8 Reasons Why Introverts Rule the Interactive Age

8 Reasons Why Introverts Rule the Interactive Age image loner 300x199

“Another encore?! Dear Lord, who does three encores?? Must. Remain. Calm.”

After spending the 20th century in relative silence, introverts are poised to rule the Interactive Age.

Social media has changed the way we communicate. The extroverted approach to communication in the 20th century—one-size-fits-all programming, in-your-face advertising, and dictatorial monologues—has been replaced by a more thoughtful and empathetic discourse that involves listening to the ideas of others, engaging in dialogue, offering comments and opinions, and sharing interesting content.

And no one is better prepared for this communication revolution than introverts. Here are the eight reasons why introverts will rule the Interactive Age:

 1. Introverts create remarkable content. Content is the currency of social media, and nobody writes better than introverts. Introverts are highly observant by nature. While extroverts are talking, introverts are watching, thinking, processing. This–combined with the fact introverts have the willpower (heck, the desire) needed to be alone with only their thoughts for hours at a time–makes many of them uniquely gifted  storytellers.

2. Introverts get right to the point. At eight seconds, our average attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. And when we’re online, we make that goldfish look like a Russian chess master. To succeed online, you need to get to the point quickly without sacrificing creativity. Having spent their entire lives avoiding small talk, introverts are experts at cutting through discussions about the weather and getting right to the issues that matter.

Related Resource from B2CWebcast: PR Hacking: How Ideas Spread And What Marketers Need to Know

3. Introverts build strong relationships (with selected people and communities). Social media has divided our world into countless communities that exchange ideas and information based on shared beliefs and interests. Successful social media engagement is not defined by how many friends you have on Facebook, but how strong your connection is with the communities you care about.

Because they are naturally empathetic, observant, and good listeners, introverts are masters at building strong relationships. But those same qualities—which can be quite exhausting—also limit the number of people and communities introverts choose to build relationships with. So they tend to invest heavily in the relationships that are special to them, making those engagements all the more meaningful.

4. Introverts will share the stage. Social media is about sharing—sharing your ideas and opinions; sharing the ideas and opinions of others with your friends; and sharing your website with guest bloggers. Introverts are experts at sharing, especially when it involves ideas. Because introverts live in their heads, they are fascinated by new ideas. And they’ve long since discovered that you’ll come across new ideas faster by listening than by talking. So given the chance, an introvert will happily share the social-media stage with you.

5. Introverts will share your content. The hardest thing for an extrovert to learn about social media is that it’s not “about me.” It’s “about us.” And the key to making your social media “about us” is to comment on and share remarkable content created by others. Introverts by their very nature are givers. The minute they walk into a room with at least one other person in it, they are giving their attention, emotions, and energy to that person, often without the other person realizing it (especially if she is an extrovert). Introverts will reflexively share remarkable content with their friends because they are givers—and because it is so much less tiring than giving away their energy.

6. Introverts are authentic and transparent. On the Internet, everyone knows when you’re lying. Transparency and authenticity trump flash and pizazz every single time. And while this new truth-in-advertising ethos is crippling the most successful extroverts of the 20th century, it is proving to a boon for introverts, who quite honestly have a hard enough time mustering up the energy for a truthful conversation, let alone a deceitful one. Their lifetime of being candid and honest has honed their conversation skills, making them charismatic and diplomatic storytellers–traits that social media rewards.

7. Introverts are extremely comfortable with online relationships. Lock an extrovert in a room with nothing but a laptop and Internet service and pretty soon you’ll be replacing the door he kicked open. Introverts, on the other hand, can practically live online. For some it is the solution to a lifetime of wanting to share ideas, thoughts, and dreams with close friends … who are nowhere near them. As a result, the Internet has transformed many introverts into the Dale Carnegies of the online world. They share ideas, connect friends, and share the best websites–all while sitting in their yoga pants and sweatshirt in the safety and comfort of their bedroom.

8. Introverts invented the Internet.

Discuss This Article

Comments: 16

  • Annette Vaillancourt, Ph.D. says:

    I am so happy to see articles like this that tout the strengths of introverts. As an introvert I have run 2 successful businesses marketed primarily by sharing useful content to my niche. I am embarking on a third business and will follow the same strategy.

    • John Doyle says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Your success in business is a testament to the power of Introverts!

    • Samar Misra says:

      I am so happy to hear this Annette! I am an ISFJ and at times feel like an ambivert lol. I feel more twds the introvert side in a way. I am leaning on a paying career of traveling the globe and doing humanitarian work.

  • Dr. Jareth Smith, M.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., A.P.A. says:

    Since the advent of the internet people have been learning a lot more about introverts, which is great. As one myself it’s nice to have our reflective, insightful nature picked up upon. Until not it’s been about extroverts dominating the business world.

    Good post, thank you!

    • RR says:

      What – no MBA? Kidding. Seriously, I too am an introvert but have “met” some very interesting people on line, with “conversations” that have spanned several years.

  • Simon Rawson says:

    How do you know me so well??? Very insightful, John.

  • George Austin says:

    Excellent article. You did a marvelous job of describing those of us who often sit in the shadows. Thanks.

    I will be sharing this on my social media pages, and I’m going to follow your work. As a direct response copywriter I understand the power of stories so I’m always seeking new sources to help me hone the craft.

    Thanks!

  • Bonnie Zink says:

    Thank you for posting this succinct guide to why introverts flourish online! As a long-time introvert, I found my stride when digital communications became just as important as face-to-face meetings. I’ve developed and nourished many online relationships that not only pay off for those in the relationship, but have resulted in interesting projects and other accomplishments. I love it online, but I am a bit of a fish out of water in person. Go figure!

  • Adam says:

    I’d be interested to see what an extrovert has to say about this article (maybe they disagree?) as it seems my fellow introverts make up all the comments so far. Still, it’s nice to see that some thought has gone into this topic. You’ve really highlighted on some qualities that tend to go overlooked in western society.

  • Nadia McDonald says:

    This article is very accurate. Introverts are considered bashful individuals, but they blossom in their individual roles. Like it was indicated, they meditate often, observe, analyze each situation and are acute listeners. These traits has enabled them to effectively master the art of communication, that has propelled them be innovators and problem solvers.

  • Julie Pigdon says:

    Great article John!

    However I am not sure if it is constructive to talk about the Extroversion/Introversion continua in terms of better and worse. This implies a value judgement and it is not a case of right or wrong, better or worse. It is just a case of difference.

    Nor is it that black and white. Introverts have moments of extroversion and vice versa. Behaviour is largely situational, so I think it is more the case of suitable versus unsuitable; skilful versus unskilful.

    It may have been introverts that created the net, but it was extroverts who sold it to the world.

    Cheers,

    Julie

  • Anneice Love-Coady says:

    Awesome article!

  • Charles Mungo says:

    I especially like #s 1, 2 and 3

  • Gill says:

    Thank you for the article which I found interesting to read because I have for a few years now been fascinated by personality profiling. Therefore I am always keen to read reflections such as this. However; I think the observations of the author, whilst probably very accurate about introverts, were rather perjorative towards extroverts. The writer portrays them as narcissistic, overbearing, insensitive and generally uninterested in and unable to sustain their concentration long enough to really enjoy social media. I have met introverts who exhibit all or some of these traits as well as extroverts who have them…it really is a shame when an otherwise interesting article has been spoilt by rather extreme generalisations about the other half of the Myers Briggs spectrum. And yes, I am an extrovert who loves social media and hates in your face advertising amongst other things attributed to us in the article!

  • Marissa Davidson says:

    I like the way you differentiate Introvert from Extrovert. What a great post indeed! But in some ways, I believe that an extrovert can be or have a great part in Social media Industry by ways of expressing their emotions through blog posting, and other networking sites.

  • Kathy says:

    Beyond the context of business success and advantage, you have to wonder if the reverse is also true: “The Interactive Age” is making us more and more introverted. Good thing, bad thing? Does technology create us just as much as we create technology?
    There’s your metaphysical moment of the day. :)

Add a New Comment

Thank you for adding to the conversation!

Our comments are moderated. Your comment may not appear immediately.