Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wild Wednesday - Who Are You?

by Maureen O. Betita

I’m not really a wild woman. Though it may seem that way for anyone who gets to know me through my online persona. I heard a radio report recently about the sociological dangers of the online world. Interesting information!

The specialist said the internet is so fast and interaction is so abrupt that people are losing the studied and careful manner we learn as we grow up. You know, think before you spew? I thought about it, and it is true, especially for the generation of my nieces and nephews. Those young people really have no tact or social skills. But they never really did. Snark is a passion for them. (Though I’ve noticed as they start having children that this is being tempered.)

Hee, hee.
What about those of us who grew up with all of those lessons on politeness and reflecting before speaking? Well, we’re slowly descending into barbarity also. As more and more of our communication is done online, we’re getting sloppy.
At least, that was the theory. I’m not sure it’s totally true for everyone. Yes, I think if you spend your life online, you’re probably going to have to stop and check yourself so that when in social situations you don’t open mouth/insert foot.

I check myself constantly and Leanne? You’re not the only one who apologizes a lot! ;-)
I adore online communication for several reasons. Firstly, I suck at reading body language. I tend to take people as they present themselves. (Perhaps because I’ve never considered it worthwhile to put energy into faking much of anything.) So, online, when taking the time to choose words carefully, with time to reflect, I feel less likely to be misunderstood. And with a back and forth, I can figure most things out. It’s words, not faces. I can handle words. (Means I’m probably very easy to fool on line, but then again, I am a massive record keeper and can go back years to support what I said and what was said to me. Remember this if you start an argument with me!) Also because I’m really not all the fast and witty in person, I like online communication. Give me a few moments to reflect with online chatter, and I’m brilliant.
No, really! I am!

I’m also a bartender. Online. And a pirate. Online.
I’m a little concerned how this is all going to translate next week, at RT. Even I’m not sure how this is all going to balance out come meeting people. Will they expect the bartender? The pirate? Who am I, really? I tend to be the sort who is more likely to be overtly polite than intrusive, so I’m not really worried about my mouth getting me into trouble. Unless I drink of course. One reason I don’t drink much!
I’d like to think I’m all these online people, and able to communicate as all of them. Who are you online? And if you’re going to RT and meet me, you can hold up a sign, let me know who you want to talk to! ;-)


Maureen said...

Next Wednesday...I'll be part of a panel! ACK! ;-)

Valerie Mann said...

Maureen ~ I'm afraid what you see is what you get with me but you can be whoever you want with me! See you next week!

kathleen said...

I'm one of the I'm sorry people, too, lol

I think it takes something special to be able to create an online persona. Especially someone who is fun and interesting. It takes imagination and commitment. You did a great job!

See you at RT!

Maureen said...

Well, if what you are is perfect, why mess with perfection?

I, on the other hand, am obviously too big for one body... ;-)

Becca Dale said...

I understand, Maureen. Online I am confident and sexy and proud of my curves and a hundred other things that I am not in real life. I can't wait to meet all of you. I will be the one faking it with style - oh wait, I bet there will be many doing that. :-D

P. Kirby said...

As someone who frequents political blogs, I've definitely seen some of the worst of the Internet. (And been a party to a lot of nastiness.)

But like you, I prefer online communication. I've always been a nerd and while I've come to revel in my geekdom, there's still a little girl inside who wants all the other girls to like her. And who always feels like the outsider.

But the funny thing is, even though I think I suck at person-to-person communication, I've had lots of people tell me I'm outgoing, funny and personable. (Folks from our artist society who see me in Art in the Park mode.)

So I guess my point is this. Your going to do just great at RT. Just be yourself and have fun.

Sniff. Wish I was goin'.

Maureen said...

Becca - We need buttons. "I think I'm Faking It, but I'm Not Sure..."

I mean that is the thing, as Pat says, we all are so insecure, but our friends tell us we are as sparkling in person as we are on line... And we doubt them...

*shakes head

Just human nature!?

Pat, I wish you were RT!