Current technology poses many problems for extroverts

Abigail Kruse and Abigail Kruse

Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert or some of both?

Most are a little of both.

I used to think introversion was the same thing as shyness. Actually, it has less to do with shyness and more to do with how you lose or gain energy.

I read an article on “Thought Catalog” recently that contained a pretty perfect analogy: “Think of each of us as having a little cup of energy available.” For introverts, each social interaction takes a little out of the cup instead of filling it like it does for extroverts.

For people whose little cup of energy is depleted by too much time around people, the holidays can be stressful, with their constant parade of places to go and people to see.

And in case you couldn’t tell by store décor and radio stations already playing Christmas music [not that I’m complaining], the holidays are upon us. At the risk of sounding heartless, I genuinely have no clue on advice to offer those folks.

I love the chaos and joyful banter of the holiday season. I love having Thanksgiving and Christmas with my cousins who double as neighbors. I love hosting my mom’s best friend and her family for New Year’s Eve.

I love catching up with old friends when I’m home on break. I genuinely don’t mind relatives’ questions about my present and future.

I need very little alone time to be happy and healthy, but somehow that doesn’t make me a party girl.

I don’t have much patience for the bar scene.

Call me old-fashioned, but I know exactly how much sleep I need to function, and if I’m going to skimp, it’s going to be for something important, like a friend’s recital or a good conversation.

I like hanging out with any number of people someplace where it’s easier to hear ourselves talk any day.

My family lives in the outskirts of a small town. It’s not a proper neighborhood and I can see why my mom pines for the neighborliness of her hometown of Kirtland, Ohio.

Like her, I need suburbia. It might be some people’s idea of hell, living in a suburb or a city with people all around, but to me it’s not only preferable but necessary.

You would think that social media is a godsend to crazy folks like me with a constant need for socialization. And it is – in small doses.

I often get frustrated at the lack of interpersonal interaction these days. We routinely block each other out with headphones and iPhones.

I like listening to music when walking across campus or through town, but that never precludes me from greeting and chatting with friends along the way.

Last week I went solo to a hockey game. My friends were busy, but I figured it would be easy as usual to strike up a conversation with people around me. I figured wrong.

It almost seemed weirder to introduce myself and talk than it was to play with my iPod and pretend it was a smartphone to blend in. In a sea of over 5,000 people, I felt alone. What can I say?

I’m not very hip with the times.