kottke.org posts about Jonathan Rauch

Caring for your online introvertJun 01 2010

Fellow introvert Joanne McNeil on Jonathan Rauch's classic article on introverts and what introversion might mean on the internet.

Social media drains me like a large party might. I just deactivated Facebook. And I don't @ much on Twitter. Too often it feels like the "fog of [an extrovert's] 98-percent-content-free talk," as Rauch put it.

Red families vs. blue familiesMay 10 2010

In red America, families form adults; in blue America, adults form families.

Quite a statement. It sums up the how the red- and blue-state families approach marriage, childbirth, and divorce. The red-state approach worked well until our society changed.

New norms arise for this environment, norms geared to prevent premature family formation. The new paradigm prizes responsible childbearing and child-rearing far above the traditional linkage of sex, marriage, and procreation. Instead of emphasizing abstinence until marriage, it enjoins: Don't form a family until after you have finished your education and are equipped for responsibility. In other words, adults form families. Family life marks the end of the transition to adulthood, not the beginning.

Caring for Your IntrovertFeb 25 2003

Rarely does a passage of text resonate with how I am as a person as the opening paragraph of Jonathan Rauch's Caring for Your Introvert did:

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

Well, except for the "dynamite" part of "dynamite presentation".

The Internet has helped me a great deal in this regard. Email, IM, and my weblog allow me to communicate with people when I want and how I want, without worrying about all the things introverts worry about when interacting with people: small talk, first impressions, awkward silences, etc. With the web, I can carry on a conversation with a whole group of people and stare down at my shoes at the same time. That's an amazing and special thing for me.

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