With online personas, I kind of mean the kind of person we are online and the impression we make on others.
I am curious if the way you present yourself online has changed, or the differences between the full you and the glimpse we get via your online persona.
In my opinion, our online versions of ourselves almost always differ from the real ones because there is a lot we hold back on online. Of course, if you’re one of those people that hold nothing back and post about everything, that is not the case. But the way we act also changes depending on the platform and topic. For example, certain acts of responsibility online (ex. Being a mod) require a certain way of acting appropriately and professionally, or the topic of a group or forum is a set one so we don’t know much about the people besides their life in the context of the topic. If someone in their journal here is really successful, it is easy to think they must be very successful in general or have an easy life, but their relationship problems might not make it into the journals because it is private or not related to the topic.
I think in my case, my online persona nowadays differs not only because of past responsibilities online but also because I try to be formal and neutral to strangers online. If I know people better (so it’s not about presenting yourself online but communicating online as friends) that changes. I think the formality of it all an be a stark contrast to the ‘real’ private me, almost bland, maybe sometimes too educational instead of personal. I know personally I can be rather blunt, direct, and vulgar. I think it’s culturally even worse, because there’s often this coldness and directness assigned to Germans by other cultures (in my experience, especially Americans) but it feels like the default to me, so the added bluntness that evokes a wide eyed gaspy laugh from my German friends followed by “well, you’re right” might be coming across as a crass asshole to Non-Germans. And I can hold back swearing in writing if I want to but I can’t do that while talking.
And in my NoSurf journey, I feel like lots of online use and exposure to people who hold nothing back influenced me to be very negative and provocative, and this Wild West feeling of online arguments made it worse. Limiting that brought back the expected common courtesy and neutrality for strangers that is already taking place in real life. It’s different to be having to softly criticize a stranger than a long known friend, and I personally felt like some elements of online culture made it socially acceptable to completely drag strangers as if they were a long term best friend.
What about you?