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Cyber-shyness and a desire to put the "social" back into "social networking"

Cyber-shyness and a desire to put the "social" back into "social networking"

Why don't people socialise on social media?
Sure, we all love a good nose into what people are up to, but why is it all look and no chat?

I blame cyber-shyness.


I post
semi-regular Instagram stories which, for some reason, don't appear to go down to well with most.

I believe it is down to my
(made up) theory of cyber-shyness.

It intrigues me and spurs me to identify how to banish it and get people putting the 'social' into social media!


The definition of social media is: 

“websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” (1)

Okay, all good. So, in light of the above, the act of using social media is social networking, which is defined as: 

"the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests to one's own.” (2)(own emphasis added).
With the definitions in mind, thinking of my experience on social media...

1. Why doesn’t anyone interact with me?;
2. Why haven’t I discovered people with similar interests to me?; but ultimately,

Why is social media so unsocial?!

My current experience of social media is That it's a rather one-sided affair.

The platform of choice is Instagram, primarily through it's "Stories" functionality. I share often, perhaps on average five stories per day – little snippets of what I am doing, thinking or how I am feeling.

My stories are very candid and 'real' - I don't aim for my best angle or re-record if I look or sound silly. Heck, I rarely wear makeup in the stories that I take while at home!

I'm truly just me, championing my motto, rather than presenting a facade or the 'best version' of myself.

What I share is presented to the passive.
Or, even worse so, the passive who do not share similar interests with me.

I share because I want to; whether it's a cool place I have visited or seen, or just an interesting thought I had. I not afraid to say that part of my reason to share is an attempt to interact with others. This is in regard to engaging a discussion or perhaps, recommending somewhere to someone.

It's a two-way thing: I share because I want to but with a hope of connecting with people.



From recent stories where I have polled or asked questions, it has become clear that what I share is presented to the passive.

Or, even worse so, passive people who don’t share similar interests with me.

(Some) people are ever so keen to watch my stories – within a couple of minutes of uploading, about 3-5 people will have watched – yet, they are very reluctant, if ever, willing to chat!

I have a goal of 'growing' my following

I say 'growing' because I do not mean in the sense of increasing numbers. No, rather I mean in terms of development, to work out a method or the type or format of content that gets people engaged and connected!

(Growth in the commonly interpreted form wouldn't go amiss either! Although, I suppose the two forms
go in hand together)

In the process of doing so, I believe I'll work out why social media is so unsocial. Or, at least my followers!



I have a feeling, that a lack of engagement may be sort of a cyber-shyness thing (I'm calling it) – that people want to engage but as their name/identity etc. is attached to their profile, they are reluctant insofar as being identified in being engaged.

It sounds like a round about theory but it wouldn't surprise me. Some of my reasoning comes from the engagement that bloggers receive – masses of comments on their photos/videos and I presume, their stories. The majority of those comments will come from strangers and as bloggers receive so many comments, the people will remain strangers.

However, with my content, I have a small following and therefore all comments go no noticed and do not become white noise. Thus, the people whom engage are identified, which to many I think, is not ideal.

But What DO
I know?!


Some of the rare and infrequent instagram photo posts I have made over the past year

It's not all postS and no engagement Though

Giving credit where it's due, there are a small handful of people who do engage with my stories and I really appreciate and enjoy their interactions and interacting with them.

The handful of people do primarily, if not solely, consist of people I know on a relatively good basis (uni friends, old school friends etc.) which actually intrigues me as these people are identified both online and in the real world. However, the latter is well-established and therefore I think the cyber-shyness cannot exist.

The reluctance, in my opinion, comes from the unwillingness to transition from unknown to identifiable. For people who know me, it doesn't matter because yes, I can identify them from their profile, but I know them, who they are, what their personalities are like and therefore the profile does not 'make them' in respect of what I know about them. 

Whereas for a 'stranger' I can only form my opinion on their profile and nothing more – and I'll consequently only 'know' them from what's there online.

Perhaps I am thinking waaaay too much into it, but it intrigues me; I can't deny that.

All I know is,

I'm going to keep posting stories; being me, doing me and impressing me. 




  1. Oxford Living English Dictionary;
  2. Oxford Living English Dictionary;
I tried online dating and it was even worse than expected

I tried online dating and it was even worse than expected

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