I think I can be better on the Internet than in real life.
Have you googled an underwater iceberg? You will be amazed by a strange, cold, and fascinating scroll – huge, but strangely enough, you can see from above that they are perfect, glittering peaks. These images are the appropriate metaphor for the complexity of identity in the digital age, and our large and chaotic human parts and polishing are designated as public consumption.
The more I write online, or share my own time on social media, the more obvious the contrast between the summit and the iceberg. My network is funny, articulate, and my real self is self-deprecating, somewhat awkward and shy, unless I feel completely comfortable. My Internet self-preference aesthetic rather than utilitarian function; My real self loves warmth and comfort. My Internet is eager to insert opinions; My real self wants to hear other people think first. My Internet self is active and outgoing; My real self is an introverted anxiety ball. My Internet knows how to make friends (easy!) ; My real self wants you to take the first step (please?) . My online self is a series of carefully selected two-dimensional words and images; My real self living in a body, even if she didn’t want to, loose jeans, after lunch in feel unsafe, when the first signs of refresh unfiltered pink, sometimes say the wrong thing, should not even be what to say.
Is it surprising that I sometimes prefer the former? I wish I could separate my iceberg from the heavy base, and not be subject to the ambiguity of a fleshy man in the world?
The Internet is a very effective mechanism to broadcast their own version of a partition for a neat square image and the corresponding title, that is why it is easy to better online than closed. Online, I’m free to choose what I want to say and what I want to say. If I change my mind, I can usually go back to edit or delete it. Offline, I’m just me, sometimes I feel too much or not enough. It rarely feels right.
As a writer, the freedom to choose what I want to say and what I want to say is particularly attractive because it is easier to create my identity through words than through speeches. I often talk about writing some of the things, I’ll uncomfortable to talk about body image and social problems such as anxiety, these problems in my whole self taken huge underwater geographical space. Writing gives me time and space to sever these holes, scrub the ugliest and most ugly barnacle and gently push “good” to the surface of the air.
Some barnacles are hard to write, but it doesn’t matter, but my understanding of what I haven’t said can be very difficult to reconcile with what I have. The difference is not always obvious, but it is often felt in bad self-esteem days.
Forgiving the gap is a work in progress. Although my network self and my true self may present different shapes, or in different direction, but I still will understand, even though the Internet I myself and my true self can also be carved from the same mountain. The belly of that mountain might be full of my worst hookers, but it was also my greatest sympathy. Without this, I wouldn’t even float.