“Introverts are like a rechargeable battery. They need to stop expending energy and rest in order to recharge.” ~Marti Olsen Laney
I’m a friendly introvert. I enjoy public speaking. At a party, I introduce people to one another and keep the conversation going. I train other professionals, chair meetings, tutor teenagers, and go to two book clubs and a neighborhood Scrabble game a month. People who know me think I’m warm and caring
So what makes me an introvert? At some point, I hit a wall. Being around people stops being exciting and starts to exhaust me. Like the author of the Rebecca Review, “I’m often drained of all energy after being with people for extended periods of time, but being with a book can set me on fire with creativity and energy.”
Can introverts thrive on social media? Absolutely. But you have to do social your way.
- Listen first. You don’t have the impulse the extroverts have to walk through the door and be the life of the party. So, you don’t have to fight that impulse. Go with your strength. Listen first. Find out who else is in the “room” and what they find interesting.
- Support others. Repost, retweet, forward, and in any manner share comments you agree with. People will be used to hearing good things from you. Eventually, they’ll listen to your thoughts too.
- Write. In writing, you get to express your authentic self, the one that sometimes gets lost in crowds. Be yourself. Write in your own voice. Write often.
- Reflect. Take time to think. Add something to the conversation, even if it’s restating an idea in a clearer, more memorable way. Don’t doubt yourself–you have plenty to say–but make sure to post something others will want to read. Prize quality over quantity.
- Take time off. Even though social media do mediate–you’re not actually facing people or talking in real time–participation can be tiring. Write and schedule your posts ahead if you can, but if you need to take some time off and just forget about it, that’s OK.
(If you don’t believe me that people will still want to read you after you take a break, check out what Michelle Rafter wrote about her social media sabbatical. it works!)
Welcome to social media, introverts. When you have a quiet moment, drop me a line. I’d love to hear your comments.