August 7, 2011

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Introverts, Unite

Like Jennifer Graham, I don’t feel the need to fill quiet with the noise of social media (Perspective, July 24). I refuse to fall victim to Facebook. I worry for this next generation, which cannot write a letter or carry on an intelligent conversation and has sprained thumbs from texting and providing electronic updates of its wonderful social life. These people are never without their beloved devices, which are like pacifiers and blankies. They are texting and scrolling at weddings, parties, and meetings; while walking, driving, and eating. They sleep with them by their sides, lest they miss some drama. Me? I’ll stick with a real conversation, thank you.

Julie Coyle / Hull

I don’t use Facebook because it is getting to the point where people assume you do and are offended when you don’t involve them in your circle of friends. Some of us just would rather have a circle that we can handle with a few phone calls. Now I’m going back to the solitude of reading my newspaper on my quiet front porch.

Regina Sharpe / Needham

I, too, am an introvert and have been criticized, insulted, and told I’m lonely. Listen up, people: Often, the last thing I am is lonely. If I post Graham’s article on my fridge, I hope to open minds to the realization that it’s other people who have a problem, not me.

Nancy Fanjoy / Woburn

I was born an extrovert and have always tried to push my 15-year-old son to be more outgoing. By the time he was in middle school, I was starting to demand answers. I consulted the school’s guidance department, a therapist, and his pediatrician. “Why doesn’t he want to go out?” “Why doesn’t he ever turn on his cellphone?” “I can’t believe he doesn’t want a Facebook page.” Well, your article answered my questions. Now I can finally leave my smart, handsome, and nice son alone!

Laura Hurley / Marblehead

Graham’s piece characterizes introverts as “famously comfortable in [their] own skins,” which makes the magazine’s use of the headline “Social Anxiety” an especially confusing error. Psychological research has shown that anxious introversion is distinguishable from social introversion (low sociability) and thinking introversion (introspectiveness). Among shy people, for whom the term “social anxiety” should be reserved, only about half are low in sociability or high in introspectiveness. So there are both non-anxious introverts and non-introverted shy people among us. “Social Networking Aversion” would have been a more appropriate title for representing the perspective of non-anxious introverts.

Jonathan M. Cheek

Professor of psychology,

Wellesley College

What a Wicket Game We Play

I enjoyed reading Kevin Alexander’s article on Six Wicket Croquet (“No Rest for the Wicket,” July 10). For the past eight years, my wife has reluctantly allowed me to turn our yard (I also use part of our neighbor’s) into 10 not-quite-Lenox Club quality courts for our annual tournament. We have folks from about 8 to 80 playing!

Tom Wisnauckas / Worthington

City Leaving

I read Doug Most’s essay “Confessions of a Reluctant Suburbanite” (Perspective, July 10) and can respect his choice for leaving Jamaica Plain. Like his neighbors and friends, I find it disappointing when families choose to leave. The problem is that they are usually the families with the voice, power, and means to make a difference. The lack of consistency among the residents of Boston who are able to mobilize for change is why change never comes. There is a ton of hustling involved in assuring that your child is getting what he or she needs out of the Boston Public Schools, but it is worth it when you see children succeeding. Why not be part of the effort to ensure all schools are good for all children? Everyone who moves cites the same reasons that Most does, but I suspect there are other reasons that are not politically correct to talk about.

Beliza Veras-Moriarty / Dorchester

Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.

  • August 7, 2011 cover
  • August 7, 2011 cover
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