This morning, I read an article on Forbes about the multiple personality disorder of women (and I would argue men, too) in the digital age. It made me think long and hard about two things:
- The extent to which my online identities reflect who I am as a person
- How bitter I am that my employer didn’t buy me a SXSW badge so that I could attend this talk. It’s right down the street, you assholes.
We all know how it is. You’re posting about the awesome time you are having with awesome people drinking awesome booze at an awesome party. But in reality you are standing in a corner staring at your phone, waiting for someone to comment on all of the awesomeness.
In my experience, there are two types of avid Facebookers: the oversharer and the undersharer.
With the oversharer, you know every tiny detail about their obviously superior life. You know they got to work safe this morning, because they checked in. You know they got laid last night, because the lyrics to “Two Become One” have made a dramatic appearance on this morning’s status update. And you sincerely hope their grandmother recovers from that rash soon, because the photo just looks nasty.
I will never quite understand the oversharer. It seems so silly to act like your life is better than it really is on social media. Sure, you get lots of comments on that flattering photo; but when you run into your FB friends in real life and are still five hundred pounds, the jig is up.
Personally, I take the opposite route. I am an undersharer. You can learn exactly three things from my Facebook profile, all of which are true: I have dogs, I eat, and sometimes people agree to go places with me against their better judgment.
The undersharer uses Facebook just as frequently as the oversharer, but mostly for lurking, stalking, and judging. If only I had a penny for every time one of my Facebook frenemies made a terrible fashion decision.
The two most important social media platforms in my life are Facebook and WordPress.
Facebook is associated with my true identity. To gain access, you’d have to cross-reference my image with thousands of young single women to find my name, illegally obtain my home address, show up with baked goods (just plain courtesy), pin me to a wall, and force me to accept your friend request while holding my dogs hostage.
Ring Finger Tan Line, on the other hand, is only loosely associated with my true identity. To gain access, you need only search for something like “make me a cake bitch,” which I am told will put you on the fast track here.
In theory, “Facebook me” should be closer to reality than RFTL. It’s shared with people I kind-of know and am fairly certain are not serial killers. On the contrary, “Facebook me” sucks. I’m not even funny – I’m shy and strange and don’t want people all up in my business.
When I got an annulment, I even deleted my Facebook page entirely, because there was no way my high school nemesis was learning about my marriage fail on her damned mini feed. The only good thing I can say about “Facebook me” is that she uses proper grammar, and for that, I respect her.
In reality, I see myself so much more of myself in Ring Finger Tan Line. Funny how a cloak of anonymity can be just what you need to open up. I suppose on some level, it makes sense. Somehow it’s just easier to talk about sex toys with strangers than your parents. Go figure.
What do you think? Are you the same in real life as you are online?