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#GrowingUpShy: Social media emboldens introverts to share what it's like

Twitter is bringing out the inner thoughts of otherwise shy people.

As the hashtag #GrowingUpShy began trending today, people who identified began to speak up. Tweets from the shy and introverted revealed an array of emotions -- vulnerable, painful and sometimes humorous.

Among the tweets:

In her book, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" (Random House, 2012), Susan Cain writes that anywhere from a third to half of Americans are introverts, which is sometimes defined slightly differently from shyness.

Cain describes shyness as the fear of negative judgment, while introverts are people who prefer quiet and minimally stimulating environments.

If the numbers surprise, she said, "That's probably because so many people are pretending to be extroverts."

Today's tweets came from both self-described "shy" and "introverted" people.

"Talkative, outgoing people are often considered smarter than quiet-natured types," Cain observed in the book, but there's no link between "the gift of gab and good ideas."

As Cain wrote, in a vindication of those on the quiet end of the spectrum: "Some of our greatest ideas, art and inventions -- from the theory of evolution to van Gogh's sunflowers to the personal computer -- came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune in to their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there."

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