An Oral History of the Great Introvert War

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Well, my boy. It’s hard to say exactly when it started. I suppose it was as early as twenty-thirteen or twenty-fourteen. ‘Course, it’s easy now to look back at everything that’s happened in all the years since then and say it was obvious what was going on. At the time, it was hardly nothin’. It was just part of our everyday lives back then. I know that seems pretty unenlightened to you young folks of today, but things was different back in those days. Simpler, you could say.

But before long it escalated, and what happened next was one of the bloodiest conflicts the world has ever saw. The Great Introvert War. It was a dark time for humanity. Brother against brother, sister against sister, me against everyone in my book club. And the lines drawn are still felt to this day.

It seemed innocent enough at first. History folk will say the real start to it was a sudden onslaught of online lists about what it’s like to be introverted. Sure, they was made to look harmless, with lots of pics and animated gifs from 30 Rock and New Girl, but there was somethin’ a whole lot more sinister at work there. Drove a wedge right down the middle of society is what it did.

Now supposin’ you’re all set to marry the pretty young gal from down the street. She’s a little shy, but you’ve been sweet on each other since grade school, and everything’s ready to go. Then one day there’s some inflammatory BuzzFeed link going around called “22 Things You Need to Know if You’re Dating an Introvert,” and suddenly your whole world is turned upside down and thisways that.

A lot of people started wonderin’ about the people they was with, and things started to turn ugly. It wasn’t long before there was numbers you could call to report someone if you knew they was an introvert, and not much longer after that people started gettin’ killed. It became organized. Secret coded messages, unintelligible to extroverts, started being passed around under headlines like “34 Things Only Introverts will Understand.”

‘Course, you know all about that from the history holograms at your school. But it was a different thing to live through it. History folk will tell you all about what caused what, and who fought who in what battle. But they ain’t going to tell you about what it was like to lose half of your friends, your family. They can’t tell you how it felt for me when your grandmother was taken away to the introvert camps.

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Horrible, ghastly places, those camps. Big complexes of individual cells where introverts were forced to live by themselves, with virtually no contact with the outside world. ‘Course, the introverts loved ’em, and flocked to ’em in droves. Many of us never saw a lot of our friends and family again. It could’ve just ended there, with the world divided like it were. We could’ve just left each other alone. But the smugness of the introvert knows no bounds. And what happened next I can hardly bear to recall.

It was devastating for us extroverts. Almost lost us the war when they unleashed their most diabolical weapon. “17 Signs You’re a Secret Introvert” it was called. It spread around Facebook like wildfire. Came out of the clear blue sky. Ain’t none of us was expectin’ somethin’ like this. All of a sudden you didn’t know who to trust. Anyone, this list proclaimed, no matter how outgoing they appeared in public, could actually be an introvert at heart. And right there at the top of the article was a meme of Amy Poehler.

She was supposed to be one of our most steadfast and powerful extroverts. This was slander. It sent shockwaves through our camp, and almost immediately people were turning each other in. Their friends, their drinking buddies, their obnoxious co-workers who were always imitating techno beats. It was a fever. A panic. It almost lost us the war. But we managed to bounce back in the eleventh hour, as any history robot will tell you.

Some people believe there are still introverts out there, hiding in their vast underground cave systems, rechargin’ and preparin’ to venture back out into the world for revenge. After BuzzFeed was dismantled and all its content creators hanged, they lost their main method of propaganda dissemination. But some say they’re plotting, back and forth in long threads of @ replies in their private Twitter accounts, and it’s only a matter of time till they strike again. They just need to work up the resolve to go out in public once more.

And all we can do until that day, my dear boy, is keep living the life we fought so hard to preserve, to ensure the extroverts who died didn’t do it in vain. Having house parties, gettin’ drunk in movie theatres, and talkin’ way too loud at brunch in trendy cafes. Thems are the birthrights of every extrovert.

 

Photo by Frédéric Vissault via Flickr

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