It occurred to me today that I would be a lot less tense all the time if I were able to let the snarkfest that is my blog out in my regular life as well. Think of the possibilities: for one, I could be more honest; for two, I could poke fun freely at all the things I love to poke fun at without the fear of consequences. Have any of you ever seen that New Yorker cartoon (pictured above) where the dog says “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog?” On the Internet, you can craft whatever personality you want – be it nice and sweet when you’re really an asshole; or a complete socialite when you’re really shy and quiet. This is all the more reason we should always be cognizant of this fact: that who our online personalities are may or may not actually reflect who we are in real life. Never believe what you read on the Internet is the old adage, which remains to be the case today.
In my case, it isn’t that nobody knows who I really am because I have crafted some deceptive identity on the Internet, though; it’s that (as many of us experience) the Internet is often the only place I really express myself to the fullest extent. By and large, it’s my writing in general (not just online) that I allow myself to really come out. And this morning it finally dawned on me that life would be so much better if I could be as snarky, witty, and silly as I am in my blog in real life, since a synthesis of the writer/blogger Heather and the in-person Heather best describes the real me.
Imagine what chaos would ensue, though, if I were to say some of the things I say on this blog in person…
Remember my blogs about Mr. Biglesworth and Cat Day? I imagine actually saying face-to-face to a cat owner (or even just cat lover) would be disastrous.
Or in my recent blog about Why I Hate Wal-Mart… I can only begin to imagine what those crazy Wal-Mart shoppers would do if they heard me talking about their precious store of deals and roll-back prices in the way that I did.
I can’t even begin to fathom what my mother-in-law must think of some of my posts, and were I to actually say those things to her in person…
And were I to tell any of the many people I encounter that actually inspire my B(itch)Log Lessons in Grammar and Punctuation, I imagine I would actually have fewer friends than I already do.
I think some of my more recent posts would have been the most inflammatory as well were they said in person. As time has gone on, I have become more and more comfortable with just speaking what I really think and feel – as long as it’s from the safety and security of my private laptop. That’s the thing about bloggers: they often get accused of never putting their money where their mouths are. In other words, they talk an awful lot of shit but only if they can hide behind their modems and computer screens. Ultimately, though, I think if I were to actually say some of these things in person it would unambiguously cause people hurt feelings. It would probably be rude. It would almost certainly create enemies out of people I otherwise enjoy spending time with.
In the end, it’s about finding a balance – one where you can feel comfortable being honest but not cross the line. To be funny and witty, but never move into bully territory. Can I do such a thing? Only time will tell…
2 responses to “If I Spoke in Real Life the Way I Do in My Blog”
Wow, where’d you get that slick grey dress shaped like a triangle? So, I have a different online personality myself. This person reads a lot, all the time. Paper books, none of that digital shit. And a bit snobbish, only ever reading 1st editions. Though they had to all be on the New York Times best seller list, and released in the last 10 years, and half of that is self-help, so not so impressive actually.
Oh that old thing? I thought I’d make the image of me as absurd as possible! Are there even self help books on the New York Times bestseller list? Haha!! Online personalities are grand.