An Extrovert's Guide to Survival in an Introvert World (aka the Internet)

12:11 PM Gemma Fitz 4 Comments

Disclaimer: No offence whatsoever is intended towards any persons, living or dead, introvert or extrovert, by this post. Really. Please don't get upset.

One of the largest and most frequented systems in our universe is the Internet, the original homeland of that rare and mysterious species, the Introvert. Few but these savage natives would dare to venture beyond the planets of Facebook and Amazon into more dangerous areas such as Tumblr and Wattpad. Fewer still would have the courage to own their own personal asteroids, blogs, and Youtube channels. The dangers are simply too great, and so it is that, to this day, the Internet is still primarily populated by the Introverts. (That's why it's called the Internet: Inter meaning the same thing as Intro, whatever that means, and Net meaning home.)

There is, however, another vast species, known as the Extroverts. Members of said species are more often comfortable visiting the Party systems, the Friends Forever systems, and such like, but there is the occasional Extrovert who, burdened with more courage and curiosity than is good for him, sets forth to explore the uncharted territory of the Internet. It is for such a one that this guide was created.

When encountering a Native of the Internet (namely, an Introvert):

  1. Pay attention to the native's behaviour. Contrary to popular belief, not all Introverts are the same. Some, while labouring under the delusion that they are speaking to one of their own species, in their own home world, will act friendly and even goofy, much like an Extrovert does at all times. Others will act stiff and overly-professional no matter who they are talking to and where they are.
  2. Adjust your behaviour accordingly. If the Introverts you encounter act friendly, meet them halfway. If they talk a lot and in all caps, respond in the same manner. If they are sweet but brief and uninteresting, try to imitate them. If they act aloof and condescending, make sure you act even more so, to give the impression that you are superior. In the first three examples, this improves your chance of them liking you. In the last, the Introvert in question isn't going to like you anyway-- might as well make it clear that the feeling is mutual.
  3. Do not inform them that you are, in fact, an Extrovert until they have established that they like you. In most cases, after they have made up their minds (and even gone so far as to tell you) that they think you're a great guy, they will not back out once you reveal you belong to a different species. In the infrequent event that they immediately change their minds and decide they dislike you, don't worry. You don't want to be friends with people who are that racist, anyway.

It is entirely acceptable in some circles on the internet to randomly shout out things like "PARTAY" or, "TALK TO ME". In others, it most definitely is not.

Try to keep your head down in each new area you visit until you have learned the ropes. Once you've hung out for a couple months and gotten to know some people you will have a pretty good idea of what is socially acceptable in that community and what isn't. Just be sure not to send E Mails 1,000 words long to the wrong Introvert friend...

Many Introverts are actually proud of their "freak" status.

While visiting the Internet, you will likely find yourself being referred to by words such as "weird", "freak", "nerd", and "geek" by the other inhabitants. Don't get upset. For most Introverts and inhabitants of the Internet, these are all compliments. If someone calls you "nerd", it usually means he/she likes you and thinks you're actually pretty cool. In fact, it is likely that after spending some time in the Internet system, you will adopt a similar worldview and develop a deep-rooted pride in your "geek" status.

Some clubs and cliques are closed to Extroverts.

This is fine so long as you don't tell anyone you're an Extrovert and your Introvert act is convincing enough. With a little practice and self-control (especially in the way of excessive communication and social interaction), you can bluff your way into almost any community.

WARNING: You will at some point in your travels, whether soon or late, hear hate speech against your own species, the Extroverts. This is unavoidable.

Try to keep your cool. It only makes things worse when you lose your temper, or even when you try to politely correct those spreading such vicious slander. If you feel you must intervene, do not reveal that you are yourself an extrovert. Simply point out that "That's not a nice thing to say", in a way that befits a mild-mannered Introvert.

Sometimes it's best to just come out clean and reveal your true identity.

Not all Introverts are racist. Not all Introverts hate Extroverts. In fact, not all those you meet in the Internet system are actually Introverts at all. If that's your style, you might as well just shout out, "HEY! EXTROVERT HERE!" There may be some natives who will immediately retreat back into their caves to hide, and possibly even a few who will throw rocks and nasty epithets at you, but in general, Introverts are friendly and accepting, as long as they feel comfortable and accepted themselves. The Internet is where Introverts feel most comfortable because it is there where they feel they can be themselves without being criticized. As long as you don't ruin that understanding, accepting atmosphere, you will be welcomed.

Most of the time.
Are you an Extrovert? Introvert? Have you made any good friends who belong to the other group on the Internet? Would you agree that the Internet is more Introvert friendly?

4 comments:

  1. I LOVE this post! (Mind if I use all-caps? ;) ) You had me smiling the whole time through. It's so hilarious and sometimes true.

    I think the interactions of the physical and more tangible world is usually dominated by the Extroverts because it best suits them and their communication style. They have no fear of talking to be people. Being around people energizes them, therefore they dominate the realm of social gatherings. On the other hand, introverts tend to be prefer writing (I found this out more when I realized I'd rather text than *shivers* talk on the phone, but this isn't the case with all introverts, I'm sure). So we prefer to blog or tweet or whatever. Also, the virtual atmosphere allows us to communicate with people without their physical presence. Since it is normally more draining for us (when did I start saying 'us'?) to be around people, we still connect to friends without giving up our space and energy.

    Obviously, I'm an introvert.

    Love the John Green gif by of way. :D He's hilarious. I don't really think it's strange for introverts to be proud of their introvertness. Often times, extroverts are proud of what gives them their extrovertness. So it makes sense, yes?

    Extroverts are good people. Usually with good intentions toward their introverted friends. Besides without them, introverts probably wouldn't have many adventures outside the good ol' internet. ;)

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    1. Oh, I'm glad you liked it! AND ALL CAPS ARE MY FAVOURITE THING, YES, PLEASE USE THEM.

      I'm an extrovert (as you probably guessed from the post), but it's funny, a lot of the things you said about introverts, like preferring writing, esp. texting vs. phone calls, apply to me too. But I've always been a borderline extrovert. And while I agree with most of what you said comparing extroverts and introverts, I would like to point out that not all extroverts are the same, and there are, in fact, some that do have a fear of talking to people. (Like me. :P) But yes, as an extrovert, I desperately NEED to physically be around people in order to feel energized and motivated, while Introverts seem to be able to do fine with just "virtual" interaction.

      I love John Green gifs, but I've actually never read any of his books or seen his videos? xD I think it comes across as strange to extroverts (for whom the guide was designed), because most extroverts like to fit in and be accepted, and words like "freak", "geek", and "nerd" don't exactly describe someone who fits in. But I think that for a lot of introverts, the need to fit in isn't as strong, and they actually like standing out and being different? Or else maybe those labels help them fit in even better on the Internet. :P I'm not sure if I'm spot on there or not, but I do know that, even as an extrovert, I actually like being called a nerd, so I can relate, if I don't totally understand where the feeling comes from.

      Aw, now I feel good about being an extrovert. Truth is, extroverts and introverts are all wonderful people, and often they are all the more wonderful for their differences. I know I definitely appreciate my lovely introvert friends, and what would the internet be without introverts?

      Thanks for the long comment, I love it when people obviously put so much thought and time into commenting. :)

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    2. Really? You don't like talking on the phone and some extroverts do fear talking to people? DO YOU KNOW HOW NOT ALONE I FEEL NOW!?

      Ahem. That didn't cross my mind. But there are introverts who don't always fit the stereotype (I say we through throw stereotypes out the window). So why not extroverts too? Duh. *headdesk* This makes complete sense actually.

      I see both sides of what you're saying here. Though I'm not sure if these labels help introverts fit in on the Internet so much as in general. For instance a term like "life of the party" would be a positive title for an extrovert. An introvert wouldn't much like to have be that label. They don't belong to the group of parting, outgoing people. It's not who they are. But they do identify as a "nerd" or "geek" because that is where they belong. I think introverts do like to stand out (I think everyone might like to stand out but on different terms). For instance an extrovert might like to stand out as the life of the party, while an introvert would rather occupy a corner and not be noticed (speaking from my experience). But an introvert might prefer to stand out in different circles or situations, just not in the same way as an extrovert would. I'm not sure if any of this is actually making sense (it made sense in my head at least. . .). Also though I think you are right in what you said. There are so many different people! As you pointed out in the second paragraph and I had previously failed to realize, people are different even within their own labels or circles such as "extrovert" and "introvert." So one extrovert may have different reasons for a preferring a label than another extrovert might have for the preferring the same label and vice versa with introverts.

      The world has so many diverse individuals, not even two people can possibly be presumed the exact same. And I LOVE IT! I think this is why I like "figuring out" people. Nobody is ever the same. Everyone is different and so fascinating!

      (I've only read one John Green book. . . it wasn't bad, but not my favorite. His gifs are still awesome! :D)

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    3. Actually, the dislike of phone conversation is a widespread problem among Meyer's-Briggs ENFPs (my type). And ENFPs are extroverts, so... And yes, I'm terrified of talking to people (even online, it sometimes gives me the jitters). Very few people who meet me in real life would guess that I'm an extrovert until they got to know me better. I imagine there are many other extroverts who are the same way. SO YES, YOU INTROVERTS ARE NOT AS ALONE AS YOU FEEL. :D

      Stereotypes are the worst. :)

      Hmm... that's interesting. I'd never considered that an introvert might actually dislike the label "life of the party" or something like that. And true, there are some extroverts who love to stand out. I'm the type of person who likes to fit in as much as possible, so I'll neither try to attract attention, nor will I try to hang out alone in a corner-- you're more likely to find me socializing awkwardly with a small group of acquaintances. I guess you're right-- it totally depends on the individual.

      Exactly!! While I love things like the Meyers-Briggs types and introvert/extrovert differentiation, when it comes down to it, they're just guidelines, and there is so much variety within those guidelines. We mustn't lose sight of the individual while studying the stereotype. :)

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