My ability to function socially in physical environments is exactly inversely proportional to the amount of extraneous "noise" in that environment, whether that's visual, auditory, social information, emotional or cognitive complexity, or whatever. The more noise comes from all directions around me, the slower my information processing works. Sometimes I figure out the incoming information several seconds afterwards (especially with language processing; my mind figures out sentences a measurable time after they're spoken, if not enunciated well enough for me to make out over the noise), and sometimes I figure things out hours later (body language or social cues that most people would trivially pick up on the fly). I can process all these kinds of information to some degree, but not in real time. So I do a lot of pre-processing of anticipated "conversation pathways" for important social interactions, and a lot of post-processing afterwards, trying to consider what happened from all angles and see if there were interpretations I missed or information I lost out on. But if the info is all coming from one direction, like my computer, then it gets significantly easier to process with my hyperfocus capacity.
I've been crystallizing my understanding of this particular bit of how my brain works, over a period of the last few months. Nice to read an article that seems to support this introspection.
Again, for now I'm using LJ for links and essays, and would like to use my Formspring for interacting with and hanging out with folks. You don't have to have an account there to just ask me a question; I'd like to be able to explain "how I work" and "what's up with me" better, and publicly, and I think the best way for me to do so right now is to answer specific questions that people actually have about me, rather than just rambling on about whatever insight pops into my head at a specific time. Not sure I want to do what I'm doing here too often, if there isn't a call for it. I don't want to overload people with unsolicited information. I allowed myself an exception this time, because that article I just read spoke so directly to the work I've recently been doing. But I'm trying to figure out how to handle my online presence in a more socially acceptable way, promoting awareness of the causes, people and issues I care about without causing drama that feels excessive to most, and especially without doing more harm than good to those causes. I'm figuring this out as I go, but the last several days have really helped me work through my phobia about my online presence that I've had for the last few years, and that's a Good Thing.
Sorry for my text walls. It's just how I write. I've been trying to work on it, but it's harder to control when something is very important to me. I'll try to do better.