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My internet self

With a post I recently wrote, I decided to send the link to my friend, thinking she’d be interested in reading the comments on the discussion. I say this casually, but in reality I. Was. Terrified. But why? Am I not myself in front of her, and am I not myself on this blog, or any other social media? So why should it be so scary? I think, for me and for most other people, there’s internet me, and there’s real life me. They’re both me, but they’re not the same person. 

Internet me is, in a way, a lot more honest. I can say a lot of things without fear of being judged, because what are you going to do? Unfollow me? Oh, the horror! I have had a really bad fight with an internet friend, and of course that was really awful, and of course the others in our group were upset about it. But there was no awkwardly passing each other in the corridors at school, or still being connected by mutual friends. Basically, it was as if the other person just disappeared. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts as much as a fight with a real life friend, but the aftermath isn’t nearly as bad. And that’s for an internet friend, which is completely different to an internet… acquaintance? Follower? You know, whatever you are, reader person. If any of you decided you hated me, it wouldn’t be that hurtful, because I don’t really know you! At the same time, I value the opinions of everyone who has ever commented on one of my posts – that’s why I write, to talk to people about their thoughts. But, you know, I can speak my mind more than I can to real life people, to an extent. 

In saying that, as much as I adore my lil internet babies, they definitely don’t know me as well as my real life friends do. No matter how honest you think you’re being, you automatically put some sort of a filter on when you post online. I have a lot of time to think about how I want to write this post, and edit little bits, and change whatever I’m not happy with. Even mid-argument I can think about what I want to say. When you’re with someone, you don’t have that filter, because you have to respond RIGHT NOW, you can’t sleep on it, or quickly ask your friends what you should say. And because you don’t have that, real life people get a more instant version of you, the reality of whatever comes into your head first. In that same way, I think my host sister, who I lived with for 10 weeks (in her home in America and mine) knows me better than some people I’ve known much longer. It’s that mush your brain is when you first wake up that she’s subjected to, 2am-and-being-sick me, just got off a plane and haven’t slept in 24 hours me. But also having the time of my life at Disneyland me, laughing til I cry me. The best and worst bits, because you’re the most honest you in the privacy of your own home. My internet friends get Skype calls when we’re looking nice and aren’t busy, or are just prepared to see each other. It isn’t every single day at school, which is again different. 

But it isn’t like I lie on the internet, of course I don’t! I’m just a different version of me, that I’m not in real life. A more honest version? Or a version that you wouldn’t recognise if you saw me in real life? 

How different do you think you are on the internet? Do you know anyone who seems exactly the same in real life as they are online?

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Author:

I was a book blogger for a while, and I now blog about every little thing in life I can think of. Bear with me while I try all these new posts out... I'm a New Zealand teen who gets angry about the world (but not angry enough for tumblr). I like to capture the world through photos and words, and read in all the moments in nz-squadbetween. I have an overwhelming desire to see every corner of the world I possibly can, and hug the people I love in all those corners. I can't do make up to save myself, and you're more likely to find me buying matching stationary than matching clothes. My nerd hobbies include a new found love of the Avengers, reading YA, watching Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, and every vlogger I can find, and being the last person on the music bandwagons. I have big plans for the rest of my life, including university, teaching, travelling, and having an army of puppies. I plan to blog every second of it!

32 thoughts on “My internet self

  1. I completely relate to this post. I’m also so different on the internet. On the internet it’s easier to write certain things about myself, that I would not say to my friends, and at the same time I’m much more private about other things. My daily life is something that I wouldn’t put on the internet easily. I “talk” a lot more, for example while commenting or chatting. In real life I would never introduce myself to a stranger, the internet makes making friends so much easier. It just removes boundaries that seem to hold me back in real life. Still, I’m me, but just a little more social.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, exactly, it’s so strange how we can be such different people in different situations. And you’re so right, I’m way braver online as well! It doesn’t seem as scary to comment on something – I guess it’s the same idea that if we hate each other, we never have to face each other again

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  2. I feel like I try to be more myself when I’m on the internet… I don’t have a lot of friends at school so I tend to release my energy, honesty and friendliness online because I only have one close friend who I talk to at school. But I get your point…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I can understand that! But it’s interesting that you don’t have the same confidence in real life? I’m not judging, because I’m exactly the same, but it’s weird that we’re like that!

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  3. I quite agree with you! In some sense, we actually get to create/edit/alter the persona we wish to portray ourselves as on the internet which is definitely not the case in real life. You know, interestingly enough, I was recently struck by a similar thought while watching a TV show. I mean the characters in the show were very obviously making their own lives worse by taking hasty irrational decisions and it was so frustrating to watch! But later when I was thinking about it I realised that I too do that and how frustrating it must be for someone else. I mean in real life things just happen, and as you rightly said we need to answer life’s calls RIGHT NOW; we don’t get to replay/rewind/pause/edit/think or do any of the fancy stuff we can on the internet no matter how honest we think we are out there. (Sorry, if I just went off on some strange tangent, I just really loved this post of yours and it got me thinking!) Well, that was me ranting and to answer your question yes there is one particular friend of mine who is exactly the same in real life as on the internet but then again she recently entered social media and she has never really believed in social media so that kinda nullifies it doesn’t it? 😀 okay then I can go on and on but I’ll stop here. K take care, Victoria! Once again, wonderful post, can’t wait for more !! ❤

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    1. Never apologise for a long comment, I love long comments!! That’s a really good point about tv, I get mad at characters all the time too. Even when they’re in big action fights, I’m like “obviously just jump off the roof, it’s FINE” as if I would do the same! But you’re right, people would get mad at us too. We get mad at us, that night when you think of all those sassy things you should have said but didn’t, which is the beauty of the internet because you don’t have to answer until you’ve given yourself time to calm down a bit. I’m really glad you have all these thoughts, it’s so interesting!

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  4. YES! THIS! I talk so much more on the Internet, and about “deeper” topics, and more intelligently too I think? I’m super introverted so IRL I just kind of… shut down when I get too overwhelmed. Which is often.

    Also, I think I’m probably gayer on the Internet. 😂😂😂

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    1. Yeah, me too! I have no idea why though? I know that people are scary, but aren’t they scary online too? I’m definitely gayer too hahaha, my straight half comes out in real life, so it’s pretty even in the end!

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  5. I’m SUPER different online than i am offline. For one, i actually talk, voice my opinions, and just Let it All Out. If you saw me irl you’d probably think I was a completely different person (or maybe not, they do always say it’s the quiet ones LOL)

    and I think there are people who are the same but you find them more in places like facebook and twitter? versus on a blog (but i guess that just depends on the type of person you are)

    but i especially get the whole getting your thoughts in order online vs irl you need to do things NOW. thats actually one of the things i love about writing since irl my thoughts are just all over the place Orz

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    1. Yeah, I think the introverts hiding away thing is pretty common on here! I didn’t think about it being different on a blog, but you’re so right. There’s a certain type of person that posts on Facebook, and they’re quite popular in real life. Maybe that’s what gives blogging that bigger sense of community?
      My thoughts can be all over the place too, so I definitely relate! It can be a lot easier than real life interactions 🙂

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  6. Interesting question! I don’t know if I’m very different online or not, just because I happen to talk about different things online. But I’ve mentioned my blog to several friends (and was very nervous about it!) and realized none of them care and no one reads it. :p One of my real life friends also messaged me asking me to summarize my Goodreads review of a book for her because she thought it was too long for her to bother reading…. (Which annoyed me only because I didn’t remember the review myself, so basically she was asking ME to read and then rewrite it for her instead of just reading it herself.)

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    1. Mm, true, but I wonder why we feel like we can’t or shouldn’t talk about the same things in real life? The people I’ve told seem pretty uninterested too, and then every so often they’ll message me going “I can’t believe you think that!” and I’m like wait what??
      That’s so rude of your friend! Just skim read it if it’s so long, and don’t expect you to do all the work!!

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  7. I think one of the biggest things about the internet for me is that it makes it easier to get my nerd on, especially the writer nerd in me. I don’t know enough people IRL who write and read and want to always be talking about worldbuilding and plot and such. If I’m complaining about the struggle of knowing what to write but not how, I’m much more likely to find sympathy and advice on the internet than I am off it.

    In a way, this bothers me. It makes it difficult for me to share a huge part of who I am with the people I actually see face-to-face. And that makes me sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m the same in that I don’t have many people to talk to about those sorts of things in real life. You’re so right, it’s horrible that we’re forced to hide part of ourselves in real life. Although it makes me hopeful that it’s going to be better for me, finding friends that’ll care about those sorts of things, because those people obviously exist, and I get on so well with them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Statistically compared, yes, but you can probably still find some NZers who share your passions 🙂 NaNoWriMo for example has the possibility for local meet-ups. Maybe there are similar options in other parts of the community? And I know there are a fair few Aussies in the bookish community (but I am aware that’s still quite the distance).

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This is an interesting read! I can see where you are coming from as I believe many people have different versions of themselves depending on where they are. Ex. You would not act exactly the same at work as you would act with family/friends. It is all you but in certain areas you show more/less of yourself suited for that situation

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