The masks we wear

It’s odd isn’t it, that we can appear one way to to a vast majority of people online and yet somehow, should we meet those people, the way we appear is almost totally at odds with that former representation.

It can even change online, people who have multiple blogs for example, on one blog you may see that person as someone you’d love to know, and yet another blog could make them seem to have nothing in common with you and therefore not ‘worthy’ of your notice.

I was just thinking this as I browsed around mybloglog. We pick and choose the aspects of our personality we wish to show online and we pick and choose which online ‘friends’ complement those aspects best. I have made some good friends online over the last few years – at least I like to think of them as friends, we’ve spoken on the phone, exchanged addresses and there’s a standing invite to visit each other should the opportunity arise.

The thing is, despite the duration of those friendships, we know nothing about each other really.
I like to think of myself as a good hearted, pleasant easy going FUN lass – ok, I have a temper and I know I can be unreasonable at times, but who can’t eh?! That representation is reflected in this blog, but then I think back over my life, at work places and colleges and realise that, actually – I’m not that nice, I’m not that easy to get along with.. It takes a certain type of person to put up with me for long which is why I only have the one long term friend who remains in regular contact.

Kinda puts a new light on my online persona wouldn’t you agree?

Online I can be the person I want to be, we all can. I think that’s what makes blogging and instant messaging and forums so seductive, the reason why people can become addicted to a virtual life to the detriment of their real one. It’s not a new thought I know, but I’ve never put that thought into personal terms before.

I’ve never sat and thought, well, actually I am different online. I’ve always upheld the belief that I am ME no matter where I am or how I’m interacting with people.
Yet, today I admitted to myself that I do lie on here in a way that makes me seem a better person – I’ll omit the odd detail of something or censor myself, for example, if I’m having a crisis or I feel shitty I may throw up a happy happy joy joy post instead of how I’m really feeling. I may write something great/ intelligent and insightful on here – and then go to my cfs blog and whinge about how I’m braindead and can’t think.. Both of these aspects of my personality are there at the same time, yet someone reading only one blog would think that I’m either a total misery or an interesting person. It’s all perspective and the way in which we distill those personality traits. The danger lies in believing in the distilled version of yourself and forgetting about those unpleasant personality traits we live with daily instead of actively working to become that person we want to be.

I know I’m not there yet, my social skills are a tad lacking on occasion and I cannot wholly blame my illness for that, it’s a lack in me. Online I can hide that but I don’t live online, as much as I may wish I did, so while the way I write my blog will not change, I should really look at just what it is I wish to be and do something about it.

8 thoughts on “The masks we wear

  1. claire

    Yeah Im fab in person but a complete bore on line!

    Nah not really! this is abit of a deep post vicsta! but i think your great in person just as funny and are being abit harsh on yourself. I do agree with fyurien everyone wheres masks for different situations. The only reason you dont have mountains of friends surrounding you in the flesh is that you live so bloody far away! and you live in middle of nowhere with an idiot for a neighbour! Hopefully this will soon be corrected and you and your bessy mate can spend more time together yay!!! cant wait!!!!

    c x

  2. debambam

    I don’t thinks what we share or don’t share that really causes the issues and apparent masks we wear. It’s the gaps that those we meet fill in from their own imagination and fantasy…
    Of course the way we present ourselves on the internet is half the attraction of it. We can ignore those bits of us that we don’t like or would rather not know about. We can pretend and fill in our own gaps. All inhibitions disappear….
    Great post love!

  3. fyurien

    Awesome. I’m not the only one that dislikes pretense. =P

    Keep up the good posts. You may not get too large an audience, as most readers get exhausted reading anything too meaningful. But the few that do stop and read will appreciate your ideas and good intentions.

    On a side note, I can do a very good British accent. Mostly because we have several Brits at my place of work. =)


  4. rosevibe Post author

    K.. *shakes head* I’ll find a suitable dress to help ease your longings *grin*

    Fyurien (great name btw and your photo’s are fabulous) I like your thinking.
    The problem with these masks is we’re not the only ones wearing ’em – I think the main reason you and I have few friends is not just because we eschew our ‘masks’ in real life, but because we’d rather be friends with people who do likewise.

    My best friend is not one for masks, she is who she is and makes no apology for it and that’s one of the things I love best about her, she can play the game when she has to for work, but 90% of the time it’s all her and no pretense or compromise.

  5. fyurien

    I will, as I normally do, play devils advocate here and plead a case for wearing different masks.

    I would say that despite our best efforts to the contrary, we are who we are. I will explain what this means in a second. However, for the better part of our life, we are placed in various circumstances and challenging situations. To deal, cope and otherwise progress, we have to put on various masks as it were.

    For example. At work, we might be abit more serious, focused and generally professional. At home, casual, relaxed and generally poor manered. Amongst friends one way, amongs love interests another. In the morning grouchy, at night grouchy but during the day, upbeat.

    Masks do in a sense hide our true self. Wheter its online over vast distances, or face to face over a delicious coffee. Part of the reason we wear masks is our difficulty with knowing, understanding and expressing ourselves. So we learn to use simple and recognizable masks. We really should know ourselves, but that requires time and effort. Two things we would rather not use up, if given a choice. Another part of the reason we wear masks is because they do infact suit the situations we happen across in our lives.

    So back to your post. True you wear a mask, but whats important is that you at least know you do. If you recognize yourself, but choose to wear a mask, no problem in my opinion.

    I am a big pain to live with. Part of the reason I too dont have too many friends. When I wore a mask I had tons, but they were there for the mask and not me. No more mask, no more “friends”. =)

    All for the better really.

  6. K. Restoule

    you’re right, I’m a totally different person in real Life, in real life I’m an asshole and a woman trapped in a man’s body :mrgreen: or maybe not

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