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August 28, 2013

The Internet's love affair with introverts

Introverts, rejoice! The Internet thinks your glorious idiosyncrasies and private vexations are adorable and that you are worthy of complex care and feeding. Yes, it's great to be an introvert in 2013! So how do you know if you are one?

Huffington Post's popular diagnostic, "23 Signs You're Secretly an Introvert," says you may claim membership in this elite club if "idle chatter" fails to thrill you, if networking "feels disingenuous" (you "crave authenticity in [your] interactions"), if you "have a penchant for philosophical conversations and a love of thought-provoking books and movies," if you're "geared toward intense study and developing expertise," if you "have a keen eye for detail," and if your habit of "thinking before [you] speak" gives you a "wise" reputation. There's more: You might also be an introvert if you "look at the big picture" and if you prefer the window or aisle seat on buses.

I always thought I was an introvert because occasional bouts of solitude recharge me and lots of excited conversation with new people eventually turns me limp. But given the above lofty criteria, maybe I'm actually an extrovert? Luckily, Gawker's Caity Weaver has come out with a list of "15 Unmistakable, Outrageously Secret Signs You Are an Extrovert." They include:

— You interact with other humans in orthodox ways and sometimes it's fun and sometimes it's not and mostly it's whatever.

— When you want to stay in, you just do it without making a big, aggrieved production about how it is absolutely essential for you to stay in sometimes — you need to do it, you just have to recharge — because you have extreme intermittent photosensitivity . . . OF THE SOUL.

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