BlogHer ’12 is this weekend (if you’re not a blogger, you can skip this post!)
No, I’m not going.
Sigh. I love New York and I wish I could.
I wish I could go so I can meet all the lovely people I know online.
Then I thought, eeek, what if they don’t like the offline me?
Which got me to thinking about online and offline – about whether people are the same or different, if they have an online ‘persona’.
So I did the logical thing.
I went to Facebook and asked fellow bloggers whether they feel that their online/ offline personalities are different, and I got some interesting responses.
There’s the camp of bloggers who admit to being shyer and/ or more reserved in person.
Beth of Snaps of Our Life said, “I am more social online. I don’t have any friends in real life to hang out with, so I rely on Facebook, Twitter and my blog to have conversations.”
Laura of Mommy Miracles echoed her, saying that she engages “more with people through my blog and social media while I find it hard to do so in real life.”
Susan of Learned Happiness adds that she too, is more social and outgoing online, and reckons that “that’s how social media is set up”, to which I agree. Social media, be it blogging, Twitter or Facebook, make it easier for the shyer ones among us to speak up and speak out.
Cassandra of Our Foto Friendly Family chimes in, ”I think I’m more shy in person, which leads me to be a little more reserved online. But I am still me, everywhere I am. Since I started blogging, I think I have more friends online, than in real life. Odd, right?”
Um, not odd at all Cassandra. Not. At. All.
Then there are the bloggers who say, “What you see is what you get with me. If you meet me in real life and read my blog you will totally “know” me.” (Ashley of The Dose of Reality)
“In person I have poor social skills, tend to keep at least one foot in my mouth most of the time and often say things which people completely misunderstand. Insofar as I’m aware I’m pretty much the same person online.” Don Crowder, you may be socially awkward, but I like you!
And of course, there are some of us whose social media personalities allow us to be a little freer than in real life. As Kirsten of Running for Autism says, “The essence of who I am doesn’t change because I’m online. I have the same hopes and dreams, the same values, likes and dislikes. However, I express myself very differently online. I suffer from social anxiety, so in person I tend to keep me and my opinions to myself. I find my voice, my form of expression, in my writing. I feel more freedom to be myself, and I can my views more eloquently than I could ever manage in face to face conversation.”
Personally, I think I’m pretty much the same off and online – that is, the parts of my personality that I let you see. So whatever you think of me, that is only a facet of me. There are many things I don’t write about here, that I don’t share on Facebook, that I don’t tweet online. That does not make me a fraud though, it just means I’m giving you a more measured side of me. I like to think of it as showing you my best side, like in a photograph. You know, like this.
Kinda like Alma of Alma Boheme, “I am less poetic, less photogenic and I curse more in person. But I write my truth with prettier words, edited photos and omit some of my profanity.”
Me too, Alma, me too.
And, a little like Julie of mamamash (who says it much better and funnier than I just did), “I ramble just as much in person as I do online. I say y’all, and drop an occasional curse word. I am slightly more confident behind the written word, but that’s because I figure if you’re reading me and you don’t like me, you can just click away and I won’t know. But in person if you don’t like me, you’re probably not likely to tell me to eff off and instead will stare at me blankly which will cause me to start talking even more. And laugh my nervous laugh.”
Last but not least, to quote Rach of Life Ever Since (who says it much more succinctly than I ever would), “What you see is what you get here. I don’t have time to be anyone else.”
Well said, Rach, well said.
Thank you to all the bloggers for your comments. I’m sorry I couldn’t include everyone’s comment – this post was getting real long! I appreciate your input as always. Shout outs to: Jana, Karyn, Laverne, Tara, Paula, Kristin, Sili, Natalie, Courtney, Coreen, Stacy, Jamie, Accidentally By Design, Christine, Robin, Wrinkled Mommy, Sherry, AnnMarie, Teresa, Jennifer, Leighann, The Koala Bear Writer and Erin.
Are you different from your online persona?