When I write columns I often find I can’t quite articulate what I’m trying to say, but I think I got pretty close with this one for .net.
For most of us, thereâ€™s a difference between the person we really are and the person we play on the internet. I donâ€™t mean in a mild-mannered janitor/ Hong Kong Phooey way (or in a mild-mannered janitor/Dennis Nilsen way either). I mean that unless youâ€™re ridiculously honest, American, or 14, then you practise a certain amount of self-censorship. What people see is still you, but itâ€™s a toned-down, smartened up, edited highlights version of you.
Sometimes that censorship is a temporary thing, so youâ€™re posting hilarious things online when in the real world you want to hurl yourself off a bridge, or hurl somebody else off a bridge. Sometimes itâ€™s a self-preservation thing, where you know that telling the truth about your boss will change nothing other than your employment status. And sometimes itâ€™s because the whole point of your online identity is that it lets you leave behind the bits you donâ€™t like.
I think that last one is why I loathe the popular social networks so much… slowly but surely theyâ€™re filling up with the very people I, and perhaps you, went online to get away from in the first place.