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Question of the Week - Online Vs. IRL

I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately. Maybe it was all the hubbub around BlogHer (which I really wanted to go to, but just couldn't afford this year). Maybe it's just part of me feeling introspective lately. Also it's probably cause an online friend emailed me and mentioned something about my "online persona." So I really started thinking about myself and how I am online versus in real life.

I really think that overall, I'm pretty much the same online as I am in person. My personality and my voice is definitely the same. I'm generally this open in real life. If people ask how I am, I tell them that I'm exhausted because the baby woke up at 4:00 this morning and didn't go back to sleep (this is what happened this morning, so please pardon any typos or poor writing skills, as I'm exhausted). I try to be supportive and understanding of the people around me. I get annoyed with things, and I vent about it. That's just me.

Also, I write the same way I talk. This is why I don't always even write in complete sentences. Or why I start sentences with "and" and "but" all the time. I know I'm doing it, but I'm okay with grammar faux pas as long as it's a style choice. It's so my real life voice comes across in my writing. I've had a few people tell me that they've read a comment I wrote somewhere and known it was me before they saw my name. It's cause I gots style, baby! Maybe not good style, but my own style and my own voice.

But there are things I don't do online. There are aspects of my personality or thoughts in my head that I save for venting phone calls to friends keep to myself. Which brings us to the Question of the Week...

What aspect of yourself do you not share online?

For me, the things that pop to mind immediately are cursing, venting about family or friends, and sex talk. IRL, I cuss pretty bad. Sometimes, I feel like I should just curse here on my own blog... but... I think it might make some people uncomfortable. And I can usually find other ways to get across my frustration. Plus, as Londo keeps pointing out, I need to curb the cursing in front of the Pumpkin. (I'm a work in progress.)

I keep my venting about family and friends offline (I totally mean that in the literal sense!) because there are IRL friends and some family members who read this blog. Even if I didn't tell a family member about the blog, what if they discover it someday? The thing is, if I'm just venting that means that something might have annoyed me or I'm annoyed with a situation. I love my family and friends and don't harbor bad feelings towards them. If I have a real issue, I bring it up with them. So why would I vent about a little thing here and have the possibility that it would be a sore spot that could possibly never heal over? So I just leave it out of this medium. No need for that here.

As for the sex talk, I will admit that IRL, I love to talk about sex. I've got a great relationship with a very good sex life. I think it's an important part of life. I talk about it the same way I'd talk about shopping or changing diapers (except it's way better than those things!). I have mentioned before that my dream job would be a romance writer. That's how comfortable I am talking about sex and romance. And yet, on this blog I'm pretty much PG or PG-13. Even the post I did talking about getting in the mood was probably PG-13. And I can be R and sometimes even X! The main reason I don't let it all out? My husband. He also has friends, some family and even a coworker or two who read this blog. He is not quite as inappropriate open as I am, and he would be uncomfortable if I gabbed on about our fantastic sex life.

Now, there are two other minor things occur to me, which I plan to write about in separate posts. I'm funnier in person than I am in writing. Also, at my core, I'm a big flirt, but since I'm in a happy relationship, I tend to flirt only with my husband or in certain circumstances that I know are safe and no one will misinterpret.

So there it is. I'm mostly myself here and in comments elsewhere. How about you? What do you hold back when you are online? How do you differ from your online persona?


Becoming Mommy said…
I'm kind of a private person.
I will never discuss sex on this blog, because to me...that's just something between Hubby and me. I don't discuss it IRL either. I also keep a lot of my griping to myself. I don't post real names online, and I try to keep things generic when I do. Same with relationship issues (and there have been a lot).
But in my blog I am a lot more calm, reserved, and level-headed than in real life. Where my temper has a tendancy to fly off the handle. I wait to write till I'm cool and calm.
I'm Not Skippy said…
Same as you. I keep sex and actual family and friend beefs off my blog. It bugs me that I do. I've actually contemplated dropping my current blog and starting a new blog and not give any real info or give the link to anyone.

The first blog I ever read was the suburban sex blog. A blog from a man wanting more sex from his wife. At first I intended to keep my blog away form my wife modeled after this author. We hit some snags during her pregnancy which made me want her to not feel alone which is the only reason it was introduced to her and other IRL people.

I don't think I have the energy to keep up 2 blogs.

This is one area where I admire Motherhood Uncensored.
Cloud said…
I decided not to post any details about work, because it seems far too likely that someone who stumbled across my blog and also knew me in real life could figure out who I am.
I swear in my blog... but much more so in real life.
I edit alot for the blog. I try and run thing through the 'would I want my boss to read this lens(mostly)' because in the past they have. My husband was so excited about the blog he sent it to everyone and later told me.

I do write in my voice, but I remember the media, it is there forever and so easily shared, you have to think about that as you hit publish.

Also my dad reads so no sex talk!
La folle maman said…
I definitely curse more IRL than on my blog although I will write out a curse word or two occasionally if I feel it emphasizes my emotion or correctly illustrates a point (this may happen in near future post).

Haven't really thought about it until now but I think my posts are as varied as my personality. I can be wistful and heartfelt one day and a very angry woman the next.

I do tend to whine about DH and my responsibilities too much both IRL and online. Something I'm working on each day. And I've learned that even if you think no one will see a comment, they just might and call you on it. So venting online is strictly about DH, myself and work in general now. I, too, try to keep the work complains non-specific as I think I may have accidentally said my blog URL once to a client.
Karen said…
I stay away from negative family issues for the most part. Not that any family reads my blog (and a lot of them don't even have a computer and couldn't) but it's just not cool.
Shellie said…
I think the same as you, I write like I talk, but I avoid saying things that might be taken wrong by family/friends that read it or invade their privacy in any way. Subjects like more than general references to sex that might not be G rated are best discussed in more private, controlled environments. I think I'm pretty much me all over the place.
Rudyinparis said…
Mostly it's the cursing thing. I really clean it up online. Apart from that, I tend to make the same goofs and blunders online as off. I often get too emotionally invested and then go off without really thinking things through. This is something I've been working very hard on, particularly for the past year. I think I probably come across as nicer and more centered online than off, if I'm being brutally honest.

(Caramama, it's so funny you brought this up, because it was on my mind, too! "Persona" vs. "person"... what is the difference?)
Burgh Baby said…
I'm pretty much the same, except that I'm less reserved in person. Sarcasm doesn't translate well in the written word, so I back-off as to not offend anyone. There's also the issue of some topics being off limits on a diary intended for my daughter, so there's a whole chunk of me missing. Mostly the chunk of me that cusses a lot.
Don Mills Diva said…
I think I am very similar on-line and IRL but probably more confident and direct on-line...
Colleen said…
about the same as you...I keep out the cuss words because while I curb it around the kids, I'm still muttering it under my breath. And I keep my mouth clean around my parents too...don't need them to think they raised some sailor! :D
I also keep most personal gripes out of my blog as well as discussions about my sex need for my readers to either get an eyeful or start wondering if I ever get it. LOL! I like to think I'm funnier in person as well, though I'm not terribly sure because sometimes I wonder if Justin's laughing with me or at me. :D

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