I think a lot about online personalities. You might remember that when I first started writing this blog I had an 'Identity Crisis' of sorts. Really truly I'm still not sure how I would define myself in this space, and I'm completely ok with that. In fact, I really, really like it. It's kind of liberating to just come here five days a week and say whatever the h*ll I want to say. There are a lot of times that I would like to say something In Real Life (IRL), then decide that it's not worth the trouble to explain myself. Thank goodness I have all of you inter-friends and this blog!
Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, blogs, message boards, forums...all of these places require us to have some sort of online personality. Nobody likes to read comments from the person that simply says, "Great post." Really? Are you an android? It's difficult to put yourself out there online in a way that accurately defines who you are as a person. I know that online I am much more snarky, blunt, witty, articulate and out going than I am IRL, how could I not be? It's easy to say the difficult, impossible, nasty things you want to say out loud when you type and only say them in your head, then have the ability to go back and edit/rewrite the parts you don't like. I just did.
There are so many medium online for people to have to define themselves. I feel for the next generation as they not only navigate their IRL personalities, but their online ones as well. The nuances of someone's personality get lost in the time/space continuum and backlit screen of this online world. The beautiful, silent language of the body becomes faceless and gets silenced.
I find myself loving this online world that we have created, but at the same time I long for the days that we didn't have to text/chat/message/tag each other just to feel some sort of connection with other people. I miss the days when people met for a cup of coffee to get to know each other or struck up a conversation with the person at the table next to them. It's pretty hard to start a conversation with someone who's face is glued to their laptop/iPhone screen and is hastily checking/updating their Facebook status.
I'm just as guilty as the next person. I've talked about my own internet addictions here. It's gotten a bit better, yesterday I wasn't even online until after lunch. There's a reason why I don't have an iPhone, although deep down I desperately want one. I have a hard enough time the way it is. I'd like to think that if you met me IRL that you'd find my online personality just an extension of the person I 'really' am. Isn't that what we all strive for online?