My post from yesterday about social networking made me think more about introversion. Specifically, what makes some people introverted and others extroverted? Wikipedia offers a few suggestions, such as brain differences and geography. Introverts tend to be more responsive to stimuli than extroverts, but extroverts experience rewards more intensely. People who live on islands are more introverted than people on mainlands, especially if their ancestors have been on the island for several generations. Conversely, people who move from islands to the mainland tend to be more extroverted than people who stay behind.
If introversion and extroversion can be affected by factors such as geography, what long-term impact will technology have? Will people immersed in computers their entire lives be more likely to be introverted? I don't think Generation Y is like this, but it may take some time for any effects to become apparent. Will introversion or extroversion affect who is more likely to survive a natural disaster or cope with climate change? Extroverts may be better able to get others to help them, but perhaps introverts will be independent enough to manage on their own. These factors may influence how cultures evolve in the future -- and how we write about them.