January 6, 2017

Was trending of the #WorldIntrovertDay hashtag absurd?

It took me a while to read through over 24 hours of tweets from Jan/2 marked with the (then trending) hashtag #WorldIntrovertDay, which I believe is a great initiative. I read through many, many tweets of people who finally found the courage to speak about their introversion, who were happy that they can share with the world their uniqueness. I did press "like" on many of them - to make people aware that their voice is heard and that they are not alone.

However, what caught my attention, was that in between those tweets, there was a surprisingly frequent theme that it makes no sense, that a day dedicated to celebrating the introversion is trending. I found a full spectrum of negative sentiments in those tweets - from lack of understanding to sarcasm and irony, to hate and threatening.

Many expressed their belief that introverts are the last ones, who want to get someone's attention, that having an introversion related hashtag trending is an exact opposite of what an introvert would be looking for. That it's ironic, that, typically quiet people, got their voice heard and visible.  Some were more radical, in their opinions calling those who use the hashtag - "fake" or pseudo-introverts, who only want to present themselves as such because it's recently quite trendy (at least in their perception). I saw accusations that introverts are actually narcissists, overrating their own capabilities and traits, feeling superior to others, and the most extreme tweet was calling to wipe us all out (I did report it).

I realize that most of those people know NOTHING about introversion, still having all typical characteristics of an INTP ;-) I couldn't stop thinking about their point of view... was there indeed something wrong with that? Was it really so irrational to make the "celebration" of an Introvert Day so visible?

I don't think so. 

It's the AWARENESS, stupid! 

First, many introverts, do not realize they are introverts. They know they are different because they feel exhausted after social interactions, they consider themselves awkward seeing own misfit in the world... but they don't know why.

For me, the awakening (not of the force ;) came a few years ago, when I read the book Quiet by Susan Cain. It was a huge relief to learn that there are more like me around, and we're all perfectly normal, just different than the majority. We're typically quiet, don't advertise ourselves much, what makes it only harder to learn about other introverts and know that it's not only me who is different.

Since then I was reading a lot, to get a better understanding of myself - how my nervous system works, how do I think and how to make the best use of my traits. I did adjust my career path, change job role and finally found a place where I feel great being able to do things which gave me lots of satisfaction, allow me to grow and does not drain me.

Tweet this:
Characteristic of an #introvert is just a framework helping to understand an individual -people are not #stereotypes

Going through tweets, I did see many people writing that they are/were reading Quiet (as well as other books) and that they finally started to realize their own potential. I believe that spreading this message and encouraging others to learn more about introversion is something that we all shall be doing (that's one of the reasons why I created this blog and run the twitter and facebook accounts).
Should we reach others, who don't feel they fit well into the society, I hope it will help them to see the light, realize their powers (as well as limitations) and gain enough self-awareness to get over instead of hermiting deeper and deeper in their shells.

Bring it home to extroverts

Here comes the genesis of my social media accounts - which led to the blog... Since I learned about myself, I was looking for a way to explain introversion to an extrovert - a very important person in my life. Should you ever try this... it's harder than you think. Especially if, in their opinion, you only need to "want more" and work harder to "fix" yourself.

I see, raising awareness about introversion among extroverts, a valuable outcome of the trending #WorldIntrovertDay hashtag. Those who may constantly be annoyed by their introverted spouses, children, colleagues may get a moment of reflection, what I hope will bring a lot of good to their relationships and lives ;-)

I do not understand, those who were reacting to "our" hashtag with anger or hate... but this is probably the nature of the internet.

We can be very social (esp. social media social)

Lastly... it shall become evident to everyone that introvert does NOT mean asocial (nor antisocial), nor shy, nor misanthropic, nor... many other things. We simply overuse our slow-thinking part of the brain, what overwhelms and drains us a lot in situations with lots of stimulation (esp. around many people). 

There is nothing ironic in introverts being very visible in social media - this might actually be the most preferred way for us to run a campaign and interact with many people :-)

What do you think about the fact #WorldIntrovertDay was trending on Jan/2?
Share your thoughts on Twitter @IntrovertIN

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Was trending of the #WorldIntrovertDay hashtag absurd? via @IntrovertIN