black and white by PAGE Magazine April 8, 2020
We’ve all heard of ghost followers and bots existing on social media. These ominous entities lurk on timelines and maybe even troll certain accounts. But without giving them too much of the attention they so desperately crave, I am here to speak to the Introvert and about their online presence.
Finding some ground using similarly unfavorable tactics to remain socially active, this is a time to potentially get creative and create the space for you and society to coexist. The pandemic of COVID 19 has strengthened the order for social distancing worldwide and is keeping us indoors. With time this can become a mental prison causing stress.
It’s hard enough to get out the door to be social especially with quarantine in effect. The introvert must be relieved to not have to be present in social settings they are used to, like work environments, while skipping the anxiety and fear of missing out on gatherings. It’s a great time to be alive, nonetheless.
With Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and even Tik Tok as social media outlets for all of us to use, the introvert has options to stay in touch with the outside world if they choose. It’s a privilege to be in control of your human contact as an introvert in this current state of social distancing. You may even have slight OCD tendencies, and handshakes have never been your thing.
Amongst these social media powerhouses, Instagram is the perfect place to engage. To not give up your location, or show something current of yourself like a selfie picture or video, or expressing your deepest or shallowest thoughts. Instagram happens to be a place where you can live anonymously, without a persona.
Free from the disclosure of your true identity.
Twitter wouldn’t garner you enough delight as you would need to be verbose to participate. That lends you to exposure and as an introvert, you don’t care for or want that kind of attention. It’s a tit-for-tat gratification based around dialogue. Dialogue can make you vulnerable.
Tik Tok is cool, but it’s a one way street down a cul-de-sac. You get on and immediately start descending down the depths of videos after answering just 2 questions. Simply, this app would probably be too overwhelming, while to participate would be too invasive for you.
Making videos, most likely starring you doing some dance or acting something out. Watching other users on the platform is hypnotizing as the feed is like tunnel vision. You’d be better off doing something more interactive – this will push you into a digital wormhole.
Snapchat is similar to Twitter but less public. Snapchat can be a fully privatized experience that you can share with only close friends. But most of the excitement is in the face filters.
Maybe, that would be a deal-breaker and you’ll be missing out on the engagement features they provide. It’s more of an instant platform than Instagram and that may be an scary feeling, but the content will quickly go away within 24 hours.
Instagram, from the start, can be a place of anonymity. All you need is that burner email you’re always using to sign up for things you don’t want to be bothered by after the fact. You know how much a selfie freaks you out but it’s not necessary here.
Instagram can be your gallery for the things you like, even if it’s not your face, your thoughts, or even your own vernacular.
At the least, Instagram is the least confrontational environment, unlike Twitter. You can block comments and make your account fully private. As for posting content, feel free to post the scenes from your window, or around the home for now, since we are currently on quarantine.
Get creative and make memes or graphics for your account. Or maybe source images from the world wide web and create a mood board of sorts. Instagram Live shouldn’t pose a threat as you choose to enter and exit them as you’d like.
You can become what you want – influencers show a life of aspiration or consumerism, yet we hear through the grapevines that they don’t all live the lives they always display on the gram. This should tell you, the introvert, that it’s ok to hide your personality while still feeling a role in contributing to the conversation.
Maybe you don’t want to be too out there if you’re even out there at all. Then you can create a ghostlike persona of yourself rather than just be a ghost with an account.
Plenty of influencers and their accounts have been very strategic in creating a mystique around themselves without giving up their identity and other personal qualities.
This is an artful quality that someone like Bansky, the omnipresent graffiti artist, has built into his real-life identity.
Whether you’re playing for likes or not, Instagram has been toying with the idea of removing likes for the sake of getting gassed, implementing this in 7 countries at the moment.
Posting and getting likes are some of the most satisfying feelings in the modern world right now. Although that would level that playing field, it would diverge the feeling of being judged on your timeline.
It’s not an obligation to be more engaging on social media, but for introverts, any interaction can be a grave task. And now that we are all stuck at home to be safe, this should be a time to find ourselves and ultimately become more appreciative of who we are.
Time is of the essence, and in this case, use your social media wisely as you can always find ways to improve life. Get creative and find ways to express yourself without giving away that precious part of you.
Look out for this article on PAGE magazine.