Online it happens all the time. People claim to be someone their not.
You’ve heard the stories. Perverts pretend they’re teenagers and befriend young children. Scammers send emails to unsuspecting people and tell them they’ve won a million dollars or are heir to a fortune. Those with an online presence are warned their Paypal, Ebay and/or credit card account needs updating.
In some cases, online relationships have lead to stalking and even death.
It’s behind their computer screen where they hide, typing words that may not always be true.
Blogging is no different. We’re online. It’s inevitable we’ll “meet” someone who is not who they say they are.
You can learn even more about people from their blog posts/comments than in person, too. I have friends who still keep LiveJournals, and it’s amazing how emotional people can get in their blogs when they NEVER would have made themselves seem so “vulnerable” during in-person conversations.
Diana’s comment reminded me of the recent political race. Blogs were filled with hateful, mean and disgusting comments. Many were written by people who chose to not use their real names.
The emotions were boiling over.
What about bloggers and blog visitors?
Are blogs an outlet? A place where they can honestly express their emotions? A safe place where they can first “test” what a reaction will be? A place where they can share their true feelings with others and not feel they’re being judged? A place where they can read what others are saying and when they feel comfortable, “come out” and share their thoughts, too?
Or do some feel their online presence gives them permission to lurk in blogosphere? Prey on unsuspecting individuals? Hide their true personality?
What if we were to meet other bloggers in real life? Would we be convinced they are the same person whose blog we read? How would they come across? Kind, well mannered, and/or caring? Angry, negative and/or filled with hatred? Or would they be exactly the same as they project themselves to be online?
I fall into the category of being transparent. What you “see” is what you get.
What about you?
How transparent are you?
Have you ever befriended someone online only to find out they’re not who they said they were?
Have you ever used the internet to voice an opinion you would never speak of in real life?
If so, did it aid in your growing process?
Blogging has the potential to expose us to thousands of people. Feel free to share how your online presence has opened your eyes to the realities of the internet.
Photo Credit: zappowbang’s photostream