Every so often I get reminded of the importance of keeping my online persona separate from my real life person. And its becoming increasingly harder in this highly social-media-obsessed age where many people simply do not understand this concept. For them, facebook and twitter is synonymous with other normal social activities like txting your mates. But a few years or more ago, when terminology such as “tweeting” were not mainstream nor common place, it was actually quite the norm for us online bloggers and vloggers to keep a bit of a “low profile” on our online activities in our “real life”. Of course we interacted with fellow bloggers/vloggers/tweeters in the blogosphere but when it came to friends or colleagues from real life, it was as if our online persona’s did not exist. Like we had secret identities. Hence the choice of username was quite important as it was a representation of one’s identity. (Facebook had to go and fubar that idea out the window with their standard of using your real first and last name in your profile.. now ppl even sign up to twitter with their real names. Fools.)
I remember the days of regularly tweeting in secret, knowing that most people around me I interacted with on a regular basis had no idea about this cool little thing called twitter (and before that, it was blogging) which I used to blip (or blog) out random brain farts about anything and everything in my life to strangers-yet-somehow-friends from all over the world, and gain insight in return as I tuned in to their thoughts. It was refreshing. There was a liberating level of honesty gained by anonymity. I’m not talking honesty as in, here’s my address, my personal details, my bank details etc. But honesty in thought and emotion. What I “really” thought about something and how I felt personally. Sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly in a way that people rarely seem to share about in real life (or if they do, they do so foolishly – lamebook is a perfect exhibition of that). Particularly when it comes to the bad and the ugly. 😉
So before I get too carried away with nostalgia, where am I going with all this? Is this about the blogger’s paradox once again? I have visited this issue over and over again.. way back in 2003 and 2004 I blogged about this paradox. It hasn’t really been too much an issue the past few years, but maybe I have been lulled into a sense false security. I am aware that I have broken my own cardinal rule left, right and center. (This being, never to share anything identified by my username with people I meet in real life.) And with everyone around me being blatantly open about their online presences, it’s quite hard to maintain that kind of discipline. It’s all too tempting to want to share my creations, be it video or text, with people I meet IRL. Afterall, I am quite proud of some of them. But I am glad that I have held back sometimes. And I am reminded again of the importance in holding back, even when you feel that you trust a person, you never know. Because this is what I am discovering currently in a certain situation with a certain friend. I thought this person was trustworthy but now I am discovering she is not quite as.. reliable a friend.. as I thought. And I am quite glad I did not share my “online persona” with her. I am glad I have kept that line between online and offline. Yes it’s more work and maintenance, but I think its worth it and I think, for now, I need to remain disciplined.
(Edit: I just realised my last blog post was in January. Really.. how does 6 months go by just like that..)Posted in Introspection, Life, Rant & Bitch, Tech Talk | 9 Comments »