Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
Why I Love the Internet
I am a normal person online. In real life, between being such a nervous wreck most of the time and not being particularly fluent in body language (either speaking or interpreting) I come across as somebody who's not quite right. Not that I don't make social mistakes online, too (or maybe I just don't notice so often that I'm making them), but it's just so much easier. The Internet is an introvert's paradise. But real life has its good points, too, so I'm not quite ready to give up on it yet....
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 3:04 AM
On October 4, 2008 10:54 AMMarlawrote... I probably appear to be somewhat adept socially because moving some thirty times has forced me to acquire a certain amount of skill in that department, but those close to me would tell you that I am much better at relationships in my letter writing and email (and blogging)than I am over the phone or face to face. In my mind, I am all smiles and friendliness. Outwardly it is another story altogether. Sigh. I am nearing 40 and starting to wonder if I will ever be good at it. At least my husband and children don't seem to mind (Thank You, Lord!).
On October 4, 2008 2:53 PMpentamomwrote... Valerie, I feel just the same way you do about Internet vs. real life ability to communicate and come off reasonably well.
But in all honesty, you've never come across to me as "not quite right" in our few meetings IRL. Either you're not as hopeless as you think, or I'm not right, either. ;-)
Introvert's paradise, indeed! I remember someone online who knew a mutual online acquaintance IRL describing the other guy as someone who benefited hugely from the Net due to a severe lack of what would be thought of as normal social skills. Even online, the person in question came off slightly odd, but apparently IRL he had real difficulty connecting with people at all. It surely is a blessing for those of us with various degrees of Social Awkwardness Syndrome.
On October 4, 2008 4:35 PMAngiewrote... I tend to think that someone who comes off not quite right IRL also gives off weirdo vibes online, at least to some extent. I've never picked up not-quite-rightness from you, either IRL or on the www!
Like the other commenters, I think I'm more of an introvert than an extrovert. I also think most people consider themselves introverted. I imagine a lot of it has to do with lack of training in the social graces...we ought to have required "charm school," I guess!
On October 5, 2008 5:45 PMCindy Cassinwrote... Valerie, I only know your on-line person. I think you're wonderfully articulate and smart, too. You always seem to bring in a new aspect to the blog (Femina) topic and start me thinking in a new direction.
On October 6, 2008 7:45 PMMargaret in VAwrote... Well I am NOT an introvert, but I enjoy that the internet relationships that I have because it (the net) helps me to reach beyond my domain. I love knowing people all over and conversing with them. The internet helps me think about things that are important to me and my way of life deeper by conversing with other like-minded people when I might not have that luxury closer to home.
I think your just fine IRL...I understand that you sometimes feel awkward but I feel comfortable with you and usually feel like you feel comfortable with me.
BTW...have you received our invite? Yes, Myra AND Kelly will be here...feel like dancin?
On October 7, 2008 12:33 PMpentamomwrote... There is thinking you're introverted when you're really not because you lack confidence in your social skills (a la Mr. Darcy) and then there is the kind of introversion that will be with you regardless of how well you deal with it.
I'm an example of the second. I can't claim that my social skills ARE great, but being unsure of myself around people is not the salient fact of my introversion. The way true introversion manifests is in the fact that for an introvert, social interaction, no matter how enjoyable or well-managed, is draining rather than energizing. Some people will spend a day with friends and feel emotionally and physically able to conquer the world.They're extroverts. As a columnist in WORLD recently put it, being an introvert means that after a party, you have to lie down in a dark room. That is sometimes literally my reaction. Even if I'm having a ball, social interaction beyond my immediate nuclear family, even with people I am close and comfortable with, is EXHAUSTING. And this isn't because I'm expending excess energy trying to "project" something unnatural or false -- it's just the way some people are.
Introversion/extroversion don't serve as an excuse or limitation or even an advantage in doing one's duty -- but they're a reality that is present. Introversion probably presents a greater, or at least more frequent, battle on the whole, though I imagine extroverts are the sort that can go batty if their duty requires too much aloneness. I imagine extroverted moms of young children can have quite a tough row to hoe -- the shut-in-ness that frequently accompanies that phase of life drives even the most introverted type slightly stir-crazy, I imagine.
On October 7, 2008 1:40 PMHeidiwrote... Internet: Introvert's Paradise. I'm SO with you on that one. I also think there's a sense in which this "new" type of community is really valuable. I love the ability to dialogue with people all around the world.
BUT, of course... Real community looking at one another "with skin on our faces" can't be replaced, and for every ounce of enjoyment I get out of my blogging community I try to remember to pour ten times as much back into the "live" community in which I find myself. (It's hard sometimes: so often I'd rather just be an invisable personality safely behind a screen...)