“Florida Spring Break: Introvert Style” ©Janine Graf
She needed time alone. Being the quintessential introvert, all the socializing quickly caught up to her. And besides, the giraffes were starting to get on her nerves, especially after the embarrassing photos they posted to Facebook without running them by her first. If she had thumbs she would have changed her tagging permissions before leaving town, but she also assumed that what happens in Florida stays in Florida. Certainly that’s an unwritten law? Sure, the giraffes may be extroverts, but they’re also assholes.
I know how she feels, being an introvert myself . . . well, I know how she feels about needing alone time; the giraffes and I are still good, for now. So before I go further, I want to give some clarification; being an introvert is not the same as being shy, or having Social Anxiety Disorder. I felt the need to clarify because recently while searching for information about introverts and social media, more times than not the authors were labeling themselves as introverts, but clearly what they were describing was debilitating shyness or Social Anxiety Disorder. No, no, no, shyness and Social Anxiety Disorder are two different animals entirely. Being an introvert simply means our energy source comes from being alone, as opposed to extroverts who garner energy from being around other people, sometimes the more people the better. For introverts like me, I have a great time hanging out with a group of friends; I can be outgoing and goofy and plugged in. I’m a terrific listener, which takes a lot of work on my part because my brain is kind of like a conga line formed by squirrels. After several hours of socializing my energy takes a plunge and the need to disengage for some alone time becomes crucial to my mental well-being . . . nothing neurotic about that.
It’s not you, it’s me.
So in my research about introverts and social media, once I found articles written by actual introverts, I was surprised to learn that it doesn’t drain their energy reserves. I suppose that does make sense; one can set the pace for how engaged or not engaged they’d like to be and for how long. Not me. Participating in social media (Facebook, specifically) is as draining to me as volunteering for a first grade class party, which happens to be sponsored by Mountain Dew.
Honestly, it’s not you, it’s me. Ok, sure, the posts from the militant vegans don’t help, but really it’s just me.
Now, I understand that many of you have numerous social media accounts, so many you could fill both hands. I can count mine with two fingers; that’s all my brain can handle. So here’s the downside, this is when I struggle with being a social media introvert; due to not being consistently plugged in and actively networking, and across multiple platforms, I can’t help but wonder what opportunities have passed me by in regards to photography? My guess is plenty; I’ve missed plenty (cue violin music). I admire fellow photographers who embrace social media, those who have the whole networking thing down to a fine science. You know what I have down to a fine science; exactly how much tequila to put in a margarita without needing a shot glass for measuring . . . and it’s perfect every single time [pats self on back].
Well, my friends, I need some alone time now as thinking about situations that drain me has drained me. Remember, it’s not you, it’s me. If anyone needs me, I’m NOT hiding out in the bathtub upstairs . . . oh, if someone could please pour my ratio perfect margarita, which was accidently left on the kitchen counter, into a Ziplock baggie and slide it under the bathroom door, I’d really appreciate it.
“I’m not here“ ©Janine Graf