Introversion Hysteria in the Social media-Augmented Society
WE humans crave for certain archetypes to idolize or celebrate over another. Doctors, scientists, soldiers, independent young people, rock stars, movie celebrities, businessmen – one or more archetypes have dominated over the other, as per socioeconomic or cultural realities or because of some deeper universal layer of consciousness. Nowadays, in this contemporary ‘everyone-is-connected’ world, the word or archetype that stirs up certain people is ‘introvert’. A google search of ‘introvert’ would bring you abundant digital media articles, vomiting rhetoric opinions, spouting dubious generalizations spelled out in bold letters, and cooking up countless number of alleged ‘scientific’ researches.
Of course merely using the word ‘introvert’ has gone out of fashion.Instead they chip in terms like ‘INFJ’, ‘INFP’, ‘INTJ’ or ‘Myers-Briggs Personality Test’, etc. ‘Five Undeniable Signs that you are…..’, ‘Five surprising ways to get the best out of introversion’, ‘How introverts and extroverts [embarasss themselves in] use Facebook’…the list goes on and on. Every one of these ‘expert’ lists opens by saying how complicated we human beings are, before misrepresenting the introvert archetype or wholly caricaturing it. The guy who hates the party; the girl who reads the books in solitude; the people who broods intellectually and comes up with fantastic ideas….hey! Being an internet-defined introvert or pretending to be one is cool, you know?
Social media or [internet in general] consistently does one thing: it bastardizes everything from ideology to personality traits. Try to read a book, watch an art film, whine about how you hate being with the crowd, and rant about how extroverts are block-headed idiots who ‘hate meaningful talk’ or ‘hate books’ in Facebook status updates…..then you are part of an in-crowd. Some one would fervently reply to your status update: ‘wow! You are spot on!’ to conform their allegiance to your biased view. It’s nice, right? To attune ourselves within these binary positions and get lost in the superficiality of virtual world?
What set off this unbridled fetish for introversion in internet space? It’s maybe due to the unprecedented or increasing level of superficiality in our communication. It’s an irony how advancement of communication technology has made our communication shallow, inauthentic and short. So there’s always a hunt for genuine-ness or real-ness amidst the hollowed spaces of internet. Few traits of extroversion like ‘never shutting up’ or ‘constantly being with circle of friends’ is singled out, enlarged, and eventually related with innate superficiality of social media (or internet communication). Naturally, the opposite of these traits become the perceived ‘real’ thing. We try to fill the ultimate emptiness of our digital presence by siding with caricaturized Facebook-augmented introvert type.
Call yourselves introvert or nihilist or existentialist or existential nihilist or loner or whatever is in the trend. By just calling ourselves something, we believe to have cast aside the shallowness of the digital space. However, by doing so (labeling without understanding) the superficial, nonsensical sludge of the social media never departs from us. I am not saying this is the only reason which led to the current unbearable introvert fetishism, but it may be one of the reasons. The important thing is to subscribe to the notion that sucking up to digitally trendy personality traits doesn’t make us cool. Moreover, nothing is as binary or unary as the stupid rhetoric in digital media articles.
Personally, I possess many traits of introversion, although I don’t try to wear it as a badge of approval. There’s of course something positive about this online craze (for introverts) because it helps towards acceptance of introversion in some of the complex real-world spaces (especially in the very-demanding office atmosphere). But these simplified manifestations of introversion or extroversion only tends to misuse or exoticize the terms. I came across many generalizing articles reiterating ‘why introverts love fb’ or ‘why introverts hate fb’. I must say that my dislike for Facebook (or other social media) has grown stronger to the point that I haven’t deactivated it, but just ignored it. I’d also like to add that it’s got nothing do with me being an introvert. It’s just because I am a complex, ever-changing human being like every one around me.