The Real Me?
I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis recently. It’s kinda silly really. Since I spend so much time of Facebook and the like while I am nursing Aidan, I’ve ended up doing a ton of those quiz things. Now, while knowing what color or 1980’s movie I am is deeply important in the grand scheme of things, there are a few of the quizzes there that are actually somewhat insightful. They ask good questions and get people to think about themselves. But my problem that I have noticed as I’ve taken them recently is that I don’t know which “me” to answer them as. I find myself debating if I should answer as the person I act like in “real life” or as who I am online.
Now before I get jumped on for confusing the virtual world with reality or something, I have to admit that I feel like the person I am online is more “me” than what I act like around actual physical people. Yes, I’m weird and probably have serious issues or something, but that’s the way it is. I can think of a number of reasons for why it is the case. In my day to day interactions with people, I don’t often (ever?) have the chance to be myself. I generally am trying to hide who I really am, or at least what I think about things, from family and acquaintances because I hate conflict. I’d rather have a semblance of a relationship than not pretend to be who they want me to be. Mike knows the difference, and gets to listen to my rants about what I wish I would have said at say, MOPS, but I let the facade continue.
Or I am not me because, I am simply trying to divide my attention between having a conversation with people and paying attention to my two very demanding kids. Since I am with the kids some 95% of the time, I feel like the “me” I most often portray to the world is the brainless, tired, too-stressed-to-form-complete-sentences mom. I think the other students at Mike’s seminary must think I am either completely stupid or utterly anti-social since I generally have to ignore them all to chase after the kids when I’m down there. It’s kinda hard to be a self-assured empowered women when you are covered in spit-up and have the “mommy, mommy, mommy” broken record playing at all times. I haven’t had time to make any friends here in Austin who I can just be myself with, so all of my public interactions are me being these strange parodies of myself and hating it.
So it is in the online world that I feel like I can be myself. On one hand, it’s nice to have that outlet. I think I’d go insane otherwise. But I have to ask myself if I don’t have the opportunity to be myself in “real life” is that really me? Hence my strange Facebook quiz dilemma. It’s who I think I am, it’s who I want to be, but it’s not what I act on a daily basis.
So what do you think (besides that I’m a messed up freak…)? Can your online persona be the “real you”? Or is that not real if it doesn’t surface in actual human interactions? Is this just me, or do others of you experience the same issue?