Extrovert, introvert, synchronous, asynchronous

Extroverts and introverts differ in many ways. Extroverts prefer to interact with and gain satisfaction from the outside world. Introverts prefer to interact with and gain satisfaction from their inner world. Extroverts are energised by the presence of other people, and find alone time taxing. Introverts are de-energised by the presence of others, and find alone time refreshing. Extroverts like interacting with multiple people at once. Introverts like one-to-one interaction.

There are more. I won’t list them all; you can find out for yourself if you’re interested. But I am going to highlight one difference between the two personality types that doesn’t get mentioned: communication style preference.

A quick search brings up a few different types of communication style. You can read about “Analytical”, “Functional”, “Intuitive” and “Personal” styles of conveying and receiving information. That’s not what I’m getting at.

What I’m concerned with is the mode of communication. See, in this digital age, multiple channels of communication have flourished, and what separates them all is the expected time between responses. Face-to-face communication is synchronous. Someone says something, you respond immediately. Tools like Slack are sometimes synchronous and sometimes not. Sometimes you respond immediately, sometimes you don’t. Social media, like Slack is another technology that can be optimised for synchronous or asynchronous communication, depending on what you want to emphasise and how you use it. Perhaps the ultimate asynchronous method of communication (in the modern day) is email. When you send an email, it’s normal to expect a response in days or weeks, not minutes or hours.

What I’ve been thinking is that which end of the spectrum you fall upon influences your preference for either asynchronous or synchronous communication. As a person with strong introvert tendencies—my partner likes to joke that I wouldn’t leave the house if it weren’t for her—I recognise a strong preference for asynchronous communication. I’m awful at responding to texts, I don’t like when people ring unannounced, and I don’t engage with anyone consistently on any IM platforms.

So, I wonder if other introverts prefer asynchronous communication? And if extroverts prefer synchronous comms?