What About Textroverts?
What’s a textrovert, you ask? You probably already know. It’s the person who’s quick and witty over text exchanges. They are never short on words. Or emojis. If you were to guess their personality based on text messaging alone, you’d think you were messaging with the life of the party.
Until you meet them.
Instead of loud, they are quiet. Instead of inquisitive and conversational, they are shy, reserved, and seem to have a hard time finding their words.
That’s a textrovert.
And that’s probably an unfortunate by-product of technology and communicating through it. As our communication has moved from in-person to online, we’ve also been given an opportunity to be someone we may not feel comfortable being in person.
We can use our phones to edit our real-time personalities. Where we may feel uncomfortable with our face-to-face comebacks, we have an untethered courage in how we text. Our phones have become the stage of our one-time shot at being a career comedian. Everyone loves a good LOL texting moment, and for many, myself included, texting allows me to be comedic in ways I’ve never been able to be in person.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Until there is.
Until you connect with a potential first date, initially, over text. His one-liners have you in stitches and you don’t even know this guy. You talk about how funny he is with his friends, arrange with him to meet over a casual cup of coffee, and show up. Fifteen minutes into the meeting you are wondering if you are even sitting across the table from the person who was texting you. He’s awkward. Slightly uncomfortable. And if you don’t do the talking, no one will. Thirty minutes in and you’re finalizing your exit plan.
Using your virtual courage to your advantage is one thing, but creating dueling personalities is something else entirely.
To some extent, we are all going to be an exaggerated form of ourselves over text. The reason is simple: there is a digital shield of protection in place when we text. We don’t actually see the other person’s reaction. We have time edit, re-edit, and edit again our messages and responses. And software developers have loaded a seemingly bottomless pit of gifs and emojis onto our keyboards.
For me, I want people to experience the same me regardless of the context. I don’t want to leave someone confused when they meet me in real time. Likewise, I don’t want to encounter extreme versions of someone else on different platforms either.
What about you?
I suppose my caution would be to not allow texting to become the way you get to be a person you'll never be in real time. And I realize that if you're the one texting, then you can argue that is the "real you". Then my follow-up would be to find those few trusted and safe friends who you feel comfortable being quick, witty, and talkative with, and practice doing just that. Practice until you feel more and more comfortable in your own skin - to the point that regardless of who you are interacting with, everyone is always experiencing the real you.
Because the truth is that textroverts are funny. Until they're not.
Interested in more on this topic? Check out Beyond the Swipe on Amazon.