Being an Introvert While Using Social Media

Are you an introvert?

Many people have traits of being an introvert.

I am.

Being an introvert means you need blocks of solitude and aloneness to recharge. I know I certainly do.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you are shy or anti-social.

Let me explain.

I am at my best when I have the space of at least one day where no one is pulling on my energy. A day where I can do what I want to do and not have any obligations.

For the rest of my days, I work with people. Those days I am the expert, the “all-knowing” one. I can speak to a single person or a group of people. Being interviewed on television and not have a single qualm about it (at least now – in my younger years, not so much) is in my wheelhouse now.

I used to label myself as shy but now I look at it differently. It seems to me that extroverts tend to be fast processors. What I mean by that is when I encounter someone or something, I need a moment to think about it before I can provide a reply, an answer, anything.

It can look socially awkward but it is a good thing. My mouth can get me into trouble if I let it. By taking that moment to think about the situation, I can usually be more tactful in my responses.

What does that have to do with social media?

I’ve been thinking about social media a lot in the past several months. The word is that if you want to be successful at writing, blogging and a creative life you must have a presence.

Having a presence means social media.

I have a love hate relationship with social media and I tend to stick with only a few. I’m not sure what I would do if I decided to take on more. It can be exhausting trying to keep up with all the different social media outlets.

Given my introverted nature, I have had to make decisions on how to use social media given my “I would rather hide in my writing shed than to actually share my work on any social media platform.”

How this works for me is creating a plan. Not a big plan, a small one. One that I can manage without going crazy and feeling like a fraud.

Here is how I’ve worked out my social media plan for myself:

Blogging – I write a blog post once per week. I would like to do more but then I would throw off my work/home balance and that is not good for me. I then have to promote it and that takes more time and energy.

Every proponent of blogging I have ever read or listened to has said to choose a couple of platforms and really focus on those. So I did.

By choosing only a few social media platforms, you can keep yourself on task without feeling overwhelmed.

My choices:

Facebook – I’ve been on Facebook for years personally. I connect with my family, old classmates, and new friends. It has been a good thing for me. But now I am a writer and blogger which means Facebook looks different.

I have my own Facebook page: ACHoekwater and that is where I post anything blog related. I also promote everything else in my blogging world. The learning curve has been relatively easy and I feel as if I am doing okay with this. In fact, regardless of whether or not you like my page or are part of my personal news feed, you are likely to get pictures of my life including my cat and grandchildren. I like this.

Instagram (ACHoekwater) – I have fallen in love with Instagram. Those little snapshots of different user’s lives are amazing. Again, you will find pictures of my cat and grandkids among the blog posts I promote here. This one feels comfortable to me and I enjoy the interaction I get with people whenever I post.

Twitter@achoekwater Do I like Twitter? No idea. Mostly because I don’t understand it and how to make it work for me. Most of the time, I follow people who I like and post whatever I can, being sure to like and repost other people’s stuff. I heard there is a formula that is supposed to make Twitter “work” for you but since I am compliance challenged, I do what feels good for me.

What feels good for me is to spend some time retweeting other people, posting my responses from Medium and Instagram and liking whatever feels good. It may not fit a formula but that is what works for me.

MediumAC Hoekwater – While Medium isn’t necessarily a social media platform, it is a place for my work to be seen, and for me to see other people’s work. This one is quite new for me and has become a place for discussion of lots of different topics.

We writers are a diverse lot and you will find that on Medium. I’m still learning about this one but I am using hashtags and posting to Twitter so that both myself and the author can get some traffic. It’s been an interesting thing.

What all this means?

What all this talk about social media and being an introvert means is this: I am a writer and I want my words to be read. The struggle is real people. Wanting my work to be read and not wanting to draw attention to myself is a struggle. But it is one that I must conquer if I am to succeed at this whole thing.

Being an introvert often means staying in the background to our faster thinking, faster talking and, often, faster processing counterparts. There is a need for both introverts and extroverts in this world, you just have to discover yours.

I have also learned that working with social media and learning to stand up for myself isn’t the horrific thing I thought it would be. I’ve discovered new strengths within to help me with my writing and to carry my message to the world. It’s not the worst thing that could happen.

I’m good with this change.

Until next time,

Angela

P.S. Don’t forget I am still offering a free creativity coaching session if you are looking to take a deeper look at your own creative processes. Please check out the “Yes! I want to work with you! page and click on the link. Thanks