I realized something the other day: my online presence and social interaction is surprisingly similar to my presence and social interaction at a big party.
When I go to a big party, I tend to do one of two things: latch on to someone I know the whole time, or meander endlessly until the party is over. I'm very much an introvert. Now to clarify a little: introversion is not shyness! Shyness stems from a lack of self confidence and/or self esteem; introversion, on the other hand, has to do with how your body and mind recuperate and spend energy. Introverts gain energy best through quiet or solitary activities; extroverts, on the other hand, gain energy through social interaction: the more the merrier!
On the other hand, introverts tend to lose energy very quickly in large social settings. We tend to be the quiet ones, the ones who stay out of the fray as much as possible. There's a simple reason for it: the hustle, bustle and din of social settings exhaust us! That's not to say that we can't or shouldn't participate, we just have to take periodic breaks, retreating to a quieter locale for a few minutes to recharge our batteries.
And extroverts, if you haven't guessed, lose energy in quiet, solitary activities. They fall asleep when they read books or watch movies; they (generally) prefer hobbies that involve other people (like team sports, etc.). These are the people who thrive in a crowd. They tend to pester us introverts to accompany them to a party or something like that because they're bored staying at home. :)
Now that I've rambled on for a while, I've noticed that I tend to interact online in much the same way that I interact in large social settings. I read a lot of blogs, but I don't comment on every post. In fact, I don't comment on very many, especially when there're already a bunch of comments. However, I am more likely than others to send the blogger in question a quick email to share my opinion. If I've done this to you and it bothered you, I'm sorry; to me it feels more personal and I wanted to make sure your read my note. (when I see a long list of comments on a post, I always think the blogger will have stopped reading comments by that time.)
I've found that being a consistent blogger is a real challenge for me. I don't have a long-term plan for how my blog is going to run; I don't plan my posts before hand (other than to try to find an interviewee). You will, undoubtedly, have noticed that my own posts (not counting guest bloggers and interviews) are rather sporadic. That's because I often don't have something worthwhile on my mind. But I think you'll also appreciate that the posts I do write, with a very few capricious exceptions, are very important topics to me that I really want to talk about. And I really appreciate the comments that so many of you leave. They totally make my day!
So, through my meandering train of thought, we come down to this: I know I'm a bit eccentric in my blogging habits, and I really appreciate all of you who read and comment on this blog. I hope you enjoy talking with me too. I really do enjoy being a small part of this little community.
So, what's your digital social bent? Introvert or extrovert?
OH! I almost forgot! If you want to learn more about introversion, I recommend The Introvert Advantage, by Marti Olsen Laney. This book taught me more about myself than I ever thought possible!