While some of us are happily embracing every form of social media and software that allows us to communicate with others (e.g. FaceTime and Skype), others are staying as far away from it all as possible. It’s not because they are Luddites who want to avoid the use of technology; it seems to be more about personality type.
The other day a friend told me she had given up her landline. “I thought having a cell phone would be liberating. No more having to be in one place. I can talk anywhere I want. I can be outside going for a walk. I thought it would be great. But you know what? I don’t actually like talking on the phone. I never have.” She shuddered. “I feel like I have to have my phone with me but I don’t actually want anyone to call me.” I noticed her cell phone was nowhere in sight.
It wasn’t just that she didn’t want to answer the phone. She has taken to avoiding FaceTime and Skype as well. Family members and friends who live at a distance use both as a way to keep in touch. Getting an unexpected call, she said, is stressful. If a call comes in she will politely hand it over to her children.
While she uses social networking sites she also keeps those to a minimum. To use Myers-Briggs language, my friend is someone with a strong preference for Introversion and finds all of these methods of communicating overwhelming at times.
Except texting. Texting is okay.
Good to know.
I did some research and I learned there are a whole lot of people out there who feel the same way as my friend. Until we had this discussion it hadn’t occurred to me to think in terms of Introversion and Extraversion playing a role in how we relate to technology. Which is silly really. Of course it would!
Given the choices of asynchronous text, chatcounselling, videocounselling, or virtual reality applications I can see how this dimension of personality might play into the choices people make when seeking online counselling.
Of course personality isn’t the only factor at play here yet it’s an important thing to bear in mind. Especially the next time I have the urge to call my friend.
Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc. http://www.therapyonline.ca
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA