10 January 2007

choose an identity

Every time I leave a comment on blogger, I see those three words. Choose an identity. It reminds me of those Choose Your Own Adventure Books. I loved those.
But this is sad, really. And telling.
We have a nation of painted teeth and sucked out yucky fat. We put on new facades, playing dress-up like little girls in heels five sizes too big, living in a world where every day is Halloween. We spend more time sprucing up our cyber life than we do our real live character. Virtual reality. That’s an oxymoron.
I can buy and sell and borrow (and steal) without ever stepping foot out of my house. I can actually live my entire life without ever brushing elbows with someone.
And if you don’t like who you are, just create an alternate identity. Don’t worry about the hard work of transforming character. Just make someone up. You can live your entire life in cyber space. There’s even this civilization now (someone help with the name, please) where everything is online. Even your money.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love blogging. I love the friends I have that I would have never had without this phenomenon. We can choose to be real and authentic in this world. We can choose to make it only part of our world, to have a life outside of the computer, in that thing called nature or a symphony concert. Or we can choose to escape it all.
Choose an identity.
A nation of schizos.


Claudia said...

LOL!! Think of the fun you could also have with that!!

Jennifer Tiszai said...

I know, that always gets me too. I think, "Hmm, who should I be today?"

Of course I have enough selves to keep me entertained, regardless of my Blogger identity. But I do think it might be fun to have different Blogger identities for different characters in my books. Might do that some day.

Erin said...

I always chose to be Miss Scarlet when we played Clue. I loved that she was sleek, exotic, mysterious and wore red. (Um, we're not going to talk about the conclusions one could draw about her occupation in life.)
I am the diametric opposite of Miss Scarlet.

Read this book: Dumbing Us Down, by John Tsylor Gatto. His comments mostly revolve around the big business public schooling has become, but he also has some interesting thoughts about community. What makes one, why we absolutely need them to survive and thrive, and how we confuse networking with community.
I've often thought about the blogging "community," and while I am grateful for the foot in the door blogging gives me, I am not quite ready to call it a honest-to-goodness community. Gotta get to know people over coffee and cheescake, or sitting in church together. Look them in they eye. Laugh together, cry together... community.

Willowtree said...

Heather, I think you're referring to Second Life. I had seen something on TV about it, but forgot the name (boy, took some searching to find, which surprised me, I thought I would have found it straight away).

It's really strange, you can have a business, sell real estate, get married, you name it.....just makes me feel sad for them.

the address is http://secondlife.com/
if anyone is interested.

Pamela said...

I could be young blond and shapely.
For just one day, please?

Carol said...

I often wonder at the term "my IRL friends." Like there's "real life" and then there's blogging and the blogging friends aren't real people? With real feelings, thoughts and dreams?

Yes, we're a culture moving away from personal contact. How convenient for those who don't want us sharing our concerns and organizing ourselves to invoke positive change.

Thanks for the thought-provoke today.

L.L. Barkat said...

Okay, I just have to link to this, even though (as you already saw) my post is only partly on hypocrisy. For it's in choosing alternate identities that we sometimes play the hypocrisy game. (Though one can have fun with this stuff too... like over on Erin's blog right now... I loved her identity game!!)

Anonymous said...

On an opposite note . . .

The anonymity of cyberspace sometimes gives people more courage to really speak they're thinking, or to be more themselves than they would ever reveal to their actual neighbors. "I'll never meet these people anyway, why not tell them what I think?"

I recently heard a story on NPR about business email, where people were putting things down in writing that they would never say to someone's face. And not in a good way.

This aspect of revealing too much about ourselves may be just as damaging as the hypocrisy you write about because there are few consequences. If I am too comfortable with spouting out my horrendous views on my blog without seeing the hurt in someone's eye or having to apologize later, this same cavalier attitude may follow me into the real world, where words matter.

Great topic! And glad to have a chance to visit your blog by following LL's link!

Robin said...

Just popped in to tell ya I'm on the go...had PLANNED on reading you but I just got a call and I have to head out :/. I wouldn't have commented at all, but, I HAVE TO now...HAVEHAVEHAVE to because you added me to your left sidebar and I'm feeling the love, and I'm crazy about you and when I compose my blogroll, of COURSE you'll be on it, but for now, I can barely figure out how to post in TypePad (because frankly, I rather read or write then fool around w/the techie side, and, well...time has been a bit sketchy lately). Whew! I typed this VERY fast so it might not make a BIT of sense, but I hope you get the "flavor".

You know I SIT here a while when I visit, and now is not the time for that (durn it). More soon :).

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