Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Persona

Nicoleandmaggie had a recent post about the difference between your blog persona and real life. I didn't have much to say, because I figured that since I am just "being myself" here, and not trying to concoct a personality (or sell a "brand"), that my blog persona is pretty identical to me in real life. Simply a more eloquent version of myself (with less cursing). Of course, a lot more self-focused---it is my personal blog, and I have no right to tell others' stories. But, overall, pretty similar.

But recent comments on my posts have made me rethink this. In fact, I'm starting to think that my online persona skews a bit....how do I put it....miserable cow

I read through a few random posts and while its certainly my voice, there does seem to something missing. I can't really describe it...something light? And strangely, I even think the image I'm projecting in people's heads probably looks a lot different than I do in real life (I've been told that, from a couple of bloggers I've met, actually). With the few bloggers I read that don't post photos, I definitely do create an image in my head of what they look like (and where they are geographically, when they don't say), and I bet I'm way off on some of you!

I'm definitely way less serious in real life. Funnier (if you know me in real life and disagree, just let me have my delusions). I write about all the "rules" I create for myself but I rebel against them on the regular, because damn I love cheese puffs, and cocktails, and shopping. I'm not going to describe my physical appearance, because that is weird when you aren't 7 years old.

Sure, I sometimes yell at my kids and snip at my husband. You would too, given the nonsense that goes on at my house sometimes (OMG bedtime). I'm not a freaking saint! And I don't naturally enjoy noise and chaos. I get anxious sometimes. I'm not naturally inclined towards uncertainty. And I'm extremely averse to conflict. Things I have recognized in myself and am working on, because I know life could be paradoxically more calm and also more exciting if I was open to more risk and failure. 

I work out my problems on this page. Tangled jumbles of thoughts & feelings become more manageable when I get them out of my head, separate them, and examine them in the light. Its therapeutic. I do tend to focus on the negative here, for sure, because the rest of my life is devoted to noticing and appreciating the good parts. Also, y'all give good advice. I like the feedback, and the complicated discussions. I like cutting past the pleasantries and diving into the depths with my friends, and I can get that here.

Anyways, just something I've been pondering the past couple of days. 

Do you think your online persona reflects the real you?


21 comments:

  1. Like you, my bloggy space is therapy - I express real things I feel, but the expressing of them usually leaves me feeling more cheerful and more professional, and that self doesn't get much blog space - that's also an effect of pseudonymity, I think, as I HAVE to be vague about my professional self...

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    1. Yes, exactly. It really does serve as mental health care sometimes! And the anonymity part keeps me from interjecting with the fun pictures & details that I see on others' blogs.

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  2. My alter ego would really like to get a cup of coffee--or wine!--with your alter ego perhaps while our sons ran around like maniacs in the background :)

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    1. wow, when I read that, it made me so happy to imagine :) we could trade stories on insomnia & academia to the din of superheros and star wars action play.

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  3. Thanks for the link!

    I don't think your online persona seems like a miserable cow. It seems thoughtful and compelling. And neither self-improving for self-improvement's sake nor in danger of repeating bad behaviors without ever improving.

    Like, if this were a story, I'd be pretty confident of there being progress and a happy ending. It's not a tragedy nor a sitcom where nothing changes (because haha, the writers can't change this two-dimensonal character's defining characteristics).

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    1. aww, thanks. I promise I wasn't fishing for compliments with this post, but I won't turn them down, either.

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  4. Fwiw, when I met you, you seemed pretty similar to how I pictured you. And I really do plan on coming to where you live and hopefully seeing you again! (Was supposed to be this past weekend; didn't happen)

    I've had these moments, too, where I think "OMG, what if my readers think all I do in real life is complain and act depressed?!" It's unpleasant to think anyone might have that impression of me. But, like you, I'm using my blog space for things I can't share anywhere else. I'm real life I'm usually pretty cheerful. So I'd like to think most readers understand that.

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    1. yay, I would love to meet again!

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  5. Well I laughed out loud at that miserable cow line, so maybe some of your sense of humor IS making it to the page. ;)

    It's funny, I think I would describe myself (or rather, would describe my real self as opposed to my blog self) in much the same ways. I'm lighter, funnier, less ruminating in real life. I don't think "how I look" translates onto the page, but maybe it does (I'm almost ALWAYS surprised by how the bloggers who don't post pictures of themselves look when I finally see/meet them). Even when I try to write more of the "good stuff" on my blog, I don't think those post are necessarily a better representation of who I am, because again there isn't much light or funny about them, it's just ruminations about positive things, instead of negative things. Those posts are still more serious than I see myself in real life.

    So no, I don't think my blog persona reflects the real me, but that isn't the purpose of it I suppose. I already have the real me walking around and interacting with people. The blog me is on the page to accomplish something different, and I think she does a decent job of that. ;)

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    1. your last paragraph, exactly.

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  6. Def not miserable cow! It's obvious that you are working through things, but like n&m I think it's a story with a happy ending :)

    As a fellow working mom I really like that you keep it real! Your kids are about 4 years older than mine, so I appreciate seeing what we have coming down the pipeline.

    & I picture you as a gorgeous, petite Indian American woman :)

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    1. thanks, but gorgeous (and petite) may be taking it too far! I'm average size and average looks (not being humble, just honest!).

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    2. I picture you as a white American woman with brown hair. Did I miss references to Indian heritage?

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    3. haha, yes, Indian heritage (but born and raised in America and am pretty white on the inside)

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  7. You are definitely not a miserable cow! I think my persona is probably a little skewed to the darker, grumpier part of myself, but like others have said, blogging is therapy, so it's where I get all that out.

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  8. Hi. I am the "relatively new poster" who commented last Friday. I was glad to read about your wonderful weekend. The thought "miserable cow" never entered my mind, and I hope my comments didn't cause you unnecessary grief. Everyone knows blogs are just a sliver of one's persona. That said, it's good to see if there are repeating themes, but again it's just a sliver.

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    1. no, not at all! really! I appreciated your comment, definitely a good thing to think about how our moods may be affecting our family, and not something you may necessarily see yourself! No grief here, I was obviously joking with the "miserable cow"---just that I know I come across quite serious and negative a lot on this blog, because I do use to work through the hard stuff.

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  9. LOL -- definitely not a miserable cow! You sound pretty cool, actually.

    I am more serious on the blog than IRL. This comic captures faithfully how my mind works. I drive everyone around me nuts with a nonstop stream of stupid puns. But they make me so happy! I am less ranty and more patient in real life; I use the blog to vent and speak my mind, but usually it's the mind at its most negative. When I'm happy, I feel no need to blog.

    I look sort of like this; forgive the misspelled "moi".

    I also sometimes feel the blog persona quickly becomes something people expect from you and you lose readers when you deviate much from the expectations. Not that one needs to do anything for the readers, but I think we all unconsciously respond to reader feedback.

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    1. I think we'd get along, I'm a fan of cheesy puns that drive my family nuts!

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    2. This is a good point. When i was first writing, I didn't really know what my persona would be or which topics i'd end up writing about most. Some of my early posts were lighthearted and jokey. While I think of that as more "the real me", I found that it was really hard to convey a sense of humor online. So to some extent, I went with the tone that was easier to convey in this format. Although it feels a little like digging my own hole - sometimes I think if I say something funny, people won't know I'm joking because they don't think of me that way.

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    3. Yes, humor is hard to convey which is why I haven't attempted it...and yes, sometimes I get comments that make it clear that what I meant as a joke was not taken that way!

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