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.