It seemed to me, with more and more introverts online, that this post deserved attention again:
So many of my friends, and my husband’s friends too, will not believe I am an introvert. But the truth is I am and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When online social networking came along for me, a few years ago, I jumped in and even lead the way for most of my extrovert friends as it being a place to network with a return on investment.
For me, and likely other introverts, online is a perfect way to meet friends and have an easier way to make business connections – all in one activity and with less energy drain. By actively using online networking for friendships most introverts can help themselves if they would like to move in the direction of letting their little seen social side appear to the degree of attracting both friends and business connections.
Career and business reality check: who you know is still high value. While socializing, even networking, in person can be a challenge, using online for the purpose of connecting is a blessing for those with an introvert preference of more solitude. While influence is still about who you know, it’s also how many you know. In my own online networking I’ve found that playing in the numbers game of how many people you know, I get closer to who is it I want to know. I don’t believe I would have met someone like Bob Burg, the author of the fabulous book, The Go-Giver, without online social media. Of course it took courage and encouragement from a Master Mind group for me to connect with him via telephone but, it happened! Why not give yourself that advantage of the numbers to get you to who you want to meet without exhausting yourself?
Healthy reality check: turn up your energy. Whether you are connecting for friendships, or connections for business, energy goes into nurturing that relationship. But the more introverted like myself really don’t get a charge from that kind of time investment too often: we get a charge from solitude first, and more intimate one to one relationships second. Being able to control the online engagement more and rather easily can give us just that boost without depleting ourselves. Still, you want to check in with yourself to see if the online activities are starting to loose their attractiveness because you are approaching things more and more like an extrovert – too many activities, far too many conversations that go no where, on too many venues, with too many people.
Friendship reality check: you had me at, “What do you think about that?” Many friendships can help us grow on a personal level. Often starting a conversation with someone online is an easy stepping-stone on the path to a more meaningful conversation. Quite often after someone invites me to connect with him or her, it leads to quite the inspiring telephone or Skype call. It’s often a more purposeful, rather than a random conversation, that helps us know who it is we want to get to know further. Usually I let my intuition guide me for who and who not to accept an invitation from. Heck! In general it’s often more common sense for some reality checks. If I get the default LinkedIn invitation to connect, and there’s no picture, an incomplete profile and either no indication that I can intuit of why would connect, or a real stink of “here comes the sales pitch,” then I use common sense and select, Ignore.
Knowledge reality check: personal growth can grow by leaps. Let’s face it, sometimes to experience new things we more introverted need that encouragement of someone more extroverted. The friends I’ve acquired through the years, pre-internet and post-online social media, tend to be a mix. The ones who help me to meet more people often lead me to find new hobbies, interests and again, new people. My husband is my biggest advocate in this. He’s always (I do mean always) singing, “I met someone who you are really going to want to meet!” Then he lets me know how I might enjoy talking with them about Long Island (that’s where I’m from), or about grandchildren (I have two granddaughters) or something that he found there was common ground about. The same thing can happen online where someone you meet lets you know, this is another person to connect with for a distinct advantage.
Happiness reality check: finding happiness and success gets easier. Work-life balance today is really an oxymoron; it’s a thing of the past. The phrase implies that these are separate areas that we live in and we might want to give them 50/50 attention. Closer to the truth these days is to think about being able to manage work and life happiness and satisfaction. The more introverted of us might be closer to reaching those kind of dreams online where you can have more control over certain pieces of the journey. You can more easily manage conversations with friends in small doses. You can take time to think things through before speaking your mind to someone you would like to friend. You can rejuvenate yourself almost anytime you want. You can decide if it’s beneficial for you to connect for either social or business reasons. You actually get to spend more time with your mind if you like instead of connecting at all, and how cool is that?
We are social beings whether we are an introvert, extrovert or any other label you want to put on people. If you want more friends or just better friends, if you want business connections who you can help and who can help you, or if you want to be yourself and at the same time have an easier time being friendly, even approachable, they you can benefit in almost any area of life from making online social networking your next good friend.
How do you make online social networking for yourself?
Connect with me, Patricia is on Google+