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The social paradox

I noticed this today while I was eating lunch.  I've been eating at the student cafeteria.  But the faculty cafeteria just re-opened after some sort of break, so I went there to try it (surprisingly, they're the same cost).  It was so much fancier.  I really felt out of place.  But, the main point is that I was the only person in the whole room.  I ate nearly my entire meal in solitude.

While I was sitting there, I was on my phone.  Checking facebook, and other social networking apps and things that I have to chat with other people long distance.  What stuck out to me was when I considered the prospect of someone else coming into the dining hall, sitting at my table, and commencing a conversation with me.  It was a terrifying thought.

So, I spent the rest of my meal thinking about how odd it is.  In person, I believe I experience at least some degree of social anxiety.  Yet, online I do not.  I am the most extroverted and outgoing person I know while online.  I comment on every Facebook post, "like" everything, text people, email, chat, flirt, and really put myself out there.  Yet, in person I am rather shy.  I can be outgoing around people I know well, after I've warmed up.  But around new people, I do not strike up conversation.  In fact, when I came in to my new job to meet the department head and the other new faculty members, I was looking at a display on the wall when another new professor came up next to me and started looking at the same display.  I didn't say anything to him.  I left the area and when down one flight of stairs to avoid him.

So, why is it that I'm so sociable online and so anti-social in person?  I find it to be quite baffling, really.

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