Social Networking for the Socially Awkward
October 19, 2010 2 Comments
Um, how are you?
I’m good, thanks.
And you? How are you?
Yeah? That’s good…
So listen, I’ll talk to you later, ok?
That’s how I sound on the telephone. I have zero ability to carry on a phone conversation unless there’s a really obvious purpose for the call or a mutually understood end-result.
Chit-chat? Doesn’t fulfill the above criteria and is considered last resort for maintaining relationships that are teetering on the edge. The thought of having to come up with interesting things to say to someone without having the use of my fingers to type them out is daunting.
So, I end up saying something I probably shouldn’t have said, with no Backspace button to cover my tracks and do it better the next time.
Not too much of a problem these days, you think, right? Typing has pretty much trumped talking, and online Social Networking is taking over the world. Right?!?!
Not so fast.
I’ve found that my issues with social awkwardness have translated pretty nicely into my online presence in the social networking sphere as well.
Here’s what I’m like on the Social Networks of the world:
How are you?
(Was that the right thing to do?! Or should I have pressed ‘Reply’? Oh no now this person’s going to think I’m a complete moron!
Oh look. They already do think that about me, and now everyone on fb knows it as well.)
One of the things I’ve learned from some of my best yoga teachers and life mentors has been to learn to sit with/through discomfort.
As part of putting myself out there and learning to connect with people in meaningful ways, I’ve decided to sit with/through the discomfort of my social networking awkwardness, and keep at it.
This is not an easy thing to do for me, as discomfort causes my impatient mind to jump to other things that I could be doing instead, things I’m good at, things that don’t put me at risk of public failure.
So I physically withdraw, move away, and fidget, unable to sit through the experience, whether it’s a yoga pose or a new setting where I am expected (or expect myself) to do well.
I’ve been working on it, working on putting my best out there and not being attached to the results, but I realize that getting there will take time. It requires unlearning some of the ways I naturally react, and making a conscious decision about how I will perceive and process a situation. And that can go well or not so well depending on the day.
There’s so much to learn from people, and I’m so willing to learn it.
So I will continue to Update, continue to ‘Like’, continue to ‘RT’, and continue to write.