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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Last Hurrah With Selena Gomez

For starters, I originally uploaded this Q & A vlog to YouTube two weeks ago but I’ve been busy preparing for the new semester at HCCC that I forgot about it. So I have finally uploaded it to Blip today since I sort of found myself with only a half a day today since my teacher for two of my classes was absent today. Before I start asking the questions for this Q & A segment, I just want to let you know that so far the new semester at HCCC is going good. I have four classes this semester: Writing for Electronic Media, Applied Media Asthetics (formerly known as Video Production,) Voice and Diction, and another gym class where I get to use the Fitness Center again.

Now at least three of those classes should be easycakes for a guy who has spent the last few years involved with YouTube and the Internet but another concern has surfaced: How to get through the courses without pulling the YouTube card a little too much. I will admit that my YouTube and Internet skills got me through my first year pretty good. Well, good enough to make the Dean’s List twice. Now, the stakes are higher and it’s time to deliver yet again. I do have some high hopes for this semester and I might be able to score higher this time since I am learning stuff I already know.

So this Q & A vlog will be my last hurrah as far as the Q & A’s go. So without further ado, here we go.

Q: What is your morning routine?

A: Don’t really have a morning routine being I’m kinda nocturnal. Usually it’s just go to work. On weekends when I’m up during the day, I just do whatever.

Q: Funnyordie.com sent this one to me. Want to see why cats and Rihanna are the best?

A: I can agree with you on the cats’ part, but Rihanna? She’s hot but at least the cats didn’t appear in Battleship, lol.

Q: Do you doodle, paint or sculpt?

A: Not really. Not very good at it.

Q: Do you like motorcycles?

A: Yeah, I like motorcycles.

Q: And here’s another one from Funny or Die. Selena Gomez falls in love with a mysterious painter in a new video (that they posted on their site) What do you think about it?

A: As long as it’s a real man, it’s all good. 😉 And yes, folks. That was an obvious swipe at Justin Beiber.

Q: Are you usually early, late, or right on time?

A: It varies, but usually I’m on time.

Q: What websites do you visit daily?

A: Facebook, YouTube, Blip, Formspring, and my blog among other sites.

Q: This one’s not really a question but I’m gonna add it anyway. The doctors proved that while you are kissing, you’re actually losing calories. In a average kiss which lasts 3 minutes you lose 12 calories, that means that if you are about to eat a piece of chocolate cake you’ll have to kiss for one hour and 45 minutes.

A: Wow, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the information.

Q: Spider-Man, Batman or Superman?

A: Spider-Man all the way! Batman’s a very close second. Never really got into Superman outside of the movies or TV. I thought the comics were boring and he is pretty much the ultimate nice guy, which makes him more or less unrelatable .

Q: And yet here’s another one from Funny or Die. Check out 10 of the Greatest Yearbook Moments! Which is your favorite? And if you want to actually see the article, I’ll post the link right here for you: .

A: I like the random dog class photo in the yearbook as well as the Mrs. Rape kindergarten photo. I am not making this up. There really is a pic of a teacher with that name. Don’t believe me? Click the link above and see for yourself. Moving right along, I also like the attitude of the kid that said he would take a bullet for his best friend unless he had a hot girlfriend, which is also what I would do. The kid that used the Kim Jong Il quote however is sick.

Q: What’s up with all the ticklish feet questions on Formspring?

A: I don’t know.

Q: Do you prefer to listen to full albums or random songs?

A: Depends on the band and the album. If I just like the one song, I’d rather listen to that and download it than just buy the full album.

Q: Where did you get the shoes you’re wearing?

A: Uh, I bought them at Walmart on clearance… almost a year ago. lol. And no, I’m not gonna take a pic of them.

Q: What is the most important political issue of this election?

A: Right now it looks like a toss-up between the economy and gay marriage.

Q: Who is one of your favorite authors?

A: Stephen King.

Q: Do you like looking in the mirror?

A: Well I’m not vain if that’s what you’re asking.

Q: If you could be any video game character, which character would you be?

A: Max Payne so I use the cool Matrix effects to dodge obstacles.

Q: What’s your favorite romance movie?

A: Romance movies are not really my thing, me being a guy and all but I would have to go with Titanic.

Q: Do you have good vision?

A: Yeah.

Q: Do you prefer Batman Begins or The Dark Knight?

A: The Dark Knight. But then again I’d take both over Batman and Robin. Then again, I actually liked The Dark Knight Rises over The Dark Knight.

Q: Would you rather go to a pub/bar or a nightclub?

A: Either one as long as they got hot chicks.

Q: Who was the first celebrity you had a crush on?

A: I’d probably have to go with Madonna on this one.

Q: The Simpsons or Futurama?

A: The Simpsons.

Q: The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love. Is it true?

A: Depends on your point of view. But in my opinion independence is more important.

Q: Have you ever seen a ghost?

A: No I have not seen a ghost despite the fact that I have been in haunted places before, like the 1834 Herkimer County Jail here in H-.town. One ghost I was actually hoping to look for was the ghost of Grace Brown up at Big Moose Lake. Her murder up at the lake inspired the classic novel “An American Tragedy” and the film “A Place in the Sun.”

Q: Do you have a dreamcatcher?

A: No.

Q: Would you rather watch a movie or watch TV?

A: Watch a movie.

Q: Do you need glasses?

A: No.

Q: Which instrument do you wish you could play?

A: Electric guitar.

Q: Going to a wedding soon?

A: Haven’t been to a wedding and I’m not really planning on going to any in the near future.

Q: Do you wear watches? Why or why not?

A: Not really. My phone’s sort of taken the place of my watch.

Q: Have you been to your country’s capital?

A: Yes. I went to Washington, DC for my 8th grade class trip and that was waaaay back in 1993. We were there for three days.

Q: Are you good at keeping secrets?

A: Depends on what the secret is.

Q: How do you flirt?

A: On the Interwebs.

Q: Is it possible to fly on a violin?

A: Not that I’m aware of.

Q: Do you ever write notes on your hands?

A: Sometimes.

Q: How many pillows do you sleep with?

A: Two.

Q: How many boyfriends/girlfriends have you had?

A: Let’s just say I can count the number of girlfriends on one hand and leave at that, okay?

Q: Describe the worst fart ever.

A: It would probably be like a nuclear explosion, especially if you light a match.

Q: How do you handle a boring class/day of work?

A: One day at a time. Actually, I just work on material for videos.

Q: What game are you the best at pwning face at?

A: Super Mario Bros. 1-3.

Q: Who’s your favorite athlete?

A: Michael Jordan.

Q: Are you looking forward to the Olympics?

A: Well the Olympics have come and gone and the only reason I have to watch the Olympics is to look at all the hot female athletes so you could say that I was pretty excited to see the Olympics.

Q: Who do you consider to be the greatest action star of all time? If it’s too hard, choose 3.

A: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford

Q: What do you use for your alarm to awaken you?

A: An alarm clock although at times it can be unreliable. Other times, I use my phone.

Q: Do you say soda or pop?

A: Soda.

Q: Do you like Quentin Tarantino’s work?

A: Yeah, I like Quentin Tarantino. Pulp Fiction is one of my all-time favorite movies. Not sure yet if I want to see Django Unchained (mainly because it’s about slavery) even though I heard that Leo is supposed to be good in that as the evil slave owner. But other than that and the fact that I haven’t seen either Jackie Brown or Reservoir Dogs, I think Tarantino’s one of the awesomest directors ever.

And now let’s move on to the Meetme questions, even though there’s only two of them.

Q: How old do you think you’ll be when you get married?

A: Not getting married even if I do find someone.

Q: Are you single and would you date anybody you meet online?

A: Yeah, I’m single and maybe I’ll date someone I meet online.

And there you go, that is it for the Q & A’s for now while I am at college. That will at least buy me some time to get some more material in case I do more Q & A’s after the semester’s over. In the meantime, TAOB will continue and the movie reviews will continue. So here’s to the new semester.

Spider-Man (1977 TV Pilot)

Spider-Man, 1970’s style.

 

 

 

Today, since I didn’t get to do a new movie review, I decided to do a special old movie review and this one is a very rare find. It’s not available on DVD. However, I recently discovered it on YouTube and I figure why not review it. Here then is a review of “Spider-Man…” the 1970’s TV pilot.

Yeah, it’s almost as cheesy as the 60’s Batman TV series and the visual effects are primitive even by 70’s standards, but it sure is nostalgic. I remember seeing  this as a kid on Videodisc (if you’re as old as I am, you’ll remember videodiscs) and I thought it was really good back then.

There were obviously some liberties taken with the show. For one thing, Peter Parker (played here by Nicholas Hammond who at the time was known only as one of the Von Trapp kids in The Sound of Music) gets his super powers while in college. In the comics, he gets them while still in high school. He starts out as a photographer for the Daily Bugle before he gets bitten by the radioactive spider whereas in the comics, he works for the Bugle after becoming Spider-Man. There’s no mentioning of his Uncle Ben, whose murder gave Spidey his motivation and his “with great power comes great responsibility” philosophy. So he really has no motivation to become Spider-Man except that he was bitten by a radioactive spider and that he becomes a superhero just for the fun of it. Plus, Spidey’s too quiet. It’s like he’s more ninja than superhero in this one.

I know I’m nitpicking, but I am a die-hard Spider-Man fan. Deal with it.

But there are some things that stand out: For one, the funky “porn music” score (which almost every 70’s show seemed to have and this was no exception) and the wall-crawling effects, which seem unbelievable and impossible (even for a stuntman in the 70’s) to do. But to be fair, Spidey was a next-to-impossible superhero character to pull off back in the 70’s as opposed to now where we have CGI technology to bring him to life. And this show gets an A for effort.

The 2-hour pilot is basically an origin story. Peter gets his powers, becomes Spider-Man and fights crime. His first adversary in this one  is a self-help guru (played by Thayer David aka the boxing promoter from the first Rocky movie) who uses mind control to hypnotize select people to rob banks for him. His evil plan that Spidey has to foil is that he’s blackmailing the city in which unless the city pays him millions of dollars, he is going to hypnotize ten people to commit mass suicide.

Sure enough, the pilot episode launched the series, which lasted for two very short seasons, producing a total of 13 episodes before CBS pulled the plug, not because of ratings but because of “network politics.” CBS didn’t want to be known as the “Superhero Network.” At that time, CBS also had “Wonder Woman” and “The Incredible Hulk” on the air at that time.

But I can’t really pick on the show too much. After all, it was the 70’s. But those were the days. So if you’re nostalgic and want to see an early attempt to bring your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to TV or film, you might want to check it out.

Since it still is not available on DVD, if you want to watch it and don’t want to search for it, here it is:

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.”

Q & A Time Again

It’s that time again. Time for some more questions for me to answer in another blog posts. These were more questions that were asked of me on myyearbook.com and as before, the purpose of these questions is so that you can get to know me a little better. Everyone ready? Here we go.

1) Q: What was your earliest childhood memory?

A: Seeing “The Empire Strikes Back” when I was 2 years old. And I have a little story about that. The theater where I went to see “Empire” was a drive-in movie theater called the Sunset Drive-In theater that was located outside of Hudson, NY. The drive-in closed down back in the late 80’s (last I saw it was a mobile home lot), but in its day, I did see some really good movies there including “Star Trek III,” “National Lampoon’s European Vacation,” and the first “Back to the Future” movie. Ironically, this year marks that movie’s 25th anniversary. I have all three of those movies on video and I’m trying to get them on DVD. There’s also been some chatter about whether or not they’re going to rerelease the movie to theaters or release the films to Blu-Ray disc.

And while I am talking about drive-ins, the other drive-in where I went to growing up was the Hyde Park Drive-In in Hyde Park. Saw some more movies there including “Return of the Jedi,” “Gremlins,” “Superman III,” and a movie called “Deep Impact.” As far as I know, it was and still is there. But then again, I haven’t been back to the Hudson Valley in several years so I have no idea about the changes that have happened since I moved to Central New York. But one thing I do know is that there are very few drive-ins left in New York because they’re giving way to the air-conditioned multiplexes.

2) Q: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?

A: Spider-Man. Batman’s a very close second.

3) Q: Would you rather have tea or coffee?

A: Coffee. I am a coffee person and as I mentioned before, I take it black because with cream and sugar in it it looks like crap. But in defense of tea, I do like the Lipton Ice tea mixed tea on occasion.

4) Q: Have you ever lied about your age?

A: Never. I am a completely honest person.

5) Q: What do you think is the funniest show on television?

A: Well, when there were actually good shows on television, I watched such funny shows as “All in the Family,” “ALF,” “Married… With Children,” as well as a few I didn’t mention in the video including “The Simpsons,” “South Park,” and “Beavis and Butt-head.” But for me, the funniest show on TV (and they still air the show in reruns on WKTV) is “Seinfeld.”

And there you go. Hopefully I’ll have some more questions for you soon. If you want to ask me questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section. Remember, no offensive or too personal questions will be accepted.