I was reading a post by Seanan McGuire just now (at Rose Owls and Pumpkin Girls) wherein she talks about discovering that someone considers her online persona 'grating', and it got me to thinking. What is my online persona? Is who I am here online the same as who I am here in the house? Pretty much. Is that person the same as the one who goes to the grocery store?
Short answer: No.
Longer answer: If I could be who I really was all the time, I'd be the person you all see online rather than the person I present to the physical world.
I'm not nearly as angry online. When I sit down to go into the internet, I'm stepping into my happy spot. Sure, people here piss my off on occasion, but if I don't like it, I can walk away with one click of the mouse. I can't just pick up and move away from the morons I encounter in my daily life. And sometimes when I try to walk away, they follow me, trying to get my attention. Of course, in either case, my anger never gets out. I just seethe more out in reality.
I think I might be just as friendly in the real world as I am here, but I'm more guarded in real life. I have to watch what I say - mainly because there's no delete button. There's no chance to edit my thoughts out there in the real world. I have to trust in my leaky brain to filter out the really stupid things before they come dribbling out of my face. Like the other day when I offered to get a chair for a pregnant woman, and she wasn't pregnant*. Derp.
And here I can say things like 'Derp' and no one thinks I'm retarded. (Yes, I do say Derp at home, too, but they already know I'm retarded and they love me anyway.)
Whether or not I'm grating to people occurs to me every once in a while. And then I motor along being myself anyway. Way back in the early days of my original blog (the first incarnation of The Writing Spectacle), I wrote a post about being a WYSIWYG person. It's a computer term meaning 'What You See Is What You Get'. That's about it. What you see of me here is what you get.
Who are you online? Are you the real you or a persona you've created to meet someone's expectation of who you should be? How that working out for you?