Hiding behind a veil of words is easy.
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde
Credibility is often casually exchanged with fraud to decipher interactions on the internet. The truth is that unless you have physically met an individual then it is difficult to evaluate the integrity of one’s online identity.
Yet identity is not necessarily monogamous. Whilst my Twitter account @michaelwhite1 is technically me, it is not ineludibly representative of my personality in real life. Equally the content written on this blog, whilst from the same brain, could be a writer’s personality.
When we find ourselves in new situations it is tempting to try re-inventing ourselves. I am convinced this is why some wish to move away permanently to different parts of the world – escapism. As time goes on it is clear to see progress is coming in the form of convergence of social media and real life. It won’t be long before our online identities won’t have anywhere to hide.
In the Past
A far cry to how the internet used to exist. Forums and IRC ruled my digital life before my “teens” hit. Users represented themselves with anonymous usernames such as ‘Privatisation’ or ‘G33K’ – they remained hidden on the net (unless you tracked their IP…). Newer networks such as Google+ require users to provide their real name; accurate data has become the currency for social networks.
What is my Online Personality:
Blogging – Tends to be professional but at times can be a diary. A real mix of personal and business.
Twitter – The closest to the real me as possible. Very honest, maybe too transparent at times.
Google+ – Similar to Twitter. Mostly use to find out what you think.
Facebook – Mostly communicate with friends and family. Find myself to use the network reservedly.
Do you have a Social Media mask?