This would probably be a familiar scenario to many of us. You find yourself stuck in an elevator with a bunch of strange faces that you will rather not be in a confined space with. Usually, chatting up your your new acquaintances is an option that you will rather not take. Chances are that you will rather fish out your mobile phone and fiddle with it for the duration of the 30 or so seconds it will take you to get to your floor.
Sounds familiar anyone? Yes, i understand, elevators do make strange bed fellows.
Many people have now found succour in their phones as a way of covering up their fear of interacting with others. Nowadays, it seems many adults, particularly in the younger age group, fear the possibility of having to chat with someone else. So they make certain that they are cocooned from the rest of the world with their faces down, feverishly fingering their latest gadget, safe in the knowledge they will be uninterrupted and will not have enter the “strange” and scary world of civilised conversation.
This same set of individuals could be extremely popular on the various social media platforms, usually with a long string of “followers”. Did i hear someone say “Online extroverts, offline introvert”? Understandably, it is probably easier for anyone, introvert or not, to be more daring with comments when online than anywhere else. Nigerian social media activists quickly come to mind.
Anytime i scroll through the comments on my twitter timelime (@diaryofageek), i am tempted to think that some of the people i follow actually live in “Twitter Land”. 24-7, they are always online, never short of comments and wise cracks to dish out. Would they be as daring or sociable when you meet up with them one on one? Mostly not the case.
It would be safe to assume that your garrulous social media pal will not be as chatty or extrovertial whenever, if ever, you both meet offline.
With extracts from Computeractive India Magazine – October 2013