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Extroverts and social distancing

(Image credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Extroverts and social distancing aren’t an ideal combination. So if you are stressed out by your lack of social interaction you may be an extrovert or the type of person Swedish psychologist Carl Jung defined as one who is involved in the world of people and things with “a desire to influence and be influenced by events.”

The social butterfly, the life of the party, the people person — these can be considered extroverts. Another way to define the phrase is to say that an extrovert draws energy from social interactions.

So what to do when extroverts and social distancing have to mix? How does the extrovert limit social interactions, and thrive?

What about social media?

Today, social distancing is virtually impossible. The Pew Research Center estimates that five billion people across the globe have mobile devices. Half of those devices are cell phones.  Where Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn all live, all the time. There are many more such platforms neatly categorized here by Hootsuite.

If an extrovert needs a human fix, well, there’s a party going on right there on their phone, laptop, tablet, desktop, or smart TV.

Outside of social media, video conferencing, allows families to chat, for friends to catch up, and for co-workers to get work done.

And let’s not forget the applications that allow all of the people who are currently working from home to actually be productive. Called collaborative software, Microsoft Teams and Slack and others allow working groups to share documents and to chat quickly and efficiently.

But is that the same?

So. The people are out there and by logging on to the various social media platforms the extrovert can be among them.

Sort of.

Right? Because, you may have Twitter and Facebook and TikTok all running on your phone, you might have one running on your laptop and another on your desktop and tablet. And they’re all open and running and you can see them all, all at once!

But, the reality is that their voices are there, their image is there, you can see what they’re typing. But they are not there. You are not there.

The extrovert is still kind of alone.

Call an extrovert!

You know who of your family and friends are extroverts. Give them a call! Encourage others to call them. Send them a letter.

The good news is that COVID-19 coronavirus-mandated social distancing is temporary. There will come a day when our gyms are open, our restaurants are offering sit-down service, our bars are presenting live music. Playgrounds will be full, swimming pools, airplanes, too.

On a side note, it’s likely your pantry will be stocked with enough toilet paper to last the year.

And in case you wondered, this online questionnaire might help you understand where you fit on the introvert-extrovert spectrum.

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