Mobius Leadership

Social Media Introvert

Posted on: August 5th, 2016 by mobiusleadership No Comments
How do having tendencies towards introversion and strong privacy values sit with having a presence on social media?

My own experience with social media has brought me up against some interesting (and sometimes painful) edges. I confess to having personal Facebook and Linked In pages for some years and been content to sit on the sidelines keeping in touch with family, friends and colleagues infrequently and from a distance.

From a business perspective, having a social media presence was not something we had taken seriously until this year. Once the decision to join the world of tweets, likes, shares and posts had been taken – my relationship with social media changed dramatically. “You mean I have to post, tweet, interact with people I don’t know – be public?!” Ouch!

There it was – I was looking at myself in the mirror – an introvert, a private person – happy to stay in the wings, certainly not centre stage – how was this going to work? All sorts of edges and underlying assumptions raised their heads;

  • What have I got to say?
  • Will I respond appropriately?
  • What if I get it wrong?
  • I’m not spontaneous enough!
  • Who will follow me?

Then somehow the learner in me connected with the business driver and I got into action.

I opened my own Twitter account – Big Step

I wrote a blog for our website – Big Step

I sent some tweets and found it fun to do – Big Step

This was actually OK – I realised I can do public, be safe and survive.

Of course the blessing and the curse of being in the personal development business is that you are trained to track all the internal dialogue and emotion that goes on.

I noticed that the process of entering more fully into the social media world did have a value to me in terms of my awareness and personal growth; I had to get clear on who I was (and wasn’t), what I wanted to align with (and what not) and why. Themes for blogs and posts came quite easily and I found writing was a vehicle that allowed me to express my thoughts on a subject that I am passionate about – how people can realise their potential, lead happy and fulfilling lives.

Progress was good, or so I thought. I believed my introverted self had this social media thing cracked until, encouraged to post my latest blog on my own Linked In page – I froze. No hiding behind the company name (and only a few connections) – this really was stepping up in front of clients, colleagues and friends that I held in high esteem. (Notice the sharp intake of breath, tightening in my chest – I was almost back where I had started from.)

  • Everyone else’s post are so much more professional
  • I’m not expert enough to write anything
  • I will be judged, and certainly not ‘liked’

All these beliefs and assumptions played out holding me in a safe but small place. Wanting to walk my talk (boats in a harbour are safe, but that’s not what boats are built for) I pushed on. Having experienced how powerful people can be when they are at their most vulnerable, I was inspired to break through these limiting beliefs. I drew breath, got out of my comfort zone and began posting – albeit it very tentatively.

So, this isn’t really about being a social media introvert – it’s about the opportunities that are around us everyday to grow just a little, to see our assumptions for what they are and to test them in a safe way so that gradually our full potential is realised and we live more fully.

I will find my way in the world of social media, sometimes private, sometimes public, always authentic, always growing.

What beliefs are you holding that support you? What are the ones that limit you? Is it time to challenge them?


Sarah Matthews is a Director of Mobius Coaching and Development and owner of the Mobius Centre on Heir Island, West Cork.

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