So Who ARE You?


The Internet is a great place to hide, isn’t it?

Heck, almost all anyone sees of you is some text on a screen, removed from its context and removed from the author’s too.  How often do you really get to know someone through their blog?  Through their commentary on your blog?

I have off-line relationships with a couple of folks, but not many.  Some of you know me better than others.  Some of you might say what you see here isn’t necessarily what you get with me.  I don’t know a lot of you, but those I do know offline seem the same to me as you are online, for the most part.

Some of you have more depth.  Some of you are incapable of pretending enough to present a facade on the ‘Net.  My wife isn’t anything like her blog persona to me.  She’s way too rich a person to be encapsulated in a blog.  She’s shared herself with a few blessed souls, but not too many.  I myself share a few aspects of my personality here, but not the totality of who I am – I’m way, way too shy for that.  I don’t even share the totality of who I am with my real-life friends.  I don’t think of it as consciously hiding or deceiving anyone, it’s just a matter of not revealing too much.  I think of it as not washing my laundry in public.

Some of you are pretty clever folks, sharp wits, great conversationalists.  But is that the real you?  Are you able to do that on your blog or on the Internet because you can stop, think about what you want to say, and then make your statements?  Or are you the same, quick-witted, fully-exposed person in reality as  you are in pixels?

There’s a lot to people, a lot to try and digest.  There’s too much for anyone person to put down to paper … or text of digital format, for that matter, unless you’ve been practicing doing so for a long time.  I myself have not, and therefore don’t know how to go beyond what I’ve already offered here.  Bits, pieces, tidbits, nuggets … these will come out and flavor us, as people, over time and with enough words which range into those areas of us.  But unless  you’re set on revealing your innermost person, baring your soul, how do you communicate who you are to people?

Do you do that at all?  Are you willing to or trying to?

Sound off, y’all – now tell who are you, as The Who sing every week on CSI.


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10 thoughts on “So Who ARE You?

  1. I am myself on my blog. I think I’m in that category of people who is incapable of pretense, which is not necessarily a good thing, believe me. Since I know I tend to over-share, if there is a topic requiring me to pick my words carefully, I just avoid it. Wasn’t always that way. The first couple of years I talked about almost everything. I attained a level of frantic openness that I don’t think is possible for me at this point.

    You’ve always been sort of an open book. What I found of you offline isn’t much different than what I’ve seen online … nothing I can think of at all, actually. You’re a genuine, warm, caring and deeply sensitive person. Whom I love. So there. 🙂

    We’ve never met in person, but we have talked on the phone. I guess you and Fal would be the only ones who could tell me if my personality is the same online and off. I can’t judge for myself. But you? You’re pretty much the same. That’s why I like you so much. I hate posers.

    See above. 😉 You’re wonderful, which is why we love you soooooo much, and yes, you’re the same on and offline. Except you have a great speaking voice and a sweet accent, and no one gets to hear it in your blog posts. Their loss. 😀

  2. In real life, I’m just like my blog, completely full of shit.

    Awesome! Nice to know you’re a WYSIWYG sort of guy!

  3. Well, I’m new to this blogging business, but I would have to say that I am more honest (or hoping to be more honest) on the blog than in real life. The majority of people who know the real me won’t recognize the “blog” me because I’m just simply not that open with most people. Fear of exposure, dislike, whatever you want to call it. In real life, I’m a wishy-washy people pleaser. The me that finally started to blog is the “inside” me that I’m too afraid to show in real life, but desperately needed an outlet for. I guess the “blog” me is what I wish I had the guts to be in real life and I’m hoping that letting that side of me out in a blog will help me develop that person in real life.

    First of all, welcome, both to my blog and to the blogosphere. Second, wow! MORE honest on the blog than in person? That might be the first time I’ve ever heard that stated upfront. But don’t feel alone — it’s not a unique tack at all. In fact, a LOT of people you see on the Internet in forums, on blogs and other places are free to be whatever they want with the anonymity of the Internet concealing them. Half the people being rude jerks wouldn’t be if they had to do it face to face. I’m not saying you’ll be a rude jerk, I’m just saying a lot of folks find the mask of the Internet … well, let’s just say “freeing” and leave it at that. Good luck, and be sure to let us know your blog URL so we can pay a visit!

  4. I honestly think my wirting voice is the closeset to my ‘true’ voice if you will. In real life I tend to try and put on a pleasant face for the world even when I don’t feel like it. In my writing world I can tell everyone what I really feel- even if I have the change the names and locations to do so.

    Fair enough; I think a lot of folks voice what they really feel in a protected (read: anonymous) environment. You’re not alone, Al. 🙂

  5. I guess I have you all fooled. I am really a 13 -year-old Polynesian girl living in France.

    Actually, I’m pretty honest online with who I am and what I think. There’s stuff I generally avoid on my blog, like politics and religion, merely because I do not want it (my blog) to be about those or become a flame war. Sometimes that’s hard for me, because I have very strong feelings about both. And I do occasionally get into it over politics on other people’s sites…

    Same here, frankly. My beliefs define who I am, but aren’t up for debate, and I’m not here to debate and argue why I believe what I believe. There’s a time and place for that, and I’ve done it (my wife can tell you aaaaaall about it), but that’s not my purpose here. So we seem pretty parallel that way.

  6. I definitely have a blog persona that doesn’t encapsulate the entirety of myself. In person I am more likely to be cynical than online. With Hello Kitty as my alter ego I don’t feel that it’s the place to air my occasional bitterness. Also, in person I do silence quite a lot. It’s difficult to get a sense of my introversion from my blog. Other than that, however, I’m pretty much honest on my blog. I don’t tell all, but what I tell is true.

    Great way to say it: “I don’t tell all; but what I tell is true.” I like that! 🙂

  7. My husband says that he found the real live me very different (not in a bad way) from the online me and since we met and courted via the Internet, he is in the best position to comment on whether or not I am different.

    I think it’s great that your spouse can see the difference; like my wife and me — we know each other better than anyone else can, and it can’t be contained online.

    I hold back. Surprising as that may seem to anyone who reads my blog because I can go long and deep sometimes. I am a better communicator on the “page”. I always have been, but it’s not possible to see my layers or get through them online.

    I think that’s true for a lot of folks. We’re pretty complex overall. Well … MOST of us.

  8. I’m quirky and funny in real life, but I can express myself better with written words than with speech. I’m still me, but it’s a deeper, more relaxed me. I get ditched by “friends” a lot in real life, so I tend to hold back until I know someone is actually interested in being friends with me and not just being fake-nice.

    Wow, you and me BOTH on the “ditched” thing. I get burned more than I can tell ya on that one. I wish I had the ability to detect fake-nice. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t get that as much as I get “we’re friends until for some inexplicable reason I’m NOT your friend anymore, and will treat you like we never WERE friends.” So yeah — I relate.

  9. Honestly, my blog sends mixed signals about me. But if you have followed my blog long enough, you should be able to discern the true signals. I believe the same case applies to most bloggers out there. The longer you read someone’s blog the more you learn about the person.

    I think that’s at least partially true, yes. A writer can’t help but spill some of themselves onto the writing, no matter how they try.

  10. Interesting post.

    About a month ago I had a guy I had been talking to for about 6 months, 99% of the time online, tell me he wasn’t interested in me like I was in him. And though I didn’t ask him to elaborate he proceeded to tell me it was because we were too much alike.

    I found this incredibly hard to believe because in 6 months we had shared tons about the tv shows we liked, movies we watched, the games we played and how our relationship with someone else was going, but I shared nothing about who I really feel I am.

    Not for lack of trying…he just never ‘picked up’ what I threw out. Didn’t want to hang out when I wanted to, avoided hanging in person and stated he preferred online conversations to face-to-face. (Which I do not feel the same way about – at least one thing that wasn’t the same about us.)

    The entire experience made me spend some time reflecting on myself and how I let people in. Of course we choose the side they see, and eventually I do hope that someone is patient enough to see many sides and enjoy close to all of me…but yes, there are still some things I probably don’t even admit to myself.

    It sounds like you’re on an interesting journey of discovery, but mostly about how you’ll interact with people going forward. It’s a hard thing to share oneself completely online. The phone comes closer, but in the end we have to make the commitment to do it ourselves, one on one, as we choose. Or something. Thanks for coming by and leaving your thoughts, Jen. 🙂

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