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Different online/real life personas

(10 Posts)
Yellowaardvark Fri 19-May-17 09:08:32

Does anyone else struggle with people who do this? I don't quite get it and like to think I am relatively consistent between talking to someone online and in real life probably because I don't think before I type

I have this with a couple of people.

One is a friend who is always online - we have rolling conversations all the time, but when we hang out they are distracted and disinterested. Sometimes when I see them I find myself not actually telling them things then doing so later when we're not together.

Another is a friend that I have quite regular, serious, deep conversations with online but they are much more resistant to actually hanging out than I would like - often busy, but have lots of time to chat online. After not seeing them for a period and actually spending time together it almost felt like there were two different friendships.

What's this about??? I suppose I don't understand as I wouldn't invest time into someone online than I wouldn't in real life. Do any of you find yourself doing this?

PastoralCare Fri 19-May-17 09:17:24

Their true self is the online one. That's because there are no social filters, they can hide (or have the illusion of being hidden).

In person, people tend to be more on their guards and put on a mask to fit social norms.

This has been proven time and time again. If you ask people whether they are racist only a tiny minority will admit they are. But internet searches show that this number is far higher.

If you ask people if they treat their sons and daughters equally they will say they do. And yet, there are twice as many searches for

"is my boy gifted"
than for
"is my girl gifted"

Research on content posted on facebook shows that people curate their image. Everyone is simply splendid on there.

So yes, it is not usual to feel like there is discrepancy between online and offline personalities.

Yellowaardvark Fri 19-May-17 11:21:42

That's really interesting pastoral. I wonder where that leaves on line dating though?

HildaOg Fri 19-May-17 11:28:04

Some people find it easier to write what they're feeling and thinking rather than speak it. I've been on dates with men who are so articulate, eloquent and interesting in text, then in real life awkward and incapable of conversation.

Usernamealreadyexists Fri 19-May-17 11:35:09

Very interesting question. I will be meeting someone for the first time after emailing for 13 years (I kid you not). We knew each other at uni but never saw each other after that but corresponded very regularly for a very long time. I have no idea what to expect...

Margo3791 Fri 19-May-17 11:37:46

I find that the online/offline duplicity really off putting. Whenever I sense that a person doesn't make an effort to give in real life all the attention, time and energy they put online, I'm not that interested in having them in my life.

I have colleagues like that. I've seen people being really unfriendly and moody in real life, but all connected, charming and friendly in the online world.

I tend to stick to the real world and I'm happier that way. But then not everybody is the same.

HotNatured Fri 19-May-17 13:53:17

V interesting thread. It's so disappointing, but v common, to go on a date with someone who is a keyboard comedian of hilarious proportions only to be faced with Mr Dullard of Dullsville. It's like they were paying someone to be their witty online persona

Girlywurly Fri 19-May-17 14:48:17

I'm like this. Quite bookish and wordy so am in my element when texting. In person I can be quite shy and awkward.

I, like most who have done OLD, have experienced that dry, awkward date with someone with whom I'd shared an amazing online rapport.

I think the only way to get round it is to get on the phone or meet in person within the first week or two, before you've had a chance to get all caught up in messaging one another. Texting, emailing, whatsapping etc mean nothing - but it's all too easy to get swept up in a fantasy of what could be.

LesisMiserable Fri 19-May-17 18:12:06

I dont think its intentional. I think some people are just very eloquent in print/text.

Yellowaardvark Sat 20-May-17 00:43:51

Usernamealreadyexists that will be so interesting!

Back in the olden days I had a pen pal for 5 years - between the ages of 13 and about 18. We wrote all the time and had long conversations on the phone about all sorts of things. Then, when I moved to her city, we didn't even see each other once so of course lost touch. Even at the time I felt a little sad about it and didn't really understand.

I've not done OLD but imagine this would make it hard. I've had that dry, awkward conversation with friends after a time apart too so get a sense of what you mean.

Maybe it's about how you choose to use your time as well? I mean I am hardly going to hang out with a friend at 10pm when I'm in my PJs, but I can chat to someone online then, esp if they're in a different time zone. In a way it's easier than actually meeting up.

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