Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Digital Self

Every website, blog, social media profile and commenter avatar or name is a little digital self we create. They are not set in stone. These personalities change over time, but we have ultimate control. Everything out there is created with a 'published' or 'enter' button. We can refine the message or the image however we want before revealing it. We can even wear different digital hats on different sites. It's a fun game if not taken seriously. I don't mind knowing someone is X commenter on one site but has a blog of their own that they write differently on. The frustrating part is knowing a person in real life while they have a digital self that is far different in appearance.

The digital fraud is the irritating persona. The happily married wife on Instagram who bitches to you non-stop about their spouse. The guy who doesn't really like having kids posting pics of his kids on Faceborg. The wider the gap between digital self and real self, the more annoying. To stop for a moment, the real self is also a version of the person they allow you to see. While true, this doesn't seem as annoying as digital self and real self. At the heart of it is fraud, and what exactly does someone gain by lying to you about something (sympathy, support, approval) versus lying online (same as before and cultivating a following or promoting an agenda).

I have an entire family that is full of self righteous, progressive online connections but in real life they are some of the most degenerate people you would meet. It is annoying. A newer addition to their tribe is the 20 year old who on Tumblr is a super social justice, lesbian just fighting the patriarchy and being an artist. The artist part is drawing comic book figures. She has health issues, and reveals that online as well. God knows why, but reviewing 'likes' it is for some sympathy and looking deeper, to cultivate her victim card claim. The frustrating side of checking in on her (she doesn't know I found her tumblr), is that she lives rent free (without a conscience) in a home she has no right to thanks to white, heternormative married Boomers, is a horrendous slob who adds to her health problems by being dirty, and lives off of the evil taxpayers because she gets government assistance (social security, medicare, tuition assistance). She lived with my grandmother for a couple of years and never once cleaned up. My grandmother lived immobile in filth while this cousin claimed to be 'watching her'. Others had to go in to clean the place up, while she did nothing all day. Online, she's an angel cursed with an illness. That's her existence though because she sits at home online for hours and hours.

This duality is present with every website proprietor. The hope is that the distance between real you and your online persona is minimal. My Faceborg posts are my family pics and comments you'd find on my twitter feed because I've gone scorched earth on my social circle of progs. I try to blog on things I talk about in real life or think to myself while sitting in my office being paid to do work that seldom engages me. If you see it on my Faceborg, it's all me. I hate phonies. It's my main motivation for mocking plastic surgery and disingenuous white liberals. Might be due to the fragment of SWPL in me, I crave authenticity, but not phony SWPL decreed authenticity (primitivism). This is a problem of the Internet, and I'm just bitching. The user control on the Internet sets up a situation ripe for fraud. The Internet is a bazaar of phonies. /end of rant

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