Online personas

We’re all multi-faceted, and how we present ourselves online or in writing is as much a part of our personality as our “reality” offline.

Many of us just sink out in the “real world”. In social gatherings, we get lost in the crowd, driven to silence: our words disappear beneath the chatter, words stutter from our tongues, if at all.

We are the slouching ones, the socially inept, unable to string a sentence together or initiate conversation. Only in our writing, perhaps liberated online, do we find the means to express ourselves and make ourselves heard.

While it is true that you have to be careful of having too much faith in online personas, and being blinded by the supposed reality they present, so too must you be careful not to judge people purely by how they appear to you out in the wild when afflicted by the insecurities of company and environment.

You can be both an introvert and an extrovert, depending on where you find yourself, who’s company you keep and how you feel at any given time. Who is to say the online persona is not a person’s real self, unburdened by the shape of their body or the sound of their voice? Who is to say that who they are in the “real world” is who they really are? That this life is not equally manicured for public consumption?

In all spheres of life we are influenced by our environment and the expectations of others. You could clothe yourself in a garment of modesty, but have arrogance in your heart. You could drive a luxury saloon and be kind and humble, living a life of service to others. You could be a teacher of sacred sciences, whilst harbouring a crisis of faith inside. You could be known by all who meet you for your piety, humility and spirituality, while a battle rages within.

Online or off, we are all multi-faceted. The challenge for us all is to not judge: to neither write off our companions nor praise them beyond their due. Be realistic and reasonable: look in on yourself at what makes up your personality. The good and the bad, the hidden and the known, your foibles and prejudices, your strengths and weaknesses. Then know that others are just as complex as you.

We all have different personas which we present to different people at different times. It’s human nature, and the spice of life.

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