For years now, loners and introverts have been the outsiders of society. They’re considered to be strange and boring, and not worth inviting to your events. The truth is, introverts and loners are just misunderstood. Finally, scientific research has proven that introverted people and those who choose to be loners are essential to our survival. Researchers at Princeton University discovered that without the power of introverts, our species wouldn’t survive.
What Is A Loner?
Loners exist all over the world, from insects to mammals and even single-cell organisms. Small herds of Wildebeests sit out on the great migration the rest of their species is taking. Locusts leave the swarm and return to a simple life as a grasshopper.
A loner actively avoids most interaction with other people and chooses not to make many personal connections. This differs from introverts slightly, in that, an introvert does enjoy making connections and can be social creatures, their energy just depletes quickly with too much “full-on” interaction.
Loners and introverts are similar though, in that they both choose to stay away from busy places and large crowds. They exist on the outskirts of society typically, not particularly concerned with getting involved.
Both types of people enjoy being at home in their own peace and quiet. In these difficult times of social distancing, surely, we need more people like this. An introvert’s true power really shows when in order to save the world, we have to stay home.
The Study: The Eco-evolutionary Significance of “Loners”
A study carried out at Princeton University that was published in early 2020 has proven the true power of an introvert once and for all.
The researchers used slime mold and amoebas as their participants in the experiment. Corina Tarnita, one of the scientists involved in this study, explained that though it might have been easier to draw conclusions from wildebeests and humans, they don’t lend themselves to these kinds of experiments well.
The Princeton study set out to prove the power of introverts by using an amoeba called Dictyostelium discoideum. The amoeba cells join together, forming large slime mold towers, gross. The cells join together by nature, but some stay behind.
Proof of The Power of Introverts
Corina Tarnita revealed that they found more loners than they ever expected. Up to 30% of the cells they studied chose to be loners. Even when they provided the most optimized conditions for the slime molds, still some stayed as outsiders.
After painstaking research, they concluded that these loners were essential to the survival of the species – whether they knew it themselves or not. If predators attack a group, the introverts and loners will remain. If a disease takes hold, the introverts and loners will stop it from jumping to the whole population. Possibly apt for the current climate.
When group activity risks group failure, the loners and introverts have the power to save the species.
Other Studies on The Power of Introverts
Susan Cain is a writer and expert on the introvert mind. In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, she explains how being an introvert can be evolutionarily beneficial.
Depending on the era and the circumstances, being an introvert or extrovert can be what dictates your success in life.
In the very distant past, during the hight of nomadic and hunter-gatherer eras, being extroverted was essential. Being out and about, making connections to get supplies and resources was the best way to secure your lifestyle. As we started to form settlements and took on farming instead of hunting, trades instead of bartering, introversion became a better way of living.
In our modern times, both will do you just fine, depending on the path you choose. Until now, that is. When staying home means protecting our lives, introverts have the upper hand. Right now, survival relies on staying out of the crowd and who has more experience with that than introverts and loners.
The Power of Introverts in the Current Climate
Never has being an introvert or a loner been more beneficial for our survival. The coronavirus pandemic is fast-moving and potentially deadly. Fortunately, the best way to stop it in its tracks is to just stay home. This couldn’t be much easier for introverts, who probably choose to stay home even without the threat of a dangerous virus. We’re saving lives doing things we always do.
If we were thinking in just black and white, which thankfully we aren’t, introverts would be the most likely to survive this outbreak. By not leaving the house out of boredom or desperation, we are in no danger. Introverts would survive in a black and white situation, leaving enough people behind to prevent total extinction.
If anyone ever tells you that introverts aren’t any use in modern society, you can tell them that! Staying home right now will save lives. In the future, even without a virus threatening our way of life, introverts and loners help to prevent dangerous overcrowding, pollution and the spread of violent outbreaks like riots and protests gone wrong.
Introverts and loners have been proven to be scientifically essential for our survival. Not just for humans, but for animals, bugs and icky slime molds too. Now more than ever, it’s time to let your introvert flag fly. Stay home, stay safe, save lives.
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