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Are we as a society becoming more introverted?

As technology has continued to expand, we've become more and more reliant on digital communication -- and the pandemic has only accelerated the trend. People are no doubt communicating more via social media, text, and instant messaging apps than ever before.  Let's enter a time capsule and go back to the late 90s/early 2000s, when America Online (now AOL) was in its heyday. While many people jumped on the chat room and IM train, it was nowhere near as ubiquitous as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are today.  We must acknowledge, of course, that smartphones weren't a thing yet. Now, thanks to the wide adoption of WiFi and data plans, we can keep in touch with friends and family at the push of a button, no matter where we are.  As I've addressed in prior posts, COVID helped to usher in a new era of remote work. Yes, some companies were already allowing employees to work from home, but it was more sporadic, on an as-needed basis. Now we're witnessing people -- introver

Introverts' first true taste of freedom is...

This really applies not only to introverts but to everyone who grew tired of the shackles of secondary school.  But I would venture a guess that most of my fellow introverts were picked on at some point in their middle/high school years, whether because they were deemed the teacher's pet, a nerd, antisocial, or unnervingly quiet.  That's why starting college was undoubtedly a breath of fresh air in many an introvert's eyes. Newly released from the stigmas that followed some of us since elementary school, we viewed it as an opportunity to rebrand or reinvent ourselves.  No longer would Kenny, whom you met in kindergarten and graduated high school with,  ensure that everyone in your midst knows you're exceedingly taciturn, as he was now off to a college thousands of miles from yours.  In college, everyone is treated like an adult because now they're footing the bill for their education. Students looking to be spoon-fed need not apply.  Don't want to go to class? F

Something introverts fear is about to end for good

If you asked any introvert to name the one thing they've appreciated the most about this new reality ushered in by the pandemic, working from home is sure to be a popular answer.  That being said, in light of the fact that Covid is beginning to recede, it's no surprise many fear this flexibility will soon be coming to an end.  It's not to say that extroverts don't value being able to work in their pajamas and binge on Netflix while crunching numbers.  But on the whole, introverts -- who are partial to written communication -- are less enthusiastic about a return to face-to-face interactions.  Because our social batteries drain more easily than those of our more extroverted counterparts, we haven't found ourselves in need of a recharge quite as often these past few years.  Sure, Teams and Zoom meetings aren't always fun, but we'll take them any day of the week over having to be present for pointless brainstorming sessions and water cooler conversations. Not o

Do introverts really think they're better than everyone else?

All introverts -- or at least a great many of us -- have been unjustly described as arrogant.  This one really rankles me. It's yet another case of judging a book by its cover without knowing all the facts -- of making snap judgments without fully getting go know someone. Unfortunately, introverts fall victim to this miscalculation quite frequently.  Many people assume that because we introverts tend to keep to ourselves, we are unapologetically haughty -- that we walk around carrying some form of superiority complex.  This, of course, couldn't be farther from the truth.  I have never in my life thought myself superior to anyone. Do I think certain people are full of it? Yes. Do I think some ought to think more carefully through their words before opening their mouths? You bet.  But people who know little to nothing about introversion often make a reflexive assumption that we think we're too "good" to talk to others. They misinterpret our often retiring nature as

Why introverts guard their time so fiercely

If I asked what the most precious asset we have in life is, what would you say? Money? No, we can always recoup that. Love? We can find it in different people and places. Health? While important, a person can reverse a decline if they act soon enough -- whether by losing weight, going to the doctor more often, and so on. So what is the most precious resource we have, you ask? It's none other than time, and introverts are cognizant of it. Sure, you can find ways to better organize your time so that there's more of it to go around -- whether for friends, hobbies, or sheer relaxation.  Perhaps it entails taking a less demanding job, moving closer to work to shave time off your commute, or using services like Uber Eats and Instacart to have food delivered. It's about doing little things to tweak your daily routine so that less time is spent on minutiae.  But here's the thing: No matter what you do tomorrow, today isn't coming back -- ever. The time you're spending r

Why introverts must nurture a positive self-view

Introverts very often tend toward the negative -- whether in our career, our relationships, or our general outlook on life. It's a habit of which many of us are conscious, but find awfully difficult to kick, much like smoking and overeating.   Whether it's because we aren't invited to a gathering (even though part of us might be glad we're staying home instead), we receive a poor review at work for being too quiet, or an acquaintance dismisses us as snobby out of sheer ignorance, such incidents can see our self-esteem take a beating.  When you view yourself negatively, your actions may be unconsciously affected by that internal negativity, which may prevent you from attaining the happy experiences you desire. If you feel you're unworthy of a good, well-paying job or enriching relationship, you cease engaging in behaviors that would help you corral those things. You may in fact sabotage yourself by gravitating toward positions or partners who aren't good for you.

Living through a pandemic: It's not all bad to introverts

A pandemic sweeps the entire world almost overnight, causing businesses to close, schools to pivot to online instruction, and people to panic -- except, perhaps, for one small subset of the population.  It's as if introverts had been waiting for this moment their whole lives. No longer having to attend social engagements? Being able to work from home for 18 months? Enjoying a Friday night at home without being chided for it? Most of us probably thought we were having a dream -- one from which we did not want to wake up. It's not to say that introverts haven't missed meeting up with family at a busy restaurant for dinner, celebrating birthdays with co-workers, or attending concerts with friends.  The difference now is that saying "I'll pass" (if an outing is proposed to begin with) doesn't rub people the wrong way like it used do. It's become acceptable to decline if your concern relates to catching the virus, whether because of crowds, lack of social d

Why introverts need a break from social media

Who would have thought that social media platforms would evolve into the juggernauts they are today? From teenagers to soccer moms to grandpas, practically the entire world has a presence on sites like Facebook. To be fair, such platforms certainly came in handy last year at the onset of this seemingly endless pandemic, when people across the world were forced put their in-person social lives on hold and hunker down.  It gave us a way to stay connected with friends and family. Sure, pictures, videos, and likes were no substitute for the real thing, but at least it kept us abreast of significant events -- from work promotions to baby announcements -- in the lives of those who matter most to us.  But as the saying goes, everything has its pros and cons. And social media has an  unmistakably dark side.  Sites like Facebook have become a breeding ground for drawing comparisons between ourselves and others -- largely thanks to the continuous stream of videos and posts that saturate our News