Blaugust Entry, Day 19
There is an interesting blog discussion going on about Internet identity. I picked it up from Syl’s blog at mmogypsy.com, where she responded to a blog post written by Jeromai over at whyigame.wordpress.com.
Do we wear these Internet masks of anonymity so we can actually express our true selves?
This hit home with me, because this is why I have forsaken my Facebook life to pursue my Twitter and blogging life.
I purposefully keep my online social life separated from my offline friends and acquaintances – maybe until I meet some who share my same passions and values. Our real life relationships and communities expects certain things of you when it comes to shared beliefs, proper actions, and proper social conduct. Being raised by Asian parents, and being a part of several Asian communities as well as a religious one, there is often an unspoken pressure to conform and to not make others uncomfortable by standing out. There are societal merits to this way of thinking (just ask anyone who visits Japan as a tourist), but it can be a massive hindrance to self-expression.
In my semi-anonymous online life, I have the freedom from the baggage these relationships carry–freedom from the pressure to be anyone other than who I am. Is it a sort of escapism? Possibly. I may be avoiding some of my real life issues by hiding out in my comfy online man-cave. Yet, it is also helping me address them in ways that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
The beauty of the online identity is that I have no physical identity–this identity I was given, not by choice, but by fate. I am a spirit without body. The only thing I have to share is to the world, is myself.
Which is the real mask, then? The face we show to social media, hiding behind the security of anonymity, or the face we actually show to our family, friends, and coworkers on a daily basis.
Chew on that.
Onward, to Day 20!
To participate in this month-long blogging challenge, check out the official Blaugust.
Music Challenge #6:
I’m making a short music track each day as an exercise in efficient workflow.