The Online Persona verses the Real You

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posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 09:54 AM
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After being here at ATS, involved in a few discussions, reading through many others. I am curious about how people really express themselves in the real world verses what they do here in these forums.

How many of you would step forward in a group of people, friends, peers or coworkers and freely express your thoughts or views on the topics you get involved in here at ATS?

Are you the same YOU here at ATS that you are in the real world?

Can you answer the above honestly?

How many of you have or would actually share everything you do here at ATS with your family and friends?

Is it possible for a person to have two completely different personalities, one that exists only online here and the other in the real world?

From a psychological aspect, is it healthy to have an outlet for an alter-ego who is not as reserved, one that can say and do things the other will not?

Do any of you have alternate user accounts which you use to express other things you would not with a primary user account?

Seriously, I'm just curious.





posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:01 AM
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I am the same. Before I got to sick to work, I would discuss this stuff with my boss. Things that interest me here, interest me in life . I tend to gravitate towards current events, and love those topics here, and hear peoples opinions on them. I also think everything is not as it seems, so I love to get other ideas.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:01 AM
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For the most part, I am the same person. The anonymity of the forum does allow me to participate in topics that I may not normally want to bring up in normal everyday conversation though. Then again, if I was surrounded with like minded people from ATS all day, then I wouldn't have a problem "being myself".



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:06 AM
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Nope, I have no alter egos.

Although I don't go out in the public on the street corner like Alex Jones and spew my opinions, I will gladly tell anyone in person the same stuff I say online. But I wait for an opening. I don't push my beliefs on others and instead wait for questions or the right moment to speak up. And anyone can disagree with what I say, that's their right.

I also play RP games, and currently back again to play Ultima Online, Atlantic shard. In games like that some people are really really into RP, but I'm not. I tell people I have no need to RP and pretend to be something I'm not.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by Karlhungis
Then again, if I was surrounded with like minded people from ATS all day, then I wouldn't have a problem "being myself".


I find the above line fascinating. If I read it correctly you seem to be saying that you need to be surrounded by like minded people from ATS to "be yourself"?

Could the self you are talking about actually be your online persona?



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:15 AM
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I think i am pretty much the same person online,or not online.

But sometimes if i try and talk about some of the topics on ATS to people i know,some of them look me up and down then call me a f**king nutcase!(Pardon my French).

Still,I'll keep trying.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by The_Alarmist2012
 


I think you are digging deeper into than it really needs to be.

For example, if you are a huge football fan but the only people you are around all day are housewives who watch nothing but soap opera's and have zero interest in sports, it would be hard to "be yourself".

Similarly, if I start talking about the things that interest me on ATS with my co-workers, they usually aren't interested. Just like how I am not really all that interested in their "pop culture" conversations. I am cordial with them and I am myself, but I don't exactly "let it all hang out". I am not a different person, they just don't get to see the other aspects of me, since they have no interest in those topics.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
How many of you would step forward in a group of people, friends, peers or coworkers and freely express your thoughts or views...


Yes everyday.


...on the topics you get involved in here at ATS?


Uh, no, except for a very select few. I find people don't take kindly to someone clouding their worldview with facts.


Are you the same YOU here at ATS that you are in the real world?


I actually do think I am the same, but don't we all finesse the delivery to suit the audience? Hey, the ugly truth is every interaction is essentially just marketing.


Is it possible for a person to have two completely different personalities, one that exists only online here and the other in the real world?


Unfortunately yes. Not everyone comes to ATS for the same reason. For some it is curiosity, others a quest, for some a psychological experiment, a few I think are just lonely and some who play a role that they have imagined for themselves due to either boredom or psychosis. Some just enjoy a good tire fire. There are endless reasons.


From a psychological aspect, is it healthy to have an outlet for an alter-ego who is not as reserved, one that can say and do things the other will not?


I don't think it's bad in moderation, but being more satisfied or fulfilled on-line than in the real world can only breed disillusionment. Lasting happiness and confidence can only be achieved in the real world.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:23 AM
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I'm the same person, but in public I very rarely discuss the kind of thing I do on here.

Why?

Well, to be perfectly honest, I don't want to sound like a nutjob. Aliens, conspiracy theories and Bigfoot are not accepted by the 'ignorant' masses and I don't think it's worth the effort trying to get my points across.

I've found that no matter how hard I try, the vast majority of people will just laugh and roll their eyes. So I gave up trying. I don't wanna be 'that guy' with his wacko theories and tin foil hat.

Not in public at least.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:25 AM
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My profile accurately describes me. However sometimes in different threads my alter ego expresses itself; sometimes to my chagrin.

In fact it is my alter ego typing this post. Curious.

My alter ego is much more intelligent than the real me.

www.Schizophrenic...perhaps



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by Karlhungis
they just don't get to see the other aspects of me, since they have no interest in those topics.


I see what you are saying, yet I am still fascinated to find that many people, myself included, tend to get involved in topics here that they would not in their real lives, or freely express themselves in ways here that they would not elsewhere.

Shouldn't "being yourself" apply in ALL aspects of your life?



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:28 AM
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I'm pretty much the same wherever I am. There are a few topics I don't bring up around here, like my view on gays. I tend to have a 'live and let live' attitude towards other lifestyles that don't affect me, and that creates a few too many arguments around here at times. If pressed, though, I don't sugar-coat my beliefs.

I guess the biggest difference you would notice if you met me in RL would be the existence of my full beard and long hair, topped off by a well-worn black Stetson. Oh, and the fact you might initially think you were in some alternate dimension where Jed Clampett actually existed (strong southern accent
).

The(100% USDA-certified bona fide)Redneck



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:34 AM
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I'm more argumentative in person.
In person, my spelling and grammar aren't in question, and I feel that posts here last longer than the words I throw into the air when in a political debate.

Plus, I'm new here and don't want to get banned.
Some of the arguments I have in physical life would probably get me banned quickly.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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I am very different on here to how I am in real life. The way my language comes across and the way I 'speak' on here is very different from the real me. I think I have adapted astyle from ATS which i think will make my views or opinions etc easier for other people from other countries easier to understand. I know that UK English is quite different from Amercian English and if I typed how I spoke in real life, many people could misread or misinterpret my posts.

Secondly, I don't talk to anybody in my real world about ATS as I have written some pretty 'out there' stuff and if they came across my profile and saw my old threads they would just think...ok.. nutjob lol. I even go to the extent of deleting my history if I know someone is going to use my laptop! That way I can write what I want on here when I want and still keep my anonimity. Afterall I don't care if I am mocked or disliked or anything on here because I don't actually know anyone here and they don't know me.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 11:00 AM
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I'm almost identical, except I can't speak anywhere near as well as I can type. Although I still have a good vocabulary "in person," I speak with a much more crude peasant dialect (swearing constantly). Not to mention the fact that the speech centres in my brain have been destroyed by drink and heck knows what else, so my sentences are often smashed up and half-mumbled out. I sound like Hunter Thompson with an English accent.

Where I'm from it's generally not considered socially acceptable to discuss topics such as those common to ATS, but I do anyway. Sod it.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by fiftyfifty
I want and still keep my anonimity. Afterall I don't care if I am mocked or disliked or anything on here because I don't actually know anyone here and they don't know me.


I can relate to that.

I believe that is exactly where the alter-ego is born. For some people the change is subtle, hardly noticed, yet I believe it is possible to actually be someone else here online.

Perhaps some members are not yet aware or will not admit that they behave and express themselves differently here, or that they may have developed an alter-ego.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 11:06 AM
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I'm pretty much the same.

Sure, I get the occasional reaction "Uh...okay"

But, who cares? It's not like I'm trying to please them.

Besides, when something happens that I've known all along - I get to say one of my favorite phrases:

I told you so!



[edit on 18-7-2008 by xDove007]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 11:19 AM
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I have also noticed that there is a 'slippery slope' effect involving the use of an alternate online identity.

You might start out with expressing yourself through an online identity with the same boundaries as your real-life expressions, but then something comes up where you want to 'take advantage' of anonymity.

Perhaps it's expressing a non-mainstream belief, telling an amusing story about your company or boss, or relating personal experiences from your life that you normally wouldn't share.

Once you do that (and it can be liberating!), the online identity is 'tainted' -- a wedge is driven between all connections between that alternate persona and your real-life expression.

You can no longer, without worry, point a friend or coworker at an interesting thread you participated in, or talk about your online discussions without concern that something might "link" the two identities, and reveal things you intended to keep 'private' under the alternate, online identity.

After all, those of us here on ATS know particularly well that the expectation of 'privacy' in public online expression is an outdated 20th century illusion.

So yes, I think the 'D-Ego' can, if used incorrectly, encourage some aspects of schizophrenic-like 'two-personality' behavior, and increase isolation within 'real-life' expressional boundaries.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012

How many of you would step forward in a group of people, friends, peers or coworkers and freely express your thoughts or views on the topics you get involved in here at ATS?


I would. I dont count someone as a friend unless I can speak my mind to them. I try not to take jobs that do not reflect my values, and I dont care (well I care, I just dont let it stop me) what random people think about me. I cant control how someone perceives me, but I have to live with myself.


Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
Are you the same YOU here at ATS that you are in the real world?


Pretty much. I am sillier in the "real world," I laugh a lot. I dont think that comes through here very often.


Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
Can you answer the above honestly?


I can truthfully say that is what I really believe. How deluded I am is open for debate. Obviously I could not be aware of my own delusion by definition.


Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
How many of you have or would actually share everything you do here at ATS with your family and friends?


I WOULD share anything I do here with family and friends, but I dont share everything with them. Not because of deception or fear on my part. But because different people in my life care relatively more or less about some of my interests. I dont feel the need to bore my 82 year old neighbor to death with UFO topics when she would rather ask me about her sprinklers.


Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
Is it possible for a person to have two completely different personalities, one that exists only online here and the other in the real world?


I think that we all have one personality with different facets. I like a wide variety of things. I dont go to a restaurant on my free time to practice my plumbing skills, I go there to eat. We express the different aspects of our personality or interests where they seem most appropriate or fit best. I think that if someone feels a strong sense of having "two personalities" it is very likely that their one real personality (or a dominant aspect of it) is being suppressed behind a social a mask they have created.


Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
From a psychological aspect, is it healthy to have an outlet for an alter-ego who is not as reserved, one that can say and do things the other will not?


Personal opinion here, but I think it is healthier to live the kind of life in which you can be your self most of the time. Sure it may mean you have to get out of certain environments, but my feeling is the reason so many people are so unhappy so much of the time is that they are living a lie.


Originally posted by The_Alarmist2012
Do any of you have alternate user accounts which you use to express other things you would not with a primary user account?


Nope. I am always the same poster, using the same account on whatever forum, anywhere I post. In fact, I mostly use the same user name on different forums. (except gaming forums, where I use my character name)



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 11:24 AM
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Are you the same YOU here at ATS that you are in the real world?

Almost. Everything is the same but I've got a real potty mouth in RL.





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