Sunday, 14 September 2014

Is Facebook a good way for introverts to express themselves?

A friend of mine has recently left Facebook, and so has a guy I follow on YouTube. I'm sure there are others who are in the process of doing the same. Whilst I have no intention of leaving Facebook anytime soon, I think it's always good to question why I use Facebook to the extent I do. And there's little doubt in my mind that part of my 'purpose' for using Facebook is so that I can be heard - throughout my life, I have found it difficult to truly express myself and consequently I have not felt like I have been heard as the person I really am.

Those of you who know me in real life may have noticed that I am a somewhat different person on Facebook. Talking to people in real life conversations is not something that comes easily or naturally to me at times, but writing about things on Facebook comes a lot more easily. Okay, we all write things on Facebook that we wouldn't say in a normal conversation - like no-one says 'lol' - but why is it that expressing myself on Facebook is a lot easier than in real life? I'm sure I'm not the only introvert that uses social media a lot - so the question is - is Facebook and social media good for introverts?

Generally speaking I'd say a resounding yes, although there is the danger of spending too much time on Facebook, and I have certainly been guilty of that over the years. It's easy to use Facebook as a means to feel connected to the outside world, especially in my circumstances where I live on my own and am still rebuilding my life in a new town. I still need to become more connected within myself. But I think some people are too focused on the negatives of Facebook and social media, when in fact there are many positives. The key is to achieve a good balance between social media and real life. I haven't quite achieved that yet, but hopefully I will be able to do so in the next few months.

Is this a good 'expression' of myself? Maybe ..
So - what is easier about expressing myself on Facebook?
1) I can think about what I want to say. No-one knows whether it has taken me 10 seconds or 10 minutes to come up with a post. Maintaining conversations can sometimes be hard for me because I'm not the quickest at thinking at what to say.

2) There's less chance of making a fool of myself. Phew. Honest admission here. I may sound stupid on Facebook sometimes, but if I was to say some of the same things in real life, I'd probably make a complete idiot of myself. A recent post I made said 'I'd rather someone say 'you rock, dude' - in real life, I'd need good body and facial expressions to say that sort of thing - and that's something I fall back on a bit. Also, some of the posts I make can be a bit on the emotional side .. and if I said those same things in real life, people might want me sectioned.

3) I am fairly sensible with who I keep on my Facebook friends, and I know that mostly, people will accept me for who I am on there. In real life, I'm not with the same people all of the time.

4) I just find it easier to express myself through writing than through talking. That's just a fact. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with that at all. Writing goes beyond the realms of talking - and so it should. Many successful books contain words and sentences that would not be used in regular conversations. Writing can reach tens, hundreds, even millions of people, whereas talking usually cannot.

5) Expressing myself through writing is a key part of my creative side. Like most if not all introverts, I don't care much for small talk. I'd rather get into the deeper stuff. That said, it can feel quite theraputic putting up pointless Facebook posts about what I am doing today. God knows why.

6) Introverts can find it difficult to thrive and express themselves in this fast paced world. With Facebook and social media, you can make use of it in whatever way you want.

Whilst I would like to be able to express myself a bit more through the spoken word and talking to others, social media is a good start. I just need to figure out a way to get the right balance.

If you are an introvert, do you feel that social media is a good way to express yourself?


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