The New Loudmouths

I have a theory that will annoy & offend a good deal of you, & that’s fine, because theories are meant to be tested. But I have observed something over the past few years with tremendous consistency, & I am confident I will be proven right by one of the behavioural sciences within the next ten years.

The new extroverts are all the people sitting at home, binge watching television, & posting angry crap online from their phones. They never leave the house, but they make pronouncements & yell at hundreds of people they don’t even know every. damn. day.

The new introverts are the people who have pretty much sworn off social media & go outside the house a couple few times a week to go be with actual people face to face.

“Now you wait a minute here, jerk,” says you from your couch, on your phone, binge watching Game of Thrones (whole posting criticism of people who have never seen it). “I am a delicate flower who cannot be around too much People Energy. Hence, I am an introvert. I express myself online because it’s hard in person.”

Oh pish tosh. The only difference between pronouncing to a Facebook group of 10,000 women that you hate someone’s wedding dress & standing in front of 10,000 people pointing at a bride & saying “I hate her dress” is that nobody can throw Jordan almonds at you online. You can just block people whose criticisms & opinions annoy you.

That’s not introversion. That’s cowardice.

Imagine having to say to that girl in person, “I hate your dress. It’s stupid. You’re stupid. You should have the designer shot, except I hate guns.”

I used to find the wedding bashing groups amusing, for about a month. Sometimes they were funny, & sometimes there were fun facts about different cultures. But what I realized fairly quickly was that when thousands of women who have been locked behind their phones nearly their whole lives encounter novelty, they go for the kill. This includes ideas they’ve never thought of, people they’ve never encountered, & things they’ve never seen.

And if those new (to them) people explain their ideas or customs, they get reamed by hundreds of mean spirited little delicate flowers behind their phones.

What is “introverted” about having a strident, uninformed opinion that you yell without hearing any discussion? You may as well head on downtown & start screaming random obscenities at passers by like some of the homeless people. That’s exactly what you sound like.

Conversely, my friends who avoid social media like the plague, text infrequently, & attend a number of conferences & events come across like introverts in this new weird society. When they sit down to talk to friends, they don’t whip out the latest angry clickbait diatribe. They don’t (usually) talk about things that happened on tv (though they may recommend a show).

They give a lot of speeches or they themselves perform, but they talk with and listen to a select few people. They don’t value the opinion of talking heads on cable news, they think the Internet is filled with half-assed infotainment, & they have clear boundaries when it’s time to go home & rest. Does that sound extroverted by your own definition? Probably not.

They focus on their families & their friends…not their followers. As a reformed Twitter addict, I get it. I definitely made some good friends via Twitter, but it is impossible to receive the same soul-gratifying satisfaction of real human connection from interacting with thousands of people every day. Every statement is a performance. It’s like you’re doing a bit all the time, which is why it’s a fantastic platform for comedians.

I don’t want to be “doing a bit” all the time. I want to love & be loved by my own precious, carefully curated circle of trusted, beloved people.

That makes me sound introverted, but I’m constantly accused of being a high energy extrovert. Y’all should see my ass in the morning, struggling for hours to get the energy to “do the world.” But once I have it, I like to be in it, Doing the Things.

When you’re out in the world, your concerns are merely whoever’s in front of you. Your focus is on another set of eyes.

Turn off your notifications & go do things with people. Sit across from someone who might even disagree with you, & you’ll have to solve it civilly rather than uSinG ThIs sUpEr iRriTatiNg tRoPe. Imagine treating people with respect, rather than opening an app & revving yourself up with self righteousness.

Disconnect from the Collective. Resistance is not futile. You’re not always right. Your selfies are never ugly & you know that or you wouldn’t post them. I’m talking to millions of women right now. Millions.

Go. be. pretty. in. person. You can’t delete that later. Idk.

-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-:-

Because I’m barely on social anymore, you’ll just have to learn about my books here in paperback & Kindle formats.

2 thoughts on “The New Loudmouths

  1. blake says:

    Introversion, literally “looking inward” is (or can be) a neurotic state. I used to challenge my programming peers with that notion: There is no survival value to “being an introvert”. Humans are social creatures, and when you compulsively look inward, you are not attuned to threats and opportunities in the environment.

    But you could also say extroversion, “looking outward”, can also be neurosis, an unwillingness to look inward. The punchline being that whenever you’re doing anything compulsively, you’re not really looking outward, you’re looking at some of your own personal baggage that says something like “I must always talk and yell and react to motion in the environment.”

    But the superficial characteristics associated with each trait, filtered through online do indeed look reversed. Safe to say that the people yelling and screaming online are not actually extroverted, except in the aforementioned neurotic sense. Meanwhile, the people who quietly and selectively go out and interact, are not neurotically introverted, they’re just picking and choosing their level of social interaction. They may momentarily introvert, to reflect on choices or enjoy a remembrance, but they’re not stuck there.

    And there’s my rather wordy two cents.

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