Social media reporting of social anxiety and introversion

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I’ve read many social media reports recently about Summer Walker. Summer is a singer from the USA, if you didn’t know (I didn’t, and that made me feel old). Summer was being attacked on Instagram for not interacting much with a fan during a meet and greet.

Music, dance and introverts

What was the complaint?

The fan who seems to have started the matter off complained that in a post-concert meet and greet they were “informed to have our phones out, ready with flash, and not sit too close or touch her. She barely spoke to anyone, every couple of people she’d say ‘Hi.”

Some fans joined in and complained, with comments like:

“It was a big hurt piece for me because I really idolize her and her work. I knew she was an introvert and kind of closed off but there was no effort in this at all, whatsoever.”

Other fans defended Summer

Some stood up for Walker as she’s a known introvert, and the way the meet-and-greet allegedly went should have been expected.

The overall feeling seemed to be that,  as money was involved, Walker should have done more to appease her fans.

What’s this got to do with business?

You’re right, a musician’s issues on Social Media are not something you’d normally be interested in, so why am I writing this?

Because it’s another example of negative reporting of introverts AND it’s based on a misreporting/ misunderstanding (or at least unclear understanding).

What was the misunderstanding?

I feel very sorry for anybody, popstar or not, that gets that kind of negative press, especially somebody who values her privacy, is introverted and has social anxiety issues. I’m not really writing about Summer, but about the misrepresentation of introversion.

The articles had the introvert word up at the top of the reports, so I looked for evidence of introversion. The reports certainly suggested that Summer had some social anxiety and maybe her behaviour demonstrated that. But I didn’t see evidence of being introverted being given, and besides which an introvert can socialise, talk and deal with people.

Let’s consider key points of an introvert:

  • Loses energy in a group of people, gains energy by time of their own.
  • Processes thoughts internally, rather than externally.

Being introverted is not the same as being shy and not the same as having social anxiety; yet these names often get grouped together.

Why is this misunderstanding relevant to you?

If you’re in business and you have introverted employees (or are an introvert in business), understanding what introversion can allow you to put in place suitable strategies to help improve performance.

If all we ever do is mix up terms and then “get negative” about them, we don’t fix anything and probably make things worse for a many people (between a third and half of people are introverts).

Ideas to help introverts

For some ideas to help, click one of the following:

Other posts you may enjoy

Active recovery for introverts: How to manage your recovery and recover more quickly

Magic for introverts: How one introvert developed confidence and became a magician


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