The Hidden Extrovert

The Hidden Extrovert

     I have a friend who spends a lot of time playing video games. Whether it’s strategic, survival, battle, or accuracy games, they play it all. This friend considered themself an introvert -hiding in the shadows of their room with the light of their games- but everyone who talks with them says they’re easily an extrovert, probably the most charming and friendly of all extroverts. This got me thinking, how many people are true extroverts, with a natural gift for socializing and communicating, but hideaway to play video games? And how do we stop that?

     Video games are addicting, that’s for sure. There’s always another challenge, another goal, and another boss to defeat. Soon you just get sucked in. Next thing you know, it’s been several hours. But the game isn’t always what keeps you on; it’s the people. The chance to talk with people across the world online is tempting and, admittedly, fun. Talking online is much easier than talking face to face; you don’t need to read body language, your tone doesn’t matter, and you can use “lol” and “UwU.” It makes sense that a naturally introverted person would choose online communication rather than face-to-face. On the other hand, a naturally extroverted person may not consciously choose online communication over in-person. However, when they do spend more time online, their in-person interactions decrease as they become more dependent on their gaming.

     Gaming has a lot of problems on its own. First of all, you never know who is on the other side of a conversation -could be some old guy, a hacker or troll, maybe even Shrek. To make things worse, imagine what life would be like in the future when people who spent hours on video games haven’t developed the kind of in-person social skills needed to function in the real world. Additionally, blue light, which comes off a screen, blocks a hormone called melatonin. This hormone is supposed to make people sleepy, and blocking it ruins your body’s ability to prepare for sleep. Extroverted people who game into the night will suffer the consequences; the lack of sleep may lead to them being irritable in the morning, they may not be able to function well, and may even lead to failure in school or reduced attention spans. So, not only are extroverts letting their natural talents, but they are also ruining their lives and body. 

     There are a lot of solutions to bringing extroverts back into the real world. Cutting down screen time is the best solution, as well as exploring other pastimes and making sure to interact in-person or with real-life friends. I hope that people like my friend will rediscover their extroverted sides and finally step away from the screen to truly be who they really are.