Monday, 12 November 2012

Who are we when we're online?

Is who we appear to be on the various social networks who we actually are?  Or do you, like me, try to appear to be cooler/deeper/funnier?

I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about what I do and don’t say online. 

I always try to say things ‘on message’ – stuff about being the best we can be, about being creative, and being positive.  I feel as though I have my own ‘brand' and I don’t want to let it down by posting something too personal, or too negative. 

I even worry about how things might appear to a prospective publisher in the future: will my website put them off?  What about my music?  Does it show I’m too unfocused, dabbling in too many media?  And what of this blog?  Would they think I was putting too much of myself ‘out there’, displaying too many weaknesses, or talking about things a fiction-writer has no business commenting on?

Every Facebook status or Tweet is deliberated over, and I have deleted within minutes many posts that, in hindsight, I feel are not appropriate for the person I want to appear to be.

And that’s the point: I (and I suspect I am not alone) project a particular persona online and this even spills over into ‘real life’ as well

Some people say we should be authentic and not hide our ‘true selves’; people who matter will accept us as we are and those that don’t aren’t worth it. 

But I’m not in that school of thought.  I believe it’s okay to want to be different, to want to be ‘better’.  And I believe the best way to become what you want to be is to start acting like that until it becomes natural. 

Don't get me wrong, I don’t think anyone should be coerced into being different; if you’re happy with who you are then crack on and be it. 

Otherwise, be the person you want to be.  Twitter and Facebook might be a small start...

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