Recently I was in the gym when a long time friend came up to me and said, “I love your posts on Facebook, I especially love your #Izsoisms”. I said, “Thank you, I hope you find them helpful or at least interesting”. She said, “Oh I really do enjoy reading what you write, and I have even copied some of your pictures, but honestly I never respond”. I stopped, my mouth dropped open and I asked, “Why don’t you respond”? “Well”, she replied, “You get a number of responses and honestly I do not want to get all the notifications. I know I could change the settings, but I really do like reading, I just do not necessarily feel like responding”.
It was like someone smacked across the face. I had an OMG moment. I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, how many people are reading, but you just don’t know it”. I started to do a little investigating with my friends who were also Facebook friends and what did I find? She wasn’t alone. Many of my friends were reading, telling me they enjoyed reading, but for one reason or another, did not want to “Like”, “Comment”, “Share”, “ReTweet”, “Favorite”, “+1”, etc. They simply wanted to be a part of my community without having to say anything.
Not “Lurker’s”, but Social Media Introverts
I really detest the word “Lurker” for people who read, but do not respond. In most connotations it implies a negative. Like there are these creepy people who just want to have the gossip, but they do not want to interact. I do believe there are those people, and perhaps there are more of them then we are willing to credit. However, there is a larger group of people who simply and innocently do not prefer to interact. I call these people “Social Media Introverts”.
Our society seems to have two basic types of dispositions, either you are “Extroverted” or “Introverted”. In our everyday society we except introverts. You either know some or you are one. It’s no big deal, they just do not talk much. They are not initiators of conversation. They may have only a few words to say. Or what is more likely they prefer to speak in smaller groups of people they feel they can be comfortable with.
Extroverts on the other hand are the life of the party, they like to be center stage. They talk to anyone and everyone and they never met a stranger. True one can be less extroveted or introverted than others, but you clearly know when you go to a party who the extroverts are and you are less likely to pay attention to the introverts. They actually prefer it that way.
Let’s face it, not everyone likes to talk, wants to talk, or wants to be seen. They prefer to sit back and enjoy the show, or have In real live it is not a problem. However, if they are on social media, we treat them as if they were some sort of evil waiting to “troll” us. It is just not true. They simply do not want to say anything. It is as much part of social media as it is real life. They are not hiding anything they just do not want to speak.
Social Media Introverts Make it Impossible to Measure Social Media
I have no idea what the percentage of social media introverts there are, but my guess is that they are much higher percentage than we want to believe. If were to estimate I would say more than likely you could have anywhere between 30 and 40 percent of friends and followers that are social media introverts. How did I derive this estimate. According to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator from all their studies they have determined that