Thursday, November 08, 2007

Blogger coffee, part 3

Yawn! Anyone like a cup of decaf before bed? How 'bout a butter wafer on the side? No?
As we swept up the crumbs in the post-party quiet, Christy wondered if more bloggers are introverts than extroverts. If so, are the most popular bloggers also the extroverts among us? Or do you think the Internet enables even the shyest to adopt a more outgoing personality?

45 comments:

WesternWarmth said...

Here's my answer: I am an introvert in "real life." I don't know about the majority of other bloggers. Most people who know me would call me an extrovert but I've taken personality tests that peg me as an introvert and I agree. A lot of social interactions really cause me stress even though I'm good at acting like an extrovert, if that makes sense. I love blogging because I can be more bold than normal, without the stress.

Munkamama said...

Good question - I'll be curious to see what the results are.

I am definitely an introvert - and I took a test a couple of weeks ago that proves it! :)

Actually I already knew it - but for fun took the online test.

Kim said...

I think I was more extroverted in real life before I got into blogging and am far more introverted in real life now. Maybe I just feel more vulnerable having been "out there" on the Internet.

Meredith said...

Kim, I'm surprised to read that. I'm an extreme introvert who has to push herself to relax in social settings. (Though I could always perform well in particular role or job to do.)

If anything, blogging has given me a quiet confidence that has spilled over into the rest of my real life.

Anonymous said...

If anyone has a link for the online test for introvert/extrovert, it would be fun to see where we all rank. Do you think if we all were really able to get together for coffee, we'd all just sit there, in our introverted way, not saying anything to each other?! :-)
Actually, I only feel introverted when I am with women who are...I guess "nasty" would be the word, about my way of life, i.e., being a stay-at-home mom who does things like home cooking, garage sales, second hand items, etc. I remember when you had weekend guests, Meredith, and the women who were invited (all of them career women) made derisive comments about the dry pound cake, etc. When I am around women like that, I find myself uncharacteristically introspective and quiet. But I guess that's why I like this community on LMS so much. I feel like I am among kindred spirits, and it makes the "converstations" we have a real joy!

Susan

Anonymous said...

I have to get to know what my SIL is thinking by reading her blog-she is SUCH an introvert. Because of this, I love that she blogs! :) I used to think she just hated people, but it's simply that she needs to be alone and quiet more than most in my family. I am an extrovert on the tests, but just barely. I see myself right on the line. If I had to pick one, I'd rather be around people, but since becoming a mom, I don't feel like I need or have energy to socialize as much as I liked to before. A downside to blogging is that it is too impersonal for me. Maybe that is the extrovert in me. :)
:)Angela

Michelle Smiles said...

I've spent most of my life as a big old introvert (unless you add beer) but I've worked to be less so as I've gotten older. I would put myself in the middle of the road now - somewhere in between.

As for my blog, it allows me to be much "louder" than I am in real life. I have the attitude that it is totally my space so I can do whatever I want. Where else in life can you sort of interact (people reading and commenting) with people yet claim the time and space as completely your own? I don't write to please others (although I certainly don't write to hurt others) - it is one place that it is all about me. I can be selfish on my blog. In real life, I worry about what others need, what others feel, what others want, how my actions effect others - but not in blog world. Of course I try to be a good blog neighbor - I support and cheer on my fellow mommies and advertise their causes...but only because I want to not out of a sense of obligation that I might have in the real world.

Wow I sound self centered LOL

Hope Is the Word said...

I've always found it somewhat easy to talk to strangers, strangely enough, but it is more difficult for me to talk to people I *should* know. For example, if I am intimidated by someone, I can't bring myself to converse them him or her (usually HER!) very often. I find this is especially true at church, perhaps because we changed churches a little over a year ago after I had gone to the same church my entire life. Anyway, back to the original question, I think blogging enables me to say things in a way that perhaps would only cause people to look at me strangely in real life. I am usually a friendly person, but I find it difficult to really open up to people. Does that make any sense at all?

Lora C. said...

Would you have any herbal tea? Even decaf before bed keeps me up. :)

I'm a big ole shy introvert in real life. I always have been and for whatever reason, it seems to have gotten worse the older I get. No, maybe not worse, maybe I'm just more accepting of myself and of my personality quirks and I just don't feel so badly about being who I am anymore. Dunno.

I don't think I'm more outgoing online. I just feel much more comfortable expressing myself through writing then I am verbally.

As soon as I found out that people I know in real life were reading my blog I got the biggest case of writers block in my life. I still can't do any serious writing on my public blog, I just keep it all light and happy and more of a "what we did today" sort of dealy.

Mrs.B said...

Excellent question!

I am an introvert in real life. I do OK with one-on-one situations but don't really enjoy crowds. I think it's one reason I'm so comfortable with blogging. (o:

Blessings,
~Mrs.B

Renee said...

I'm an intorvert in real life. I've had a family blog for the grandparents about our kids for a couple of years. I've just started two blogs for myself, for my own interests. So I'm just learning and feeling my way around blog-world!

Ewokgirl said...

Extrovert here. I don't think that means squat for my blog. I think I have about 25 regular readers, which hardly makes me popular.

But in real life, I meet people and get to know them easily. We moved a lot when I was a kid, and I was always plugged into my new school or church within a week.

However, I'd say that I only have a handful of close friends. Loads of acquaintances, but only a few in my inner circle. And I think I express myself better through writing since it's a lot harder to stick your foot in it when you can edit! I censor myself a lot on my blog, but in real life, I tend to say what comes to mind, which isn't always a good thing. ;-) Of course, sometimes I still stick my foot in it when I'm commenting.

lisa said...

I am introverted. I am really good with people one on one. Blogging is new for me. I have only been doing it for a couple of months. So I don't really know if it will help me be more extroverted. So far the people who read my blog are people I know in life. I really enjoy your blog. You are super good at taking something simple and turning it into something great.

Roberta said...

There's Kim! One day I clicked and you were gone. :)
Interestingly, like Kim, I too am very much an extrovert. Not sure if it's being in the blog-world or just growing older that has me a little more introverted these days...perhaps a season of reflection.

rural momma said...

I'm an extrovert, but like another poster said, "it doesn't mean squat for my blog", LOL.

I am very real on and off the internet, basically what you see/read is what you get. ;0) I am not bolder on the internet then IRL, as a matter of fact I choose my words more carefully when I write them. I know the written word can come across different then the spoken one.

Anonymous said...

For as long as I can remember I have never been one to speak out to other people. I have had few close personal friends in my life. I always felt 'not good enough' because of my size. I used to be a heavy woman. Morbid Obese is what the doctor called it. I "had problems" in my youth and it took years of doctor help to get past it. Then it was 'too late' I was a very large woman. I weighed 411 on Jan.5,2005 when I had gastric bypass surgery. Today I am less than 1/2 that woman. I can go buy clothes in a normal store (if I want) and I don't HAVE to make everything I wear. I look at my face in the mirror and I see the worman I always knew what inside me. I am not going to tell you that I am now a party animal, I not, but now I will go to parties and other things with my husband. I can't tell you how many Christmas parties, Marine Balls, and other things I missed because I was so ashamed of how I looked. My husband has told me I am beautiful, he has loved me when I was 400+ and now that I am less than 200 he loves me too. I am blessed.
The internet has been a life link to me. It has let me talk to people and because they can not see me they only judge me by what I say.
Thanks for the wonderful blog. I always enjoy reading it. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you. Roxie

thehomespunheart said...

I'm usually more of an introvert - though like you, have found more confidence spilling over from what I've gained through blogging. I love to open my home - but once everyone gets here, I want to make sure they feel welcome and special - and that takes me reaching out of my comfort zone sometimes!

Carrie J said...

I am an ambivert, leaning more toward introvert. Around those I know I am very relaxed and enjoy socializing. I have periods of time where I am not social at all and prefer to be alone and others where I want to have people over and go out with friends. I grew up in an isolated area with my parents and grandparents, the oldest of 2 until I was around 12 and my youngest sister was born. There were almost no kids my age except a couple of boys around. I always struggled in social situations including school. I just didn't know how to join in the conversations being used to talking mostly to adults.
I have improved over the years and don't have much trouble talking to people anymore. I just go through periods of time when I don't want to. Sorry, it sounds worse than it really is.

The Gibbs Family said...

Introvert...

'nuff said. :)

Cyndi Lewis said...

I'm an introvert, who has trained herself to be an extrovert. By nature I stay quiet and listen rather then input. I prefer small gatherings to big ones and hate having to do "small talk" with people I don't know. It doesn't come naturally. However, since my DH's job causes us to move every 2-3 years I have had to learn to be outgoing and meet new people and do things that don't come natural- like attend a ladies meeting at a new church where I haven't really met anyone yet. If I want to make friends I have to put myself out there.

Joanna said...

I'm introverted, for sure- ISTJ, all the way!

I've found my inverted-ness comes out not as much on my blog, where I'm not afraid to talk or say what I want, but in my willingness to comment on other blogs (The "social interaction" aspect of the blogosphere). I've always pictured those readers who comment all over and join in conversations everywhere as the extroverts. Me, I use the same excuses I use 'in real life' - "What I have to say won't be beneficial to the conversation" or "I shouldn't bother them"

Joanna said...

To be clear, I meant inTROverted-ness. I'm not upside-down :)

Margaret Mary Myers said...

What a fun post to start the day with! Thanks, Meredith.

If I'm talking with someone one on one, I can talk for hours, but if I'm in a group of about seven or more, I clam up because I can't "read" (feel) what everyone is thinking.

When I first started e-groups, I was afraid to contribute. Now I blog nearly every day. I still worry about the comments I leave on other people's blogs, but not in my own "home" (blog).

I think when I blog, now, I am writing to one person...not any one specific person I know who might read it, but to the individual YOU, whoever you may be. I may miss the mark on your interests or views, but I share anyway. I think that's how the online presence has affected my introvert/extrovertness. :)

Oh, and I'll take decaf but I won't sleep well, but that's okay, cuz I'll be jazzed from the discussion anyway. :)

Margaret Mary Myers said...

What a fun post to start the day with! Thanks, Meredith.

If I'm talking with someone one on one, I can talk for hours, but if I'm in a group of about seven or more, I clam up because I can't "read" (feel) what everyone is thinking.

When I first started e-groups, I was afraid to contribute. Now I blog nearly every day. I still worry about the comments I leave on other people's blogs, but not in my own "home" (blog).

I think when I blog, now, I am writing to one person...not any one specific person I know who might read it, but to the individual YOU, whoever you may be. I may miss the mark on your interests or views, but I share anyway. I think that's how the online presence has affected my introvert/extrovertness. :)

Oh, and I'll take decaf but I won't sleep well, but that's okay, cuz I'll be jazzed from the discussion anyway. :)

Peregrina said...

It's interesting to read people's comments. Seems as though many people feel like I do. Deep down, I am an introvert...I enjoy being alone, I dread walking into a room full of people I don't know (what if they don't like me?!), and I abhor public speaking of any sort.

But, in my job, and even in my personal life...that's not really allowed. So, I play my guitar and sing (in public!), I greet new people as though they are going to be my friend, I talk to people in the grocery line (because I know its good to be friendly) and I have just taken on a volunteer role with a ministry that will require me to stand in front of people and speak for 15 minutes at a time.

But, I'd usually rather be home reading!

Blessings to you all...this is fun!

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

I am exactly 50/50. I tend towards being a shy extrovert. I am REALLY shy when I'm in a new situation, but after I'm comfortable I can be hyper and outgoing. But, too much people will wear me down - I need some alone time. And vice versa.

How this comes across blogging? Well I am less shy about commenting on new blogs than I would be about talking to new people. I am also more likely to say what I'm thinking, because I have a chance to think through it instead of having to respond at the moment.

I think where I am in my personal life affects my blogging. When I am lonely, I blog more frequently and visit new blogs more (using blogging to satisfy my need for friendships). If I have a lot of people, I tend to blog less and stick to my "core reading" list.

Laura said...

Where do you find the online test? I'd be interested in taking it for the fun of it. I think I know myself - ha! - but I'd like to know what the "expert" opinion is. :)

Jennifer said...

Sorry I'm a little late...
http://www.familymusings.com/2007/11/blogger-coffee-part-3.html

Oh, and you can take an abbreviated version of the Meyers-Brigg Personality Type Indicator test here:
http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

Be warned though... it is a long test (72 questions). I think knowing and understanding your type can really help you in ministry too. This type of test, while not meant to put me in a box, helped me to understand how God made me and to accept that. I also read the type profiles of people close to me and it helped me appreciate their God-given personality strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses.

Deanna said...

I am definitely introverted. I score an ISFJ on the Meyers-Brigg test. I have to say that I am very shy in real life until I get to know someone, and that it truly takes lots of time for anyone to really know me well enough to know what I am thinking or how I feel on anything. I have been diagnosed with Social Anxiety disorder and was taking medications for that, although to be honest I have taken myself off the meds recently. I find that it is much easier to talk to people online through blogs and e-mail and that I am much more likely to post more online than I would ever approach in person. And my closest friends would tell you that to really know what I'm thinking that you would want to read my e-mails because I am still guarded in my actions and sharing my feelings in person, but in my e-mails and blogs that you can really see the deepest thoughts and feelings that I carry.

Jen said...

IRL I'm midway between the 2 extremes. However, when it comes to my IL's reading my blog, I feel totally invaded. They somehow got the link, and now they are always calling me. I don't really want them to have all my deep inner thoughts that I only share with complete strangers... :D

Janel said...

How this for ya? I'm a social extrovert and an emotional introvert. I have a lot of both ENFP and ENFJ characteristic. How I feel physically determines whether I'm more P or J. But I'm unquestionably ESF.

Over the years I've learned to follow through to project completion. It's a good thing. I won't say I'm the life of the party and have to be the center of attention, but let's just say I gerenally have a lot of fun and so does most everyone else. But! If something makes me emotionally uncomfortable, I get really quiet and have to process it alone or talk it out with someone I trust until it's resolved.

Although I'm as open IRL, what you read on my blog is the Reader's Digest condensed version of my drama, struggles and lessons learned. I would never get up from the computer if I wrote ALL the details! Be thankful. lol

So when does one qualify as popular? Is it daily reader numbers? Links? RSS feeds? Is there a magic number? I might be getting close. ;)

Homemaker of the 21st Century said...

I have to agree with almost everyone else that's left a comment!

I am a really big introvert...most of the time. I go through spurts where I want to be left alone for months without any contact with anyone except my immediate family and then there are times when I'd really like some social interaction. I think blogging has definately made me a more extroverted person...at least online :)

Jane said...

I think I am an introvert. However, most people that know me would think that I am an extrovert. I feel that when around people I can do fine conversing and talking - I do fine speaking in public places - and in front of large crowds. It is not that I can not do it - I do it all the time. But, if I had to choose - I would like to be at home all by myself or with my family - rather than in a crowd of people or intermingling with others at social affairs. I hate social affairs. If I have to choose to be with people - I would rather be in a bigger crowd than one on one. Does any of this make any sense?!! Interesting thought though - do we introverts use the blogland as our way of expressing ourselves? I would think yes, perhaps.

Love the coffee chat. Thanks Merideth

~Jane

TracyMichele said...

I would have to say I am an introvert by nature. I like being alone and don't fade when people are not constantly around. That isn't to say I don't like to be around people. I enjoy getting together with people. I like talking and learning about other people's backgrounds. When I am comfortable, I am a great communicator and can start a converstaion with anyone about anything.

I am pretty outgoing and outspoken so my blog represents that. I guess what I am trying to say is I like people, I just don't need people around to feel secure. Does that make sense? :)

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

I'm pretty much an introvert until I'm comfortable with a person and then perhaps I'm too open.
But, I tend to find that I write more personal stuff in my blog that seems almost inappropriate to tell a stranger. In a way it's sort of like a journal for me but one that I let strangers read and would be embarrassed to let my in-laws read.
My husband's blogs are the same way. He's way more introverted in real life and (imho) too extroverted on his blog. And he knows his father reads those.

{Karla} said...

I want to take a test to see what the "experts" say about me...

But I think I've always been extroverted and I am a big talker.

But I've also noticed, since having children and interacting with other moms, I am more nervous and feel more awkward than I used to. So I tend to reign myself in A LOT...

Otherwise, I turn into a babbling idiot!

Blessings,
Karla

ps - I totally would have described you the way you did up top Meredith - "a quiet confidence". I get the sense that you have a shyness about you, but you totally push through that!!

Cara said...

Fun question :) I'm an introvert, but I'm friendly. I force myself to be more extroverted around town because it makes people happy, and we live in a small town... it ends up paying to be friendly when you, er, back your truck into a ditch and need someone to pull you out ;)

mama k said...

I'm an introvert by nature. I have really worked on my people skills over the years thanks to retail/customer service and teaching jobs. However, I always feel that I express myself best in writing. Blogging gives me that outlet to communicate in my truest, most articulate medium... if that makes any sense. :)

Harper said...

I'm an introvert, but I enjoy responding to posts. In real life, conversations move to quickly for me to formulate responses, but the written word has no deadline.

SongBirdy said...

I was born an introvert.

But being the eldest child of "Relief Agency Workers" (basically a Missionary Kid)... I was forced into so many social situations where I had to perform in an outwardly engaging manner.

So I was becoming extroverted. Then a microphone caught fire once when I was singing for a group of Marines who enthusiastically rescued me from my eminent demise.

At which point I became painfully introverted. That was in Grade 4.

Then I spent years working myself out of that place.

I am now an extrovert. Sometimes it doesn't feel natural, and there are definite times where I crave solitude... but I think that has a lot more to do with my role in life than anything else.

In my blog... I dunno... I try to very much be honest and forth coming. Mind you, like someone else said... I have a hard time when family reads my blog. Its not that I don't want to hide it from them because I want to be honest with them too... Its just...

I dunno... something I think of as sharing with friends and for friends... not someone that I am blood related too!

Barb said...

I'm definitely an introvert. Even with jobs in fundraising before staying home with my kids, it's taken me a long time to feel comfortable in social situations. I tend to gravitate towards one-on-one conversations, rather than being part of a large group. However, I'm learning to use my introvertedness to my advantage by choosing women in my life who recognize and appreciate my introvertedness for what it is.

Writing on my blog has been a way for me to open myself up and I enjoy writing. I think I communicate better as a writer than in person! I wish I had more time now for writing. There are so many wonderful women bloggers out there who inspire me to think more about who I am and my choices.

Elizabeth said...

Interesting question.

Remember when the four personality type theory was popular? According to this theory, most people have a dominant personality from among the four types -- choleric, sanguine, melancholy, and phlegmatic -- and a secondary personality from among the four, as well.

My DH is dominantly choleric (extrovert) and secondarily phlegmatic (introvert). I am some dominantly melancholy (introvert) and secondarily sanguine (extrovert). So, DH and I joke about our marriage being more exciting because, between the two of us, we have four personalities!

As an extrovert/introvert, I need both people time and alone time. For me, blogging is not enough. I have to have in-real-life friends around me.

I hate those personality tests that ask, "Would you rather read a book or go to a party?"

I don't see the problem here. Just let me have a few minutes in the afternoon to read, and then I'll be right on over to the party, with chips and dip in hand. I won't be the most popular life of the party. But, I will be there.

While I am bookish, I also "have mouth, will talk". I'm trying so hard to take hold of James 1:19 -- Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

Of course, I can feel shy. Oddly, I find that I am shyest during the "week before" that time of the month and I'm most outgoing the week after. Does anyone else experience that?

I think we call can be shy in certain situations -- even the people who are extrovert/extrovert by nature. But, I don't think that has anything to do with why I blog.

In fact, I do have a concern that people will substitute blogging for developing deeper personal relationships. Blogging has opened up a whole new and exciting form of communication. But, it should enhance, rather than take away from, our connection to our family, friends, our church, our neighbors, and our communities.

Anna said...

This is completely unrelated to the questions but I just had to say that picture is beautiful!! The colors..the style...I loved it!! ;-)

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Meredith said,

"Kim, I'm surprised to read that. I'm an extreme introvert who has to push herself to relax in social settings. (Though I could always perform well in particular role or job to do.)

If anything, blogging has given me a quiet confidence that has spilled over into the rest of my real life."


Roberta said,

"There's Kim! One day I clicked and you were gone. :)
Interestingly, like Kim, I too am very much an extrovert. Not sure if it's being in the blog-world or just growing older that has me a little more introverted these days...perhaps a season of reflection."


Meredith, I think what Roberta said is in line with what I'm going through. Being in my mid-40's has definitely affected my outlook on life. I'm definitely more reflective in my "fall season". I'm very aware of how permanent the Internet is and yet how transient. With a good part of the world online now, it strikes me as odd that so many people would want to open their lives up so casually to it. It feels very odd to me that I was willing to be more open to strangers than I was to my own family. And then if my family read my blog, it felt even more strange to me. I feel odd even writing this. See how introverted I've become?? lol

(((Roberta))), watch your email!