Sunday, November 13, 2011

Are you who they think you are?

How's that for a philosophical start to a Sunday NaBloPoMo post?  I'm not really going to go all existentailist though.  I was thinking more along the lines of how we form a picture of someone that we have a relationship with, even though we haven't actually met. 

The internet has been wonderful for this relationship building thing.  I am much more chatty on the 'net than I am in the real world.  I am also more opinionated, smarter and perhaps better looking. The internet filter can do that for you.  My opinions are, I hope, largely honest and reflective of how I really feel.  There is little concern for being the person that others expect you to be nor worrying about how you fit into things.  It works for me.  I can take my time to present words with editing if needed.  No quick come-back is needed and I can chat in the comfort of my jammies if I want. 

I have had the pleasure of meeting some people who blog after "knowing" them online.  The results are mixed.  The person I see is not always the one I perceived through their writing.  I wonder who is more their true self?  Some are exactly the way I thought they would be in three dimensions.   All are a pleasure to meet.

Being 42 means that I remember building relationships without the e-world involved but also have grown many with the keyboard as my communication tool.  About  a dozen years ago this became very apparent.  I desperately needed to find others who understood the difficult time I was going through.  The answer was an online support group.  It was in bulletin board form and many people who posted expressed themselves more honestly than they could have face to face.  Global friendships formed with the common need.  But the person they knew in me has grown and changed over time.  Some I am still in touch with while others have gone different directions. 

Now I spend several hours almost daily on e-mail, facebook, blogs and most recently twitter.  I wonder with these communications if I come across as the person I am in the real world? I am a terrible liar and don't feel the need to hide my life from others.  Just the same, the more e-public your life becomes and out of your control, I feel more of a need to protect myself.  I'm trying to find the balance here. 

So I'm going out on an honesty limb here.  If you know me, am I what I seem to be in my writing?  Do you wish you didn't actually know me?  Should I be saying more or less out loud?  If we haven't met, what are a couple of characteristics you think I have?  Just curious.  Thanks!


  1. I personally find you to be exactly as you are in real life, as you are on your blog. When I read your posts I hear your own authentic voice, and there's nothing on here that I can't imagine you saying in person. For me, reading your blog is no different than getting a personal email from you or even chatting with you at a party. And it's all good - in both worlds you are friendly, kind, thoughtful, honest, forthright, and caring.

  2. i wish i hadn't actually met you in person.... bwahahahahaha! i can't imagine anyone ever saying that. now that i met you in person, i wish we could spend more time together. hence me making you take pitty on me for the mama mia thing. ;) can't wait for more opportunities to hang.

  3. Julie cracks me up. (In her comment and in person!)

    I think the trick is to be honest about who you are without revealing more than you feel comfortable revealing. I confess I am a bit guarded about what I say online. In real life I probably have stronger opinions, I definitely swear more (not a LOT, but more than I do online), and there are lots of things I'd be willing to talk about privately that I wouldn't necessarily broadcast to the whole world. That said, I think my personality comes through as it should.

    You come across as all the things that Lynn lists, which is what brings me here to read your stuff. Your blog's a welcoming place to hang out.

  4. I love you online... but if I hadn't had real-life you for the last couple years, I think I might be dead. You are the very essence of grace (and humour and kindness and cupcakes) under pressure. And Julie, I'll share to a certain extent, but if you try to move in on me, don't think I won't cut you - I TOTALLY saw her first.

  5. Awww, you are all too kind! Totally saw through me fishing for attention (NaBloPoMo will do that to you, ya know.) Thanks for saying nice stuff anyway.

  6. We met once, briefly as Lynn's, but I have thought it would be nice to get to know you better and I am grateful for your blog so that I can. You were very friendly and kind to us (my DH, baby and myself) that evening. We felt a bit like fish out of water since we knew no one other than Lynn and with having the baby with us... Anyhow. I appreciated your chatting with us.