Can anyone admit that they’re not exactly the same person online and offline without being called a fraud or feeling as if they’ve misled others? There’s currently such a stigma about having an online personality that isn’t one hundred percent true to the version of you that sits on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon. Today I’m discussing whether we can live up to the personality and whether we even want to.
Fed up of seeing people boast about being completely authentic online, I’ve taken it upon myself to share my own opinions of being a little fake online, why it’s not the end of the world and why we probably need to keep it up.
Sisters Not Twins
Recently I realised that the person I am on this blog and the person I am sitting in the chair writing this blog aren’t the same people. Well, when I say they’re not the same person, I mean that they’re not identical. For example, I like to be a sarcastic little biatch in real life (just ask my mum) and whilst my Instagram captions can capture my sassier side, they’re more likely to be filled with a positive account of my day. Does this make me inauthentic, or fake? Some people would argue that being anything other than your true self online is indeed being fake, but I don’t agree with that statement (to a large extent).
The thing is, we all have guarded visions of ourselves. Maybe we filter out that sarcasm from out day, or maybe it’s just not the first thing that comes up when we think about ourselves in that poncy self-development sort of way. There is a huge difference between being fake and being sheltered from some of your personality traits.
The version of myself that I put online is not only pretty great but is the truest reflection of how I see myself. I may have got some things wrong but it’s all part of this crazy journey called life. Our online personas aren’t just the best parts of ourselves, they’re often the more naturally exaggerated parts, the parts that we notice and want to develop. That can only be a good thing, right?
The Possibility of the Impossible
So we’ve covered that sometimes coming across as a little false online isn’t usually what we see at first glance, but can we do anything to rightly align our online and offline personas? Do we even want to?
Personally, I think it’s almost impossible to be exactly the same person on Twitter and in the Co-Op on a Sunday morning. As I touched on in the previous chapter, we all have guarded visions of ourselves and whilst we might think that that sassy tweet is exactly how we’d respond to someone in real like more times than none we probably come out with a lacklustre response that would be in definite need of some doctoring before it sees the online world.
Our online selves are polished. They’re thought through and considered. Even if you’re a raw, honest blogger, that face that gives away your true feeling (like in the first few milliseconds) is hidden. It can be edited out of a video and more likely than not it’s got too many grammatical errors to include in your blog post. As much as we may strive to be the ‘relatable’ blogger, something is always kept aside, consciously or not.
After this is said and done, would we actually want to be completely transparent online? Does that air of mystery surrounding our favourite bloggers not make them a little bit more interesting (even though naturally we’re all pretty interesting, complicated and unique humans as it is)… I think it makes the possibility of meeting these people and making them our peers much more exciting (in a totally non-fangirl sort of way). Knowing everything about someone is boring. Bring on the mystery!
Striking Balance Between Online + Reality
Establishing that not being identical to your online twin is great and all, but what about finding your own balance between sarcastic offline you and upbeat, positive online you?
A great place to start is to really consider what you want to be sharing online. If you’re going to be keeping a professional face across all your channels, then being more au natural online probably isn’t of great significance to you. However, if you’re trying to make connections with your readers then showcasing a harsh line between your online persona and your everyday one becomes more of an issue.
To start blurring the lines it’s a good idea to have limits on what you share online. I’ve written a whole post about sharing too much online, right here, give that a read and find out where to draw the line.
Personally, I find that exaggerating parts of my personality that I want to improve on anyway works the best. I don’t go out of my way to hide my bad habits, but I use my online platforms to launch my mindset into behaving more how I want it to behave.
How Similar Are You + ‘Online’ You?
I’d love to know how you feel your online personality and your offline ‘you’ compare. Do you notice the differences or are you much the same? What are your general opinions on differences in personalities online and offline, too. Do you hate it when someone exaggerates part of themselves and becomes more of a character, or do you think it’s unrealistic to be completely transparent online…
Let me know in the comments below.