Whether you’re an introvert or not, I think the online realm can be fantastic for connecting with others. Those of us with chronic illness or disability, for instance, may find that social and work lives are curtailed, and that online friendships and communications become vital. Let’s also not forget how pivotal the online world and technology have been during the pandemic, too. Everything has a potential downside, so it’s still important to be aware of the need for online safety & sadly also the potential to come across ‘trolls’ online. Take them with a pinch of salt and move on, because there are plenty of decent, warm and amazing people out there to connect with.
This collaborative post takes a look at some of the best social spots online for introverts to consider.
★ ★ ★
Introverts & Socialising
People often misunderstand the meaning of the word “introvert” or what it means to be introverted. Some consider this word to mean that someone is anti-social or doesn’t want to be around others, and others will use the term to describe people that are lonely. In reality, though, being an introvert is more likely to mean that you are shy, finding it hard to be confident in social situations, feeling particularly drained from social situations or preferring to spend time with people you know very well.
This means that those who are introverted can find it very difficult to satisfy their social needs, with large social gatherings and other big face to face events being a major source of anxiety or exhaustion. Thankfully, the internet provides all of the tools an introvert or more shy individual needs to come out of their shell and connect with others.
The internet is also of benefit for those who can’t get out, such as due to the pandemic or because of illness/disability, so that more people can connect with others in their own way more accessibly.
This article will be exploring some of these platforms for socialising and connecting, giving you the chance to break out of your bubble and start engaging with others online.
Social media platforms have quickly become the most popular sites in the world over the last few years. A huge majority of people have an account on at least one of the major social platforms, and this means that there are loads of people to chat with or even make friends with when you spend time on sites like these. You might need to shake things up a little and try different sites or groups to find the action that best suits you.
Facebook offers a way to stay in touch with friends and family, or meet new people. Commenting and sharing posts with strangers can open you up socially, while groups offer the chance to meet others with similar interests. There are plenty of groups related around hobbies, beliefs, chronic illnesses and disabilities, and so on.
Twitter is a faster, more intense platform. Like any social media channel, it’s also open to trolls and nastiness, so it’s good to be mindful of that. However, you’ll hopefully find you can find, follow, like and share with accounts that are supportive, interesting and friendly, where you’ll discover a plethora of new things and new people.
Instagram is an amazing platform for those who struggle in social situations, providing a site that is based around images rather than words. You can share the things you love without having to explain them to anyone, and you can also meet people who share your interests without the awkwardness of introductions. Websites like this have changed the lives of introverts across the world, giving you the chance to embrace the side of life you love, without having to put yourself into situations that make you feel uncomfortable.
Streaming platforms like Twitch have seen huge popularity over the last few years, and while many people consider them to be social networks, streaming platforms offer a lot more to those who are willing to put the time into them. Twitch itself is largely dominated by gaming content, though there are plenty of other content creators that use the platform to share other interests.
One of the best parts of Twitch are the small communities that tend to form around the topics that are hosted on the site. Small games tend to have groups of die-hard viewers, and this means that both content creators and consumers get the chance to talk to each other on a regular basis. Unlike a platform like YouTube, engagement is a crucial part of Twitch, with many streams relying on their viewers to keep the content interesting.
When it comes to YouTube, you can find great content that you won’t get elsewhere and trade comments. You could dip your toe in the water by starting your own channel if you want to, which would be a way to get out of your comfort zone and really put yourself out there. Other streaming sites, even the likes of Netflix, can be a good way to garner topics of conversation to share with others online somewhere else, like message boards or Facebook groups.
Message boards were some of the earliest community-based websites found online, and Reddit is one example that has been around for a very long time. Sites like this are primarily text-based, though you don’t need to be a good communicator to be able to have fun and engage with others; you just need to be willing to find the time to find the right sub-Reddits for you.
You can find communities surrounding just about any topic, from fashion and design to engineering and construction, and there are always people willing to talk to others about the things they love. The best part of this site is the long relationships that users can form, with many of the site’s sub-groups being home to some very prolific members. Many of Reddit’s users are introverts by their nature, and this means that you are likely to be in good company when you make an account on a site like this.
Chat Roulette (Video Chat, Not Gambling!)
This next option may come as a surprise to some, though chat roulette is much more than its negative stereotypes. Many people use sites like this to make new friends, share their passions, and even just to fight off loneliness. While you don’t know who you will be talking to, you always know that they are up for a chat, and this is great for those who struggle in social situations. Instead of going to the pub and walking up to strangers to talk about the weather and hope it leads to a deeper conversation, you can sit comfortably at home and ‘meet’ various new people, taking it at your own speed and comfort level.
Of course, it can be stressful to chat with strangers online, but this process can also be quite liberating. While you may end up struggling to relate to some people, it can be comforting to find just how easy it is to talk to others when you get the hang of it. This can help to boost your confidence and make you better at dealing with social situations in the real world, while also giving you the skills you need to start conversations and keep them moving. If your introverted nature is more about social situations being exhausted, online chatting should take a little less energy and you can shut off any time you want.
Blogs & News Publications
Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the wonderful world of blogging. Much like websites like Reddit, blogging enables you to join communities that span the web, though this will be across many websites, rather than one. You can either start your own blog or surf around those that already exist, giving yourself the chance to find a solid place in the communities that you find.
There are loads of blogs around the web that target specific interests, and you can even find many a blog for introverts out there, too. Reading blogs will give you the chance to learn, commenting will give you the chance to socialise, and writing your own blog will enable you to build your very own community. People love working with one another in this space, which also provides the opportunity to build social skills online that can be applied to the real world.
Blogging can open up a world of new experiences and friendships in a way that might not have otherwise been possible for many, whether you’re a blogger or a reader. You can find others in a similar boat, so you feel less alone in what you’re going through. Interactions can be short or lengthy and you can spend as much or as little time in the blog ecosphere as you wish, depending on your energy levels for social interactions.
There are also publications, such as news sites and apps, that are worth mentioning as they often have open comment sections. While it’s a bit like shark-infested waters on some tabloid pages, it does offer up the chance to work at voicing your opinions with confidence.
Always proceed with caution; don’t give out personal details to strangers, think twice before ever meeting in person and do so in a public place, and report abusive communications.
Being introverted can make life rather difficult at times, with many people finding themselves feeling lonely when they can’t relate to others or don’t have the energy to go through long social gatherings. Thankfully, the internet offers an unparalleled experience for inclusivity, making it possible to enjoy the things you love no matter how easy you find social situations. You may need to push yourself a little to make the most of the social spots online, but you can do so at your own speed, one step at a time.
This is a collab post, but my personal opinion is that the online realm can be both amazing and not-so amazing. It has the power to be isolating and a source of anxiety, as well as to be a source of hope and community. I feel it can take some time to find the social spots that work for you in a positive way, and it can take some time to steel yourself against the trolls that are sadly found in every corner of the internet. Do you find the online world can be helpful for you to find, meet, chat and connect with others?
[ This is a collaborative post ]