If you follow me on twitter I wonder what you think of me? Not very much probably, because I expect you are far too concerned with what I think of you. Round and round we go, filling our waking thoughts with fears of ‘unfollows’, ‘ignored @s’ or that we might mistakenly reveal our ‘true personality’ on the internet in a moment of drunken madness for the world to RT and ridicule.
Listen up friends: there is no instagram filter on the bathroom mirror.
(And more fool bathroom mirror makers if you ask me…)
Sometimes I wonder what we used to do with all these thoughts before twitter (and then I tweet that and wait anxiously for a response…).
Sometimes I wonder where we got our feelings of validity, that what we are doing, thinking, eating at this precise moment is OK BY THE REST OF THE WORLD (or at least by the 267 people/ spambots/ hookers in America that follow our accounts).
Sometimes I wonder if any thought really counted before it was painstakingly spelled out in 140 characters.
I know a lot of people IRL (in real life) that I follow on twitter who seem to manage concurrent lives; one is overwhelmingly confident, beautifully filtered and never really that hungover, the other is… well… drunk.
If I am being honest one of those people is a little bit me.
But it just seems to beg the question: why? Why does it seem like we are putting more effort in to our online personas than our ‘real life’ ones. Maybe if we can fool our followers into believing we have a perfect life full of early morning jogs, green tea and fancy cocktails then does it really matter what our own mothers think of us?
Or is it more the fact that we need to fool ourselves?
The world of social media has definitely made it more difficult to hide. If you want to be a part of the online community you have to give something of yourself, blogging, twitter, another Facebook photo album… You’re either in it or you ain’t, and if you are then it seems like you can never give enough. But with the giving comes the judging, the reflection and the justifications, from complete strangers, your best friends and yourself. Who can blame us for creating a digital fantasy version of ourselves? Maybe in the world of online, where words and pictures exist forever, it’s essential.
The internet holds a mirror up to our lives. Sometimes it’s a distorted mirror, like you would find in the circus, but if we look hard enough we can see it is still us standing in front of it. And no matter what you want others to believe about your reflection, just make sure that you, at least, know the truth.