Here I Sit Wondering about Online Networking

I ponder this question, “Are people who are ridiculously active on social or professional networking sites equally or more social in personal/professional life?” I, thus, answer:

I believe that people who are extremely active on social networking sites, e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, are less active in their personal interactions. I see it as a matter of time spent dictated by one’s personality type, namely introversion.

I’ll use myself as an example. Here I sit typing away when I could be talking on the phone, at a social gathering, or in the next room with my children watching their mind-numbing TV programs. I freely admit that I spend too much time on LinkedIn, answering questions and reading responses.

I’m an introvert, and spending time networking online suits my personality type more than social interaction, especially after a day of leading workshops to numerous people. It’s my downtime and opportunity to recharge my batteries. More to the point, I thoroughly enjoy answering questions and reading answers posted by others.

Other introverts have told me that they enjoy the non-personal interaction that LI and the others offer. This is their form of mental stimulation, as it is mine.

That said, it’s a mistake to think that doing all your networking online will build your business or aid in your job search. I’m not implying that all introverts conduct their business this way. Introverts also have the capacity to personally interact with other business people and jobseekers; it just requires more energy to sustain a whole day of being around people.

I’m sure many people who read this will assume I believe this true of all introverts. I do not believe this to be true of all introverts; nor do I believe that extraverts avoid online networking sites. But I believe on a whole that time spent on networking sites can be dictated by one’s personality type and that this affects their social interaction.

Note: I spend on average two hours a day on LinkedIn, often more time during the weekends. Despite the amount of time I spend on LinkedIn, I am by no means as addicted to this application as other LinkedIn users.

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