Not to toot Twitter‘s horn any more than necessary, but once again, Twitter has proven its use above and beyond my expectations. Apart from the random updates from my flesh and blood friends (that I do value), Twitter enables me to connect with people way outside of my sphere of influence (i.e. Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame, Peter Sagal of NPR fame, John Mayer (no other introductions necessary), John Hodgman of Apple commercial fame and the list could go on forever).
For the most part, these bigwigs with thousands of followers could care less about what I have to say to them, and our “relationship” consists of me reading their random quips and updates and chuckling quietly to myself, but some of them have been known to purposefully connect with their fans on a regular basis.
I’m a big fan of Donald Miller and his writing. I feel like his writing is a refreshing and raw look at life and Christianity and can be used as a tool to touch and change a lot of people, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. By no means does he market himself to be a learned theologian, but that doesn’t mean God can’t give him good insight through his experiential understanding of Christ. Plus, he’s not an idiot. A lot of people attribute his writing to the emergent church movement, but all he really tries to do is put to words what God has shown him. I have a lot of respect for him because his journey with God has led him so very far and he is fast becoming one of the most influential Christian authors alive, all at the tender age of 38.
In the above exchange, Donald had posited a question to the “twittersphere”. He asked, “do non-introverts get lonely? i feel it about as often as i get a nosebleed…” and so forth. I misunderstood his statement because I assumed he was saying that he is a non-introvert and he was wondering if other non-introverts ever got lonely, just so he doesn’t feel weird about that. I thought about it for a little while and thought to myself, “Don’t extroverts, by definition, get lonely quicker?”, so I @ replied Don, asking him, “shouldn’t introverts be the ones that don’t get lonely? i’m perfectly content to be by myself.”, in which he replied via direct message, “exactly, i don’t think we do.”
Obviously, I was way off the mark. He wasn’t asking if extroverts ever get lonely because he himself gets lonely and he was trying to validate this as an extroverted phenomenon. He was saying that he, as an introvert, enjoys time by himself so much that he can’t really imagine an extrovert finding such simple solace a thing to be scorned.
In those few words, “exactly, i don’t think we do”, I felt such a sense of contentment, and not just because a famous person had singled me out to waste 28 keystrokes. I had assumed Donald was an extrovert because of his track record. He’s accomplished so much. He’s written so many books and started so many life-changing projects. He travels around the country speaking at conferences. He even performed the closing prayer at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In reading his writing, I had already felt that personality-wise, we had a lot in common. And now that I know we’re both introverts who enjoy our alone/recharging time and are hardpressed to feel loneliness, I’m going to purposefully un-fetter myself and see how far I can go.