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The Online Persona verses the Real You

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posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 03:35 PM

Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
reply to post by The_Alarmist2012

true to your word - you have no profile

can I ask you an honest question then?

what are you after exactly?

Quite simply, I am seeking answers, and I have many so far.

Primarily, for now the cause and effects of an "online life" verses a "real life" on the human psyche.

I also find this site captivating, would not change a thing, particularly this forum board.

[edit on 18-7-2008 by The_Alarmist2012]

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 03:50 PM
reply to post by The_Alarmist2012

well - for what it's worth - a great thread - if people will participate - because the concept of "real us" vs "avatar us" is just to good to pass up

and I'll tell you one thing about the me here that is different from the flesh and blood me outside - I write better than I speak

ok - 2 things - I am also less sarcastic here

in my life - among my friends and family - sarcasm is a form of affection

but sarcasm doesn't translate as well in this situation - so I'm more careful about what I say and how I say it

so you see - it is me - but a slightly different me

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 04:22 PM

Originally posted by Spiramirabilis

and I'll tell you one thing about the me here that is different from the flesh and blood me outside - I write better than I speak

I think I write better than I speak as well. Mostly because I am a very deliberate thinker. (Read: slow but thorough)

That would be an interesting question for a thread. Not are you misrepresenting yourself and enjoying the anonymity of the internet in order to do so, but rather, is the internet inherently beneficial to your particular nature or skill set.

(I got this idea from the NLP link

For instance, when reading the part about the way you speak indicates how you process information, I realized I must be quite visual by the terms I prefer, "see" as opposed to "hear." I wonder how many of us prefer the internet because we prefer visually dealing with language rather than auditory processing of it?

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 04:30 PM

Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
I think I write better than I speak as well. Mostly because I am a very deliberate thinker. (Read: slow but thorough)

Heh. For me it's the opposite reason. I think so fast that my mouth can't keep up and often when I'm face to face with someone I'll stutter or get flustered or have to pause and correlate everything into a coherent sentence.

That challenge, for some reason, is more easily addressed when I'm typing than when I'm speaking. The FORCED deliberation (even though I'm a rather fast typist), as well as the fact that I don't have someone waiting on me to get the idea out of my head. Asynchronous communication being preferable to real-time, for me at least.

is the internet inherently beneficial to your particular nature or skill set.
Yes, for the above reasons.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 04:31 PM
I don't want to look at that NLP link yet. I don't want to get all self-conscious about what I write and how it appears, or what it reveals. I want to learn that about me myself.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 04:31 PM
I'm pretty much the same, but I think most everyone is more aggressive in stating their points of view on forums. Most people are not willing to talk about obscure events, history, politics, or science in the first place.

In addition, one of the problems with conversations is that they can become a shouting contest, or a situation where one person continuously talks, and refuses to to allow others to participate, which essentially ends the conversation.

On these forums, others can't stop you from replying, or walk away once they have gotten their say, as many people will sometimes do. In a forum, you have the history of the conversation to bring back to light that people can not deny and still expect any respect in return. With the internet you can provide links to back up your claims, and demand others to do the same. In conversations, people can, and often do, attempt to get by with outright lies and distortions, and denial.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 04:42 PM

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?

The problem is that I play a number of different roles that depend on the world I am traveling in: the business community, the academic community, the arts community, my more alternative and perhaps fringe associations. In order to be effective in each of these worlds, I have to wear a persona that is acceptable and understandable to them. Each persona is really a part of me, sometimes exaggerated, with the other aspects of my life repressed at that moment. My academic colleagues would be baffled by my spiritual and esoteric interests and pursuits, my business associates would be shocked by my academic research, and so on.

Are you the same YOU here at ATS that you are in the real world?
Can you answer the above honestly?

Yes, I just don't bring all of me to ATS. And honestly

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

For my friends, those who were open minded, yes. The academics are the worst, so probably not. My son and daughter, yes; my ex-wife, no.

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?

Only if they are a great method actor. Any on-line persona I believe is actually a part of our own personality that we anthropomorphize. Having such proxies for ourselves is very healthy when we are prevented for other reasons from speaking with our own voice, however there can be an unhealthy aspect to this when a person cannot express themselves without the proxy. Remember, we all tend to "step outside" ourselves if we are in a place where we are not known, so... this is a natural thing.

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


Thank you for a wonderful post. I'm going to read what others say now.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 04:44 PM
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander


I'd be real interested -

I speak well enough - but think faster than I can organize into words - so - I can sound like a raving lunatic if I don't pace myself

but when I write - I have a chance to organize my thoughts

I also have some kind of reading disability - not dyslexic - but it's very difficult for me to read - which is why I type the way I do

in small easily digested chunks :-)

but I am a very visual person - so I'd be interested in info on a connection

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 04:57 PM
reply to post by Spiramirabilis


It was originally posted in Whaaaa?'s post at the bottom of page three.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 05:21 PM
well here I feel am sane, but outside of the ats screen its like I am getting sometimes a bit insane of all the crazy stuff that happens on this world.

but my personality is pretty much the same here as in real life.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 06:18 PM
I'm pretty much the same wherever, though depending on the online community I may restrain the harsher aspects of my nature somewhat. I'm outspoken, with little tolerance for idiots, and I can pretty much converse intelligently about most things. I don't really talk about ATS style subjects elsewhere, like others here I wait for the subject to come up, but given the people I'm usually surrounded with IRL, most of them would find the majority of what I could say going totally over their heads. I'd have to dumb down the topics I find interesting enough to be pointless, basically.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 06:19 PM
After reading through the wiki page linked in this thread I searched for some other sources of information related to this subject and found the following page interesting and more informative:

It's well known that people say and do things in cyberspace that they wouldn't ordinarily say or do in the face-to-face world. They loosen up, feel more uninhibited, express themselves more openly. Researchers call this the "disinhibition effect." It's a double-edged sword. Sometimes people share very personal things about themselves. They reveal secret emotions, fears, wishes. Or they show unusual acts of kindness and generosity. We may call this benign disinhibition.

On the other hand, the disinhibition effect may not be so benign. Out spills rude language and harsh criticisms, anger, hatred, even threats. Or people explore the dark underworld of the internet, places of pornography and violence, places they would never visit in the real world. We might call this toxic disinhibition.

Much more of that page here:

This paragraph in particular:

The disinhibition effect is not the only factor that determines how much people open up or act out in cyberspace. The strength of underlying feelings, needs, and drive level has a big influence on how people behave. Personalities also vary greatly in the strength of defense mechanisms and tendencies towards inhibition or expression. People with histrionic styles tend to be very open and emotional. Compulsive people are more restrained. The online disinhibition effect will interact with these personality variables, in some cases resulting in a small deviation from the person's baseline (offline) behavior, while in other cases causing dramatic changes.

Fascinating subject, I know I have learned a great deal here and hope to hear from more members of this community.

[edit on 18-7-2008 by The_Alarmist2012]

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:35 PM
i'm the same. actually i'm more vocal about these things in real life than i am here at ats.
always trying to get my peers to open up and see what's going on around them.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:43 PM
reply to post by The_Alarmist2012

i'm exactly the same. the major difference is that i usually sit up straighter and am not wearing pajamas when i talk to people in real life.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:54 PM
I thought about this for awhile.

Good thread.

In the end, I realized that my online persona is an extremely thin representation of the whole me.

To be clear, I'm NOT speaking in the sense that what I present here is somehow inaccurate, but rather just incomplete-- by a LONG shot.

[edit on 18-7-2008 by loam]

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 09:08 PM
reply to post by The_Alarmist2012

Kinda the same.

I don't speak to as many people in real life as I do here. But I'm pretty calm here, and that's the same as in real life. I try to help people here, and I do in real life to.

But I do things on here that I wouldn't do in real life, like join a debate, write a story, have a conversation.

This is my only account.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 09:31 PM
This is the first time I've felt inhibited from expressing an opinion on ATS that I would freely express in 'real life'.

I feel outnumbered here.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 09:53 PM
reply to post by Ian McLean

The truth can be liberating, there is no reason to feel inhibited here.

You could be on to something, many people may not be willing open up about their online persona.

Who are you really?

[edit on 18-7-2008 by The_Alarmist2012]

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:09 PM

Originally posted by woodwytch
I found Ashley D's post very interesting ... about being 'very meek' in the outerworld. I think that's what is so great about a site like this, as it gives a voice to those who might otherwise stay quiet. In my experience people like 'Ashley' usually have some extemely interesting / useful things to say (under their cloak of anonymity), because they have absorbed more about their surrounding ... rather than diving in headfirst with some half-assed idea.

Very true. It has also been said that a drunk man's words are a sober man's thoughts.

It's not that I put on a facade on ATS or pretend to be something I am not. Everything I say on here and every opinion I express is something I feel and think in real life. The difference is, I keep it to myself in real life.

I suppose you could say for those of us who are timid and soft spoken in real life but vocal on here (bringing us back to my first sentence in this post), ATS is our six shots of vodka.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 10:17 PM
My real personality has flaws. Why not fix them with this online personality?

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