Facebook – 21st Century Club or Introvert Paradise?
If you don’t have a Facebook account, what are you waiting for? It seems like everyone and their mothers – literally – are on Facebook. It’s a place for people to share their lives with their friends and family, to connect with new people, and stay in touch with long-lost pals. It’s like the social club of the new millennium. But how social is Facebook, really? Social networking allows us to reach people in ways we never could before, but it’s also a great opportunity for introverts to hide in their homes behind their computer screens without losing touch with others. Is Facebook a social paradise, or just the opposite?
Go-To Communication Tool
How many times have you needed to contact someone and thought, “I’ll see if they’re on Facebook?” In the past, you would’ve gone and knocked on someone’s door, or at least called them on their cell phone. Text messages and Facebook have made it easier to communicate. Lots of people who are shy or introverted get very nervous when it comes to making a phone call or talking face-to-face. Depending on who it is they need to contact, they might just not do it because of the stress. Now that there’s Facebook, it is the go-to communication tool for many of the less social among us.
Forming New Connections
The thing about Facebook is that it actually allows introverts to form new connections that they probably never would have in “real life.” How many friends on your friend list have you actually never spoken with in person or on the phone? Most people have at least a few. Somehow it seems more appropriate to send a friend request than it does to say hello on the street. This is excellent for introverts. Introverts don’t necessarily want to avoid other people, it just makes them anxious. Most truly want to have genuine, close connections with other people. They might only have a few close friends in real life, but Facebook gives them many new possibilities to take advantage of.
People who are shy often feel their confidence go up when they don’t have to worry about how they look or thinking of something to say on the spot. On Facebook they can just type – no one has to see them, and they can take as long as they want to craft a response. If introverts use Facebook to socialize, it may be easier for them to branch out and take the relationship offline. Rather than limiting their connection to Facebook, people often end up making plans. A shy person might feel more comfortable hanging out in person after they’ve had some time to chat online.
When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, his goal was to enhance communication between people all over the world. There is no doubt that he has accomplished his mission. Whether Facebook is a popular social club or an introvert paradise, it doesn’t matter. People are talking to each other and connecting in new ways, and that’s a step in the right direction for everyone.
Charlie Adams is a social media expert and digital marketing professional who works with the Palms hotel in Las Vegas. He often writes in his free time and likes to analyze the role of social media in today’s society.