Networking for Introverts: Breaking the Ice

Since this post got the most likes (or any likes, for that matter) on LinkedIn, I will share it with you today.

The Internet has been a blessing for introverts like myself. Speaking from personal experience, the Internet has changed the way I’ve communicated tremendously. I’ve made many friends first through Facebook (through friends of friends and local political groups), some of whom I’ve met in person. I’ve found that the awkwardness of “first dates” is dissolved when two people have chatted online prior. I’ve met wonderful, like-minded individuals through Facebook from around the country I would have otherwise never known.

Gina, a woman whom I met through a political candidate group she founded, was also a member of a local writing group here in Pensacola (https://writeonpensacola.wordpress.com/), which led me to meeting one of my closer friends, not to mention connecting with other writers and artists who’ve been a wellspring of information on how to promote myself and my work, and instilled within me encouragement–a powerful motivator. Gina also recommended me as a committee member for the Gulf Coast Kid’s House, for which I wrote a couple of articles.  (As of November 2016, I am the volunteer writer and designer of the online newsletter for the Panhandle Warrior Partnership:  http://www.panhandlewarriors.org/).

I’ve used our WriteOn! Pensacola Facebook page to share information with members on publications, contests, conferences, and more. It’s easier for an introvert to have a voice online than it is in person, especially being a writer, because I like to edit my thoughts before submitting them. If I always spoke my mind, I’d be in trouble all the time. (I get in enough trouble sharing certain things on Facebook.)  I prefer written communication over the oral (with the exception of facetime), as I don’t have to have a mobile device on my person at all times (no one but my family has access to me 24/7, and should not expect to). I can drop a chat on Facebook and pick up where I’ve left off at a later time, which I could never do on the telephone.

LinkedIn has given me a platform to showcase my writing ability to possible future employers. I always list my online presences on my resume, including my WordPress blog. Now that I also write for the student newspaper, I will be adding my online portfolio.

The Internet has made communication, and life in general, less anxious for wallflowers like me, giving us a chance to “break the ice” first.

*scholarship essay for sonomacountysatellite.com, edited 06 Dec 2016

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