Monday, February 15, 2010

How is our online self different from our face to face self

Have you noticed personally or in the media that individuals who are on the internet or represent themselves on the internet are often quite different in person or reality from what they represent on the internet?
I often asked myself if this is because we tend to want to remove the rough edges, present our best "profile" or maybe even lie or "stretch the truth" about ourselves, even if only a little.

Specifically I am thinking of the blatant falsehoods depicted on dating sites. I must laugh because of many friends with stories of meeting someone in person only to question why they don't look like their picture online. And they state some lame excuse like; "Oh that was my high school picture" (and they are 42) or "that was a few years ago", when it is a clear misrepresentation of what they look like now.
So it makes me wonder what else in their profile, web site, face book, blog or whatever is inaccurate, false or simply "not true"?

I did read in psychology that people when remembering their past often tend to remember it "not how it actually was" but more often "how they wanted it to be" which can sometimes be dramatic or completely different. They say it is to assist the individual in dealing with the way life is, the choices they have made and "live with themselves and their choices".

At times reliving events from my past with family and friends it is amazing how individuals can have such "contrasting" memories of the same event.

I am wondering if "reinventing" ourselves online is healthy, unhealthy or both?


  1. That's actually really interesting that people remember their past by how they wanted it to be rather than how it was.
    Personally I enjoy choosing which memories to remember and which to not. I think everyone would like to think back and remember happy times, and whichever way we choose to do it, in my opinion is healthy. But there are always lines that can be crossed in any situation.

  2. Hello! I found your blog through another blog and also have a natural interest in the human mind. I also wrote an article on my perspective of facebook use as a direct reflection of ego. Just saying hello!