Introverts and Extroverts: Which Type Prefers Social Networking?


I recently had a discussion in one of the courses I teach about whether introverts or extroverts were more likely to be on the social web.  Some students made a good argument for why there may be more introverts on social networking sites.  Introverts tend to like to take their time to think about what they want to say before they say it.  Therefore, the online environment is a good place for them to be able to type what they want to say at their own speed.  Other students made a good argument for why there may be more extroverts on social sites.  Extroverts like a lot of discussion and interaction with others and therefore it makes sense that they’d be out there conversing, even if it was in written form.  

I did a little research and found an interesting study by Maggie Morrison and Sally McMillan from the University of Tennessee. A total of 351 persons participated in this study examining the behavior and characteristics of consumers in user generated content.  Their findings indicated that most respondents read or lurk more often than they post.  They also found that men were likely to score high on the posting factor and women were more likely to score high on use of social networking sites.

As far as the whether there were more introverts or extroverts, the authors found that participants who are more likely to lurk and post at social networking sites are also more likely to score high on the extraversion scale.

Check out a blog by where the author speculated that there were more introverts by clicking here.  The author put together a quick one question survey to gather some data.  Click here for that survey. At the time of this writing, the results from that survey indicated 57% were introverts and 43% were extroverts. 

Intro vs. Extro

Intro vs. Extro tended to agree that more introverts were on the web. In that article, the author states that the internet has helped the introvert come out of their shell.  To see the article, click here also agrees that there are more introverts socializing on the Internet, stating that Twitter is a safe haven for shy people and introverts.  Check out their blog by clicking here. noted in one of their articles that Guy Kawasaki, the 15th most influential Twitter user and one of the most recognizable names in social media, is a self-professed introvert.  Click here to go to the Mashable site to answer their survey to answer whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.   

So what do you think?  Are there more introverts or extroverts out there social networking?  The University of Tennessee study showed more extroverts and the informal surveys showed more introverts.   In our book, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities, Toni Rothpletz and I write about the differences between introverts and extroverts.  We are both extroverts and find the differences between the two groups fascinating.  If you are interested in learning more about Myers-Briggs’ and their definition of the difference between introverts and extroverts, click here.

In our book we list several examples of each type of Myers-Briggs personality type. 

Here is a list of some famous extroverts that we write about in our book:

  • Tom Hanks
  • David Spade
  • Oprah
  • President Obama
  • Johnny Depp
  • Michael Jordan
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Ben Affleck
  • Robin Williams
  • Robert Downing Jr.
  • Sandra Bullock

Here is a list of some famous introverts:

  • Tiger Woods
  • Albert Einstein
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Meryl Streep
  • Julia Roberts
  • John F. Kennedy, Jr.
  • William Shakespeare
  • Michael Jackson
  • Marilyn Monroe

If you are interested in seeing more . . .you can check out the lists of celebrity examples in our book which will be published soon.  I will keep you updated.