I feel like it’s easier to find someone who will admit to being a real racist than it is to find someone who will admit to being an extrovert. The charmer at the party? Oh no, this stuff exhausts me. The energetic go-getter simultaneously climbing social and professional ladders? You wouldn’t believe how introverted I am. The person who of his own free will chooses to interview strangers for a living? Not me.
Fortunately, this once-in-a-thousand-years statistical anomaly of introversion overload offers a massive upside in a Covid-ravaged world. Beaten, broken, and drained from all that pesky interaction with humans, the introverts can finally recharge in solitude. Praise be to Christ our Lord!
What’s that I hear? Is that? Is that a chorus of complaints? Is that cries of boredom without human contact? Is that the sudden need to “kill time”? No, it can’t be, is this nonsense, no way no way no way, coming from all the introverts who are getting exactly what they claimed to covet?
To be clear, there are existence-altering risks at play with Covid, and there is often something jarring about a dramatic change in one’s day-in-day-out, but, my god, this episode is exposing a level of collective ADD and lack of creativity and interest that no personality type should be subjected to.
Now, that surely sounds like echoes of the “digital distraction” referendum that became en vogue for coastal elites to preach; it is not. What’s being exposed is why the “digital distraction” is possible: ISTJs, ENTPs, and all the rest are easily bored, and as much as the panacea of exploration is sold, when you actually pick up [insert activity like, say, reading], it kinda sucks. More startlingly, perhaps, is that many of us seem to do better with authoritarianism – where someone is telling us what to do and where to do it – than freedom – where we have blank slates to fill with anything.
You know the person who thinks moving to a different city will magically solve all her problems? I just need to get out of this place. The change of scenery will do me well. This optimism will aggressively disappear if she fails to develop purpose, because that’s the real issue, not City A vs. City B. Purpose can be grand ambition, basic interests, or, really, anything sustainable (i.e., that which doesn’t produce regret) to make the slow roll out of bed a little quicker. That emigrating woman’s optimism is not wrong, though, since environment switches encourage confrontation with what matters most, which is easily ignored in status quo’s comfort.
It’s officially uncomfortable now. Will we learn anything that isn’t forgotten once a new equilibrium is established?