As someone who is a hard “I” on the Myers–Briggs, this quarantine season has been very difficult for me. It seems like I can’t go a day without logging on to Instagram and seeing photos of my friends who have traded in their Coachella tickets and networking happy hours for a night in, cuddled up in a cozy blanket to re-read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Hashtags like #introvertlife and #quarantintrovert abound. If I have to hear one more time about how “it’s so nice to finally stay home and have some me time,” I might just pen a thousand-word missive on tumblr.
I’m sure many of you think it’s funny to joke about how nice it is to finally have an excuse not to hang out with your friends. But maybe next time you should stop and think about how hurtful that can sound to people who have been turning off their camera on video conferences for years.
We get it. It’s now ~so~ empowering that we can all admit that we find small talk on Zoom to be incredibly cumbersome. Us introverts should take it as a compliment that so many people now claim to “actually wait until the delivery person drops the food off before I come to the door.” But how about you put yourself in our slipper-shod shoes? Next time you brag about how you learned a lot about yourself by quietly self-reflecting during your now-solo coffee break, think about how painful that must be to your introvert friend who—before this quarantine—only found himself represented in cardigan models and Buzzfeed listicles.
So, while we invite you to celebrate our culture, there are a lot of other ways to appreciate us introverts than to make light of your sudden aversion to hugging friends or seeing your neighbors in the elevator. And we challenge you to think about what it means when this is over and some of you extroverts can put that jigsaw puzzle back on the shelf.
This quarantine can be a fun time if we all take proper social distancing measures and be careful with our personality-shaming. Tell your friends. And can you tell ours too?