Tuesday, April 01, 2008

WYSIWYG

Recently, at a rather quiet and refined gathering of bloggers, the topic of blog personas came up. The discussion involved the comparison of real life personalities to personalities asserted online and the fact that many times they are not the same.

I sort of scratched my head at this. I mean, sure, I know there are many talented writers who create wildly intricate stories that have nothing to do with their personal experiences, but when it comes to blogging... I don't know. It feels so personal to me. Now maybe it's my lack of talent, but I'd be hard-pressed to prevent my personality from seeping onto my blog.

My blog persona is my real life persona--for good or for bad.

In real life, and online, I find myself gravitating toward people who are genuine. Too many times in my life I've been confused by folks who will say one thing when you are alone but change their tune in front of others. When I was younger, I was just too trusting. Now that I'm older, I don't have the patience or energy to keep guessing.

Be yourself. I promise I'll like you much better that way--warts and all.

In fact, the warts often make folks far more interesting. I know the posts that strike me are often those that reveal the writer's imperfections and how they're approaching them.

It's certainly true about the post I nominated for this month's Perfect Post Award.

My incredible friend Steph reflected about recent challenges she's overcome and how she's decided that life is just too short not to be true to herself and those around her--despite the reactions that may cause.

I'd argue that Steph has been far more authentic than she might believe all along, but the message of her post was so right on.

She asked there and I'll ask here: do you think the world, your readers see your authentic self?

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The Original Perfect Post Awards are brought to you each month by Petroville and Suburban Turmoil.

18 Deserve Mamma's Love:

andi said...

What a great pick for Perfect Post! And I like to think that my authentic self shines through on the blog - although she may be a bit better spoken than my IRL self.

Oh, and did I count 3(!) Perfect Post Awards for you? Congratulations! I almost nominated your "I'll tell you I love you" post, but I knew someone else would give it a nod, so I chose another (oh, but it was tough to choose between you two!)

Thanks for being so awesome, Mamma.

ALM said...

I oftentimes feel that my blog is too honest. Too raw. Too me. And I'm actually glad that not a lot of people read it... because I don't think I'd be able to write what I write if they did...

kristen said...

i love that about lawyer mama - being authentic at work is hard because of the stereotypes and roles that we're 'supposed' to fit into.

i lay it all out there, on the blog and in real life. my husband swears it's why i sleep so good; i leave nothing on the table each day.

but honestly, i think that even with my ability to say it like it is, i think that there's still so much that isn't on my blog, that i might not 'be' the person that i am when/if you're reading me.

what i hate is when you've connected to someone on your blog, even through emails, and then you make a phone date or a plan to get to meet and there's nothing to say. it's only happened once or twice but it feels all the more painful because i wonder how i could have been so wrong in my assessment. sigh.

i'll stop now, this is a good topic!

Mme. Meow said...

I think that being yourself --whether IRL or in a blog--, as Steph's post hints, is a process you achieve as you get older and more comfortable in your skin.

Beth said...

My readers see my authentic self - just not all of it. Some things remain personal and private because my blog is not anonymous (and among other people, my kids read it).
As for meeting other bloggers - I have yet to meet one whose persona was different from their online one. Many new and wonderful friendships have been formed via blogging.

Julie Pippert said...

I don't think I've ever surprised anyone in person (who knows me through my blog) or on my blog (who knows me in person). I think I keep it---what of it I share---pretty real.

So I agree. :)

And great award for Stephanie's great post.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I agree with Beth's comments. My blog is ME, just a bit watered down because of my awareness of some of the readers I have (my husband, my parents, etc.)

Mutha Mae said...

I'm the same way, but now I realize I don't have time for boring people! Yawn, life is too short. Hey! You're not boring! I am going to add you to my Google Reader.

Lawyer Mama said...

I think I love you, Amie. Too bad you're already married.

Congratulations on your own perfect posts. You are *truly* one of the most authentic people I've ever met.

xoxo

Leslie said...

My blog is me. I'm not creative enough (or motivated enough) to make it up.

Since my blog isn't anonymous, there is a short list of items and details I steer clear of writing about per the request of family and friends. I have no business sharing the details of someone else's life if they're not comfortable with it. But my blog is mostly about me and my perspective anyway.

It has helped me to have my friends and family reading my blog. I feel confident that they'd call bull shit if they saw it there. In fact, I think my blog has helped me to find my authentic self. Particularly in the beginning, I'd start to write something, then think about who would read it and I'd ask, "Why can I write this down and publish it for anyone on the internet to see, but I'm reluctant to talk about it with people in my everyday life?" It helped me get more comfortable with me. And there were some friendships I watched blossom as I was willing to share more of who I am. I didn't realize I was so guarded before I started to blog. Like Lawyer Mama and Mme.meow pointed out, it's a process. I don't think I've achieved anything yet - you won't see too many full body shots of me on my blog because I'm still in denial about my big old butt - but I like to think I'm moving toward something.

Ivy Brown said...

My blog got away from me, as you well know.

By and large, what you see/read is what you get with me in person.

BethGo said...

I am somewhat myself. I made the unfortunate mistake of letting my friends and family know about my blog from the start which means a lot of topics are off-limits to me but really, if anything it's taught me to be more authentic in real life too. Does that make sense.
If I can't put it on my blog, maybe I shouldn't talk about it in public either.

I do have a "secret blog" where I talk about my adoptee issues and it is surprising how different I am there. I think my inner child is raging a bit at times.
But in both cases, it's been helpful for me to see those sides of myself.
Does that make sense?

Claudia said...

I'd like to think my Blog reflects me from toe to head. It's the one place I feel like I CAN be myself, where I can spill the intricacies of my soul and be rewarded with feedback from all over the world. Otherwise, what would be the point??

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Excellent choice! Love her....LOVE YOU! I could never have a blog that did not highlight my personality..it can not be contained! :)

gunfighter said...

LM,

I think I'll leave it to readers, like you, Steph and others to decide if what they see/read, is what they get when they meet me. Hopefully, I wouldn't be disappointed at the answers.

SoMo said...

I think so, which maybe why I don't have many admirers.

Swistle said...

I never understand the common assumption that blog personas are somehow "fake" (except in the cases you mention, where, um, they ARE!) whereas our in-person selves are "real." In both cases, we choose what we want to show---and we reveal things we don't mean to reveal. I feel, if anything, MUCH MORE REAL on my blog than in person, because I can give a broader picture.

canape said...

Oh yes. Too much so I think.

But I love that you are you on your blog. That way, when I'm particularly missing you, I have a place I can instantaneously visit you.