Birth Of A Social Networking Loner

It was not long ago I protested the use of social networking sites, nose a little skyward, with quips like:

“You’ll never catch me on Twitter.”

“I dare you to Google me. You won’t find anything but job-related links.”

“I only wish my life was so dull that I could spend hours of it twiddling online.”

Well, I may not be twiddling, but I’m certainly twittering. And Goodreading. And WordPressing. And commenting and liking and Linking on In.

Writers know marketing is part of the publishing process. They also know it should start early, well before a book summons its first paying reader. But here’s the snag. Many writers are introverts. That is probably why we like to write. We are alone. With our thoughts. Thoughts easier to reveal by keyboard than mouth.

If you are not sure whether or not you are an introvert (really?), I found a checklist to guide you. Might be the highest test score I’ve ever received.

Okay, no need for nail biting; I made peace with my introversion long ago. Or my “Sheldonism” as my family calls it, for any Big Bang Theory fans out there. In fact, I rather enjoy the following quote: “The limited circle is pure.”—Franz Kafka.

Kind of ironic I found it on a social networking site.

So how does a reticent networker network? Surprisingly easily. In fact, maybe these sites were developed with the introvert in mind. Express yourself in 140 characters or less? No problem. Join a discussion without the usual pressure of verbal tongue-tie? Groovy. Comment on blog posts you find insightful and interesting, all from the comfort of your timid cocoon? (Or Snuggie if you’re one of those. I am not.) Hey, count me in.

And guess what? It has been much easier to assimilate than I ever imagined. In fact, most challenging is:

  1. Deluding myself I hold anything of interest to others.
  2. Budgeting my time accordingly. I am trying to write another novel, after all.

The latter is proving most difficult. I encounter so many interesting people, whether by perusing blogs or eyeballing tweets or comparing book lists. People from different countries, different life situations, different viewpoints. And how cool is it to tweet an author whose book you’ve just read? Seems much more than mere marketing (especially considering I am presently a product-less promoter). In fact, it is more like an awakening.

Now, if only I could learn to put it down for a nap…

Photo credit: all images from Microsoft Clip Art

433 Responses to “Birth Of A Social Networking Loner”

  1. Side Quest Publications

    I seem to recall reading articles about how social networking sites were good for the introvert; it looks like you’ve got the gist of it.

    Me, I’m gradually trying out social networking for a variety of things.

    I started FaceBook and Twitter to follow companies for sweepstakes (“Like us to enter,” “tweet with this hashtag to enter,” type contests).
    Those two have progressed to auto-updating with my ebay sales, BookCrossing registration/release, and blog updates. I set up the link and let the site do the work.
    I haven’t done much else with them yet.

    I started using WordPress merely to track my NaNoWriMo progress and attempt to network with other NaNoers. I’ve progressed to migrating over the content from my website in a (hopefully) more organized fashion than what existed on the old host.
    I created a new site on WordPress and on FaceBook to eventually promote my fiction. Though I guess I need to have something completed before I have something to promote. ^^;
    AND I have a WordPress blog that is entirely an “interactive resume”…or it will be once I’ve finished adding the right details.

    Anything else…I’m still exploring.
    I haven’t made up my mind if I should join any other sites, and the ones I have looked at don’t look right for me. (Do I need Tumblr when I’ve already got deviantArt? livejournal when I’m on WordPress? etc)
    Speaking not as an introvert but as a Computer Science major, there is such a thing as too much. Too many sites, too many accounts. Maybe not from the perspective of the reader–the more I’m out there, the more likely someone will find me–but how the heck do I keep track of what I’m supposed to post where? 😀

    Like

    • crubin

      You are so right–there is too much available. Leaves me a bit overwhelmed. I don’t know what Tumblr is, but I’ve seen in mentioned a few times. I haven’t looked it up, because I feel I’ve got enough going on. I also hadn’t heard of BookCrossing until I just read your most recent blog post! Once my book is out, though, I may have to explore some of these other options. I honestly haven’t done anything with Linked In other then set up a profile and join some writing groups. I do like perusing the groups’ discussion boards though.

      I guess the key is to proceed as you have. One step at a time. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Like

      • Side Quest Publications

        I’d only heard of Tumblr because some of the people I follow on deviantArt have accounts there. I looked at their accounts, but it isn’t like I need Tumblr if I’m already watching them on dA.
        I’ve only given LinkIn a try because I’ve seen it advertised as a “professional” network (college, and the perpetual job search). I’m not really using it as yet another social networking site, though I have toyed with the idea of letting it show my WordPress activity…from the interactive resume, at least. The writing groups sound like a good idea, though.

        Was that my most recent post?
        Geez, I guess I need to post something else soon. Hopefully something BESIDES migrating another “I have things for sale” page from the old site.

        You’re welcome. 🙂

        Like

  2. Allie

    I enjoy using Pinterest, reading blogs, writing my blog (when I remember I have one), and using Facebook. Goodreads will be another addiction for me soon I’m sure. I find that some social networking sites are more ‘social’ than others. Some merely allow you to share information with others, but there is a limit to the interaction you actually have with people. I will admit, I tend to use most social networking sites to learn things or simply relax. I think I am a ‘closet introvert’. Outside of the house (at work, stores, etc) I tend to talk to everyone, but on the computer I only interact when something really interests me, or I feel like sharing something.

    I like what horribly blissful said: “technology has helped bridge up the long distances and has created long distance between those who are near…”

    Like

    • crubin

      Yes, I liked that comment, too; something we all need to be careful of. Though I will say a plus side to all of this online communication is more interaction with family members who live far away from me. Through email, texting, and even via comments on my blog, we are able to connect more often. Of course, that means less frequent telephone communication, but I was never a chatty Cathy on the phone, anyway.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Based on your above words, I assume that means this interested you or you felt like sharing. I’ll take either
      🙂

      Like

      • Allie

        It was both actually. What you wrote was interesting and that made me feel like sharing my thoughts. I agree that social media (and computers in general) have made it easier to keep in touch with family and friends that live far away.

        Like

    • crubin

      “has created long distance between those who are near…”–I like how you put that. We need to make sure we don’t get lost in the online world as opposed to the real. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Good luck with your new blog!

      Like

  3. odisumantri

    The influence of social networking is very influential in a person, although there may be shortages and there is excess.

    hello bloggers.

    Like

    • crubin

      I think I’m in the excess zone!

      Stopped by your blog, but sadly, I do not understand the language. If it’s not in English or French, I’m afraid this old gal is clueless. Though I keep telling myself I must learn Spanish. Maybe if I could ever get off these social networking sites long enough, I just might! Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  4. La La

    I love your blog. I like Goodreads, though I tend to use it more for looking up quotes. I always considered myself to be an introvert evolving into an extravert and being confused about the results, but I think I just learned that I am highly sensitive.

    Like

    • crubin

      Yes, I need to get a little more active in Goodreads myself. If you ever do evolve into an extravert, please tell me how you did it!

      Thanks for stopping by. Loved your “douche” post from yesterday, by the way!

      Like

  5. Beebles

    Great post, really enjoyed it. Loved the link, very informative and eye openning. I too am an introvert and even as I write this I have to read it like five times before I can hit Post. Social networking is hard because I have to think out what I want to say first, then I write it out and make sure it’s jjjuuussstt right. Time consuming.

    Like

    • crubin

      So you’re one of those too! I often read and re-read what I am about to post, even comments. But I suppose that is good. Once it’s out there, there’s no taking it back (unless it’s your own blog, of course!).

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  6. aborland

    Like your blog!

    Interesting read for me since I have still not embraced the “social networking” world. But hey, I’m leaving a comment here so that’s a start I guess.

    I wrote a piece a bit back on my feelings on the subject:

    Social Media And The Recluse

    Was a tad bit negative but expresses how I feel. I’ve had many blogs, over the years, and I would always wonder why nobody was reading or commenting. Duh! I finally got through my thick skull that I have to interact, in order for people to find me. And there lies the dilemma.

    I’m trying and your post gives me more of a push to try harder!

    Like

    • crubin

      I clicked over to your site and read that post. You have no idea how much I could identify. But while I still am not good at the sites that require “friending”, I am really enjoying reading other blogs and commenting. This form of interaction seems easier to me. If I like what people have to say, I can tell them. Same goes for them about my blog posts. So good luck in your quest to branch out!

      By the way, I signed up to follow your blog. Looks great. Thanks so much for stopping by mine!

      Like

  7. armchairauthor

    I too am fighting my introverted nature in order to hopefully increase my chances of eventual publication. By making myself comment on other people’s blogs so that they might, in turn, read mine. Shameless. I’m just glad yours was entertaining! Best of luck in your digital gregariousness.

    Now to take that introversion quiz…

    Like

    • crubin

      Thank you! Yes, leaving those first few comments on other blogs was strange for me. I went from no Gravitar, to a picture of an object, to finally an image of myself. I decided that if you are going to market a book, you might as well make it easy for people to find you. Unless you’re Stephen King or Mary Higgins Clark, of course! Thanks so much for stopping by. Good luck on your test!

      Like

  8. windupmyskirt

    I too am Sheldonish. The anonymity that social networking offers is a very attractive trait that allows me to come out of my shell (don?) and bravely state my opinions.
    Fantastic post!

    Like

    • crubin

      Thanks for the compliment! I like how you put that: are we coming out of our shell or donning it? Great point!

      Like

  9. abl31175

    Thank you for validating my introvert tendencies. Up until a few months ago I was proud that youd couldn’t find me on Google, I refused to go Twitter because I didn’t understand it and Facebook was just awa to stalk old friends.

    Then I published a book…well let’s just say I’m still learning and it’s a very.slow.process.

    Thanks for making me feel like it’s just not me.

    Like

    • abl31175

      I’m sorry I apologize for my horrid typos. Guess I was excited to comment on something for the first time ever.

      Like

    • crubin

      Congrats on your book! And yes, it’s funny how sometimes we need to step down from our lofty heights and join the masses. But the joke was on me, because I discovered I kind of liked it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  10. allamericanclothing

    I liked your thoughts on us writers being introverted! Entirely true! I feel like the social media sites do keep us introverted in a sense… Instead of engaging in face-to-face personal conversations, people are more and more looking to social media so they can be introverted at home, but appear to be extroverted online…. interesting right?

    Nice post, I enjoyed.

    Logan

    http://blog.allamericanclothing.com/

    Like

    • crubin

      Great way of putting it. I think you are right. It is easier to appear extroverted online. And you don’t have to hug anyone…

      Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  11. Sofia Romualdo

    Nice post! I wouldn’t call myself an introvert, but I’m naturally shy and tend to be quiet around groups of people I don’t know. Once I feel confortable though, I love talking and discussing things, so social networking sites are wonderful for me.

    Goodreads is one of the first sites I started using regularly, I love it. 🙂

    Like

    • crubin

      I think many people equate shyness with introversion, but they aren’t the same thing. Thanks for pointing that out. Some of us, however, are “gifted” with both…

      Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  12. Carol Deminski

    Congrats on your Freshly Pressed! If you ever had hopes of being a loner, introvert writer they are surely dashed now. Your 15 minutes of Andy Warhol-icism has just started – use it wisely! 🙂

    Like

    • crubin

      That’s so funny, because I was just thinking about that last night while I was staring at the ceiling, wide awake: “Hey, wait a minute. I’m an introvert. And now everyone knows it!” Sometimes it’s easy to forget that what we write on the keyboard actually might go somewhere. But that’s okay. Because as a writer, I will do it again. And again. And again.

      Thanks so much for visiting!

      Like

  13. Thomas Dash

    I too am introvert and like most introverts discovered i could only comfortably speak with a pen and paper very early in ma life. But its very inspiring to get such a view from someone who is way older. Lets keep it introvert n proud of it. More Love.

    Like

    • crubin

      Well, good for you for recognizing it so early! I always thought I was just weird. Well, okay, I am weird, but that’s beside the point…

      Thanks so much for visiting!

      P.S. “Way older?!” Ha ha, now you sound just like my sons!

      Like

    • crubin

      Thanks so much! And very interesting blog, by the way. What a transition you must have made to go from DC to Saudi Arabia!

      Like

    • crubin

      Thanks for another reblog! I’m feeling strangely viral. And for once it’s not from someone coughing in my face…

      Like

  14. MDawson

    Love the post. I used to have a few social networking profiles, but even being a writer, I will never go back on them. All I encountered was a bunch of children who wanted to complain about work and/or college.
    Ugh, maybe I’ll have to pay someone else to create them and monitor them for networking. LOL.
    Anyway, keep up the good work!

    Like

    • crubin

      Thanks for the comment! Luckily, I haven’t encountered too many complainers out there. That’s the nice thing about online networking: one click and the undesirable goes away
      🙂

      Like

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