally use in my videos is by another YouTuber, Nathan Wills from the UK. He has done music for several top YouTubers, most notably Mr. Safety, Cory Williams from SMPFilms. I usually provide links to his channel (youtube.com/paradigma) and his website nathanwillsmusic.com where you can download free music to use in your videos. But the only thing he asks is if you use the music in your videos, please, PLEASE give him credit.

Best Song to Have Sex To

And here are some more questions that I got from Myyearbook.com to celebrate the inaugural Q & A vlog that is not an episode of The Adventures of Blackcatloner.

Q: What’s the nerdiest thing you do?

A: Hang out online.

Q: If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

A: What I do online.

Q: What’s your favorite quote from a movie?

A: You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?

Q: Do you write poetry?

A: No.

Q: What’s your favorite board game?

A: Monopoly, especially when it’s at McDonald’s.

Q: How did millions of life forms evolve with absolutely no evidence of major change?

A: Another one of life’s great mysteries.

Q: What do you feel is your true calling in life?

A: What I do now… (blogging, YouTube, etc.)

Q: Why is marmalade not called orange jam?

A: No idea.

Q:  What do you think is the best song to have sex to?

A: Freak Me by Silk. Note: If you were born after 1992, you might not know who I’m talking about.

Q: Why does X stand for a kiss? Why does O stand for a hug?

A: No idea.

Q: How many people have you dated?

A: No comment.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of cake?

A: Any with cream in the middle.

Q: Would you rather watch a sitcom, a reality show, a police drama, a legal drama, or a medical drama? Or something else? Why?

A: Any except for medical or legal dramas because I feel they’ve been done to death.

Q: What age do you think is too young to have sex?

A: No younger than 17.

Q: Why doesn’t the hair on your arms grow as fast as the hair on your head?

A: Hmmm… Not cold enough?

Q: What color underwear are you wearing right now?

A: Wouldn’t you like to know? lol. 😉

Q: Why do people eat unhealthy meals and then get a Diet Coke?

A: Cause they like it.

Q: What do you daydream about?

A: Being rich, finding love, and a variety of other things.

Q: How do you like your pancakes? Old fashioned maple syrup? Some kinda fruit? Chocolate chips? Or some other way all together? 😀

A: A little of each. 🙂

Q: Who’s your Valentine? ♥ mass

A: Not sure yet.

 

 

Superhero

Since I don’t really have too much to blog about, I figured I’d take the time to talk about one of my hobbies growing up in Red Hook, mainly because I feel that my life both outside of work as well as my online life as Blackcatloner. I feel as though I am living a double life. There’s my life off the Internet which consists of work and not much else. Then there’s my life online. Here, I can be myself without any fears at all.

Anyway, the point of this blog is basically about me talking about the four years I spent collecting comic books. Before then, I bought a comic here and there, but it wasn’t until sometime after I moved to Tivoli in 1992 that I actually took up comic book collecting.

I mainly collected Spider-Man comics because he is my all-time favorite comic book superhero. He has these amazing abilities and yet he was imperfect and the superhero who is most like us. He had job problems, family problems, money problems, and girl problems (even though when I started collecting comics, he was already married to MJ)… you name it and yet he still had to go out and fight the bad guys, kind of like yours truly. No wonder I refer to myself as “your friendly neighborhood Blackcatloner.”

In addition to the Spider-Man comics, I also collected Batman, beginning with the “Knightfall” storyline where Batman got his back broken by a then-new villain called Bane and had to be replaced with another Batman with a cooler-looking costume. Up until then, the only Batman comics I had were the adaptations of the first two movies. I had seen both and actually enjoyed them. I continued collecting all through high school because the stories were all so closely knit together and had a real feel to them. I made it my weekly routine until very early in my senior year of high school, partly because the stroe I bought my comics from had for some reason stopped carrying them.

And so this concludes another trip down memory lane into the secret past of the real-life superhero known as “Blackcatloner.” What will he do next? Find out next time (as Stan Lee would say), “true believers.”