multiple personas

I used to have my Twitter post to Facebook as well, so that all my (so called) friends who don’t follow me on Twitter could remain informed of my exploits.  However, a while ago, I realized that there is a distinct difference between who I know on Twitter and who I know on Facebook.  Some say: “Twitter connects you to people you like but don’t know, Facebook connects you to people you know but don’t like.”  In my case, they really are two different worlds.  Which is why my Twitter and Facebook accounts got divorced a while back, it just wasn’t working out.

I noticed posts, thoughts, and concepts that worked on Twitter didn’t necessarily translate that well to Facebook.  And of course vice-versa.  I used to be part of deviantArt as well, and because that was a more specific niche community, my photos and comments had to be applicable specifically to that group of people.  This holds true for every forum, social network, and online community.  We have to be different people online in order to pander to our respective audience in each facet of our lives.  The question isn’t really “Who do I need to be in this situation?”  It’s more like “Which aspects of myself are acceptable here?”  Or maybe “What parts of my personality do I need to hide or downplay in order to fit in better?”

This is much more evident offline, in how we dress, talk, and act at work, school, or home.  I  have to wear dressier clothes to work (in order to fool them into thinking I know what I’m doing).  And I usually wear less impressive clothes outside of work, but I obviously shouldn’t wear my favorite shirt around anyone from church (they have been known to take offense).  So all day every day we have to consider who we need to pretend to be in each situation, online and off, and conduct ourselves accordingly.  I am a different person at work, at my parent’s house, at church, on Twitter, on Facebook, on YouTube, on this blog, at the gym, and while driving.  Of course some aspects of my ‘real self’ bleed over into everything.  Such as my religious beliefs, lack of empathy, considerate sarcasm, and work ethic.  But it seems that we can never really be ourselves (whoever that is) because that would get us fired or arrested.  We have to constantly evaluate and act in accordance with other’s expectations and social norms, which of course vary in each situation.

All that to say: Blog-Geoffrey is a more introspective and longwinded version of Twitter-Geoffrey.  Facebook-Geoffrey is a watered down version of Twitter-Geoffrey.  YouTube-Geoffrey is just the positive aspects of Facebook-Geoffrey.  And RealLife-Geoffrey is a more agreeable distillation of Facebook-Geoffrey, even though my actual thoughts are more like Twitter-Geoffrey.

multiple personas