No, The Internet Does Not Make Introverts More Introverted

In one of those hilariously ponderous technology-meets-society stories for which the New York Times exists today, fabled internet thinker Clay Shirky (pictured) makes the following declaration: "Digital media is an amplifier. It tends to make extroverts more extroverted and introverts more introverted." This is false.

Does digital/ social media make extroverts more extroverted? Well, maybe; it certainly allows them to broadcast themselves to more people more easily. But does it make introvert more introverted? Not at all. In fact, it does the opposite. Digital and social media are the absolute easiest ways for introverts to become extroverts. They remove that crucial introvert's stumbling block: actual human interaction. On the internet, introverts can give speeches, write essays, make arguments, post videos, and generally share every last detail of their own lives without ever having to experience the withering gaze of another human being. (Or even hear anyone's voice, for that matter, for those who hate phones.) The internet was made for introverts. It is their salvation. It is, at last, the thing that will deliver them from introversion—at least virtually. This is also why many people who are quite eloquent on the internet are dorks in person.

This is also why you should never take a "digital media pundit's" word for anything, just because it sounds plausible. "Digital media is an amplifier." Sure, sounds plausible, sure. I am willing to underbid Clay Shirky by 10% on any and all hollow and unprovable proclamations, media outlets and corporate speaking forums! Reach out to me on social media.

[Image via Getty]