Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Introversion and the Future

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.


Beth Overmyer said...

Interesting post. What I wonder is how being an introvert affects the querying, publishing, and promotoing processes. How do introverts learn to shut off those extra sensers on their brains and not get overwhelmed and/or terrified?

Misha said...

Interesting to think about it.

Of course, I think that any human has an amazing capacity to adapt, so our changes will completely depend on what is thrown at us.


Mary Vaughn said...

Interesting food for thought. I think that in the future as in the past and present introverts and extroverts will work together for survival.

Angela Felsted said...

There's a lot of prejudice against introverts, which is sad. I think computers help.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I know I'm a lot more comfortable talking to people this way instead of in person. I'm an introvert, but with digital communication, I'm a lot braver.

Lisa Potts said...

I agree with Barbara. I'm a lot braver online than in person and it seems you can do almost everything online now, including college. I'm not sure if that makes us better or worse off in the long run.

Eric said...

Very interesting, Sandra. I didn't know about any of this. Thanks for sharing.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Beth, I think it helps if you don't have to query in person. That would be even more scary than it is now!

Misha, good point.

Mary, yes, I think we need to work together, since we complement each other.

Angela, some cultures are more introverted than the U.S., so there's hope.

Lisa and Barbara, I agree with you about using the Internet.

You're welcome, Eric.

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