Selective Personality

So I am sitting in front of the TV tonight, and watching You’ve Got Mail. An overly cheesey ‘chick-flick’ starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Where two people fall in love as they email each other, but they are natural enemies in real life, and hate each other.

It started me thinking about whether people show themselves honestly online. I mean, people have the ability to create this online persona of perfection, why include your flaws in that. Through a site, you can pretend you are they person that you wish you could be. You can filter out all the undesirable rubbish, and make your more favourable traits, be major features of your personality.

But then, is it our immediate surroundings that make use behave in a certain way? Is it only when we are confronted with people and situations, our personalities change into something completely different?

When we are alone, typing responses into a computer, we have time to organise our thoughts. We can respond to questions, without panicking and our brains rushing out some idle, idiotic response. We can spell check, and re-read responses, and carefully tweak them, to get the desired effect.

When actually involved in a conversation with someone, we don’t have the luxury to think of a perfect response, the thought process and the words come out quickly. And, although you may say something accidental, it really does show who a person is more. And you see a person for who they are, online there is always the chance of someone holding themselves back.

So where is a person most honest to themselves, online or IRL? Does it matter? As long as you truthful to yourself and your views, it shouldn’t matter where you encounter people.

One thought on “Selective Personality

  1. This is so true! As our society changes, I always hoped I’d meet someone to date in person, not through the computer. However, my best friend is someone I met online by chance. And I think that if it hadn’t been for the Internet, we probably would have never met since she lives in a small town in Northern California and I live in Los Angeles.

    It’s a tricky business but I agree with you, through the Internet people can pretend to be better- but I also think people do that too in person… just to a lesser degree. When we meet someone they usually won’t tell you that they’re angry drivers or that they don’t like to drink from the same cup as you… you just get to know that as time goes by. And if you meet people in person after the internet, you will also begin to see their flaws as well.


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