What did you do over the weekend?
Whether you answer or not, you probably thought about what you’d say for at least a second.
And I’d be willing to guess you probably weren’t thinking about the breakfast you ate or the shower you took.
“The person I am in my daily life—the guy who goes to the grocery store, and jogs, and stays up too late drinking and watching old movies, and changes diapers, and checks in on his sister, and has a hat collection, and folds his laundry—has nothing to do with my online life, even if I’m the same person in both.”
— “Why That Dumb AIDS Tweet Was So Captivating,” Will Leitch
Unless they’re literally acting and playing a character, everyone’s online self is a version of their real selves.
It’s just a matter of what you share of yourself, and how much you share.
I like to think I’m basically the same guy online as I am in real life, or at the very least, the parts of me that are online are parts you would see offline. Hopefully, I’d come across as intelligent, friendly, thoughtful and funny in either venue.
However, you don’t get all of it online. There’s a lot of it only Suzi or my family gets. My friends get stuff.
Different people may decide how much of themselves they share. Vee of Millennial Life Crisis shares a lot more than I ever would. I’m glad she does, because it’s often great reading.
We’ve never actually met in person. All of know of her is Online Renata or Podcast Renata, and I think she’s pretty cool.
But I’d be willing to bet she’s pretty cool in real life, too. Here’s the thing, though … none of us as cool in real life as we are online. (Remember this when you get insanely jealous over someone’s social media. People’s Instagram photos may be real, with some filtering thrown in, but people are more than just their Instagram photos.)
Let’s go back to what we did over the weekend.
“We are always heightened online; we compulsively try to make our lives, to consider our lives, more interesting than they actually are.”
On Saturday, I had French toast for breakfast. On Sunday, it was scrambled eggs, sausage and an English muffin. They were both good.
I also showered both days, which I’m sure you’re thrilled to know.
You know why there won’t be any blog posts, Facebook notes or Instagram posts about them? Because they weren’t something I could write an interesting story about, and 999 times out of 1,000, they won’t be.
We saw “Ford v Ferrari” at the movie theater, and while it was a good movie, I thought the little girl going nuts over seeing Santa was a better story, so I wrote something about it.
I complain about writer’s block all the time, even though I believe there’s a story in everything. The problem is, the stories may not be interesting to anyone but me, or at least I don’t think I can write them in a way that’s interesting to anyone but me.
But to say this is a function of the online versions of ourselves is silly.
Whether Will Leitch writes something in a physical magazine or for a website, he wants people to read it and like it.
I want people to be impressed with what I say whether I’m speaking to one person, to a group, putting something on Facebook, tweeting it or writing several hundred words about it on this blog.
Whether it’s based on our smarts, our sense of humor, our personality, our self-discipline, our looks, our money … whatever … we all want to be interesting, whether it’s in our online lives or our “real” ones.
Maybe we can’t be all the time, but enough to keep people coming back.
So if you find me interesting in any way, thank you.