This is the age of socialization.
Facebook, Twitter, G+, Tumblr, Foursquare, Instagram etc… The pressure to share and be an active socialite has never been greater. But is this all good? Susan Cain, author of a new book called, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, doesn’t think so. In fact, she notes that about half of all Americans are introverts and that while marginalized, there is a reason to believe that all this extroversion is actually harming the quality of our work. Forcing socialization taxes the psyche of the introvert and prevents the individual from producing their best work. Cain writes that there is an abundance of studies that prove that brainstorming and teamwork often lead to inferior decision-making. In contrast, virtual collaboration, with team members collaborating on solutions alone first and then later discussing as a group, leads to much better overall solutions.
Of course, networking and social media aren’t going away anytime soon. And extroverts won’t stop their extroverting but it does give life to those feeling more and more isolated. Hang in there, you loners. You’ve got a place. And you’ve got value, even though your voice may not be very loud. Keep your privacy and keep your solitude. Our workplace needs you.