Ever heard this song on the radio? Brad Paisley talks about being “So much cooler Online!” Describing people that have a real life that they escapes in cyberspace. Describing themselves as the total opposite of who they are in reality. One of the lyrics is “I work down at the pizza pit, and I drive an old Hyundai. I still live with my mom and dad. I’m 5’3 and overweight. I’m a Sci-Fi fanatic, mild asthmatic, never been to second base.” He then goes on to say, “But there’s a whole nother me that you need to see. Go check out MySpace ’cause online I’m out in Hollywood, I’m 6’5 and I look damn good. I drive a Maserati. I’m a black belt in Karate and I love a good glass of wine.” Sadly this song is very true for a lot of people, on both sides of the keyboard. I understand the need for an escape from reality at time but unfortunately it is often at another’s expense when someone goes online to actually meet someone to hopefully build a relationship with. Even though the description is just superficial it is still the image the person is putting in the person’s head and they then start imaging themselves with that image. How do you then meet that person in reality and they are completely opposite of the image. How can this not be something something someone would get upset about? They have been mislead and lied to. Again it is all superficial but the person knew they were mispresenting themselves to be something much different because they weren’t happy with the person they are. Even if the person may like them as they are, they are now stuck with the fact that this person wasn’t confident enough to just be themselves and love who they are.
In this diverse world of social media we live in it is easy to offend someone and you not even realize it. We all have to understand that each of us has our own ways of doing things and processing things. The key is to try to think before you react. I don’t think we should filter what we think as much as make sure that we acknowledge how we understand our thoughts may not be the same as someone else but we also have to not be overly sensitive to what we read at times. If you don’t agree with someone’s opinion or view it is your choice to voice your own but do not think that just because you do the other person has to change their mind. In the end we may need to just agree to disagree and respect that we don’t have to agree on everything. Diversity is what makes the world exciting.
It amazes me how the Internet has taken the old “telephone” game of childhood to an entirely new level. How the story changes so quickly in the various streams of media. You can get so many views of any topic if you search hard enough. The actual facts of the story can be distorted once people start sharing their version of the occurrence or what they believe they heard from someone else. We have so many ways to share news today but I am not truly convinced it is for the better. Be careful how you use and spread information you have not actually witnessed yourself. That old game of telephone as a child should have taught us that the only person that truly knows what happened is the person it happened to. Instead of sharing bad information it is usually best to go directly to the source and confirm what you do not know is fact.
Cyberspace can be a tricky place these days. We all seem to be online for our own reasons. Everyone wearing a mask of one form or another. Have you ever gone online just to either change your mood or to release feeling you are having. Hoping that maybe there are others out there sharing your feelings or may have words of inspiration? I have really enjoyed the online experience I have had for the past almost 3 years. I have learned so much about myself and about others. It is so not easy to trust people online until I actually meet them in person. If you talk with me online first you will get a guarded but open Vix.
The biggest thing I have learned is that people hide behind the keyboard. Beware if you are going online for dating especially. In 3 years I have talked to a lot of people online and actually met maybe 50 in person, of which it is sad to me that less than 10 of them were as advertised on their profiles. It is a mystery to me why people continue to lie about who they are at all but when the time comes that they agree to actually meet with a person why wouldn’t you be sure to send a current picture of yourself so that you are honest before these people are shocked in person and then left feeling lied to?
Some words of advice for those interacting online, whether it be a social media site or an actual dating site, be sure that you “know” who you are chatting with before sharing too much personal information. There are some shady people online not just insecure ones. I talk to so many people the worry me so much cause they are sharing very private pictures and information with, well honestly, perfect strangers. I can relate to wanting to believe these people and wanting to trust but from experience people LIE. Sometimes they want to be truthful but they get caught up in the moment. Maybe they see your profile and get so caught up in that they believe how could the person in the pictures they are seeing possibly accept them for who they are. Being online can breed insecurity and dishonesty.
I have been in cyberspace for a few years now and I have seen some very interesting things in human behavior during that time. People tend to get behind the keyboard and become something opposite of who they are in the “Real” World. It is interesting to me that these people will portray themselves like something completely opposite of who they are and then when the time comes to actually meet them they get upset with you if you get upset that they are not as I say “advertised”.
Have you noticed that we escape to Cyberspace for virtual reality when we don’t want to accept reality? I have talked to a lot of people. Everyone has their different reasons for being online. I don’t judge, question, or expect anything more than for those who talk to me to just be what they are comfortable with. If you are there to escape from your reality that is fine. If you are there to be that persona you cannot seem to be in reality then I completely understand. The only thing I ever ask is that they are understanding enough to respect that those they talk to can be impacted by their actions.
I have talked to some that use fake pictures, old pictures, or won’t even show a picture at all. These people often either have low self-esteem or can’t for one reason or another show themselves online for fear of being noticed. I have mixed emotions about this because all they are doing is hiding from themselves and lying to others in return. If you have read some of my other posts you will know that I don’t judge and if there is a reason to be something you aren’t online at least make it something there is possibility of you becoming. I believe if you start living the life you are focused on maybe there is a chance you will get the strength through the persona. Use your persona to give you the courage to strive to be your very best and to boost your self-confidence in return.
Most seem to use cyberspace to escape from their reality. If you are unemployed, not physically what you perceive as perfect, married, or even older than you portray yourself, you may be using cyberspace to escape from the stressed of everyday life. Don’t lead people on to make yourself feel good though. Just remember just because you may feel better about yourself for the moment you could be playing with the other person’s emotions and you don’t even realize it. Accept who you are and embrace that, and work on your weaknesses and grow from them. 🙂 If you can play the person online you can live the person in reality. You may not overcome certain things but the better you feel about yourself inside will in time show through on the outside. Love who you are for everything you are and those around you will as well.
I have noticed more and more, lately how many people tend to live in secrecy due to the fear of showing their true desires, addictions or even their feelings for fear of hurting others. We tend to justify the lies and deceit by saying that it is out of love and affection for the others in our lives. I wonder how much of that is true and how much of it is because we just don’t want to face the truth that we are just plain selfish and we want it all. I have spoken to many people that are living double lives, especially online. Many people living a fantasy life while putting on the happy face at home and put on the facade that everything is perfect and they are happy. Is this fair to anyone involved? These people are not being true to themselves or those involved with them.
We say we tell these “little white lies” to protect others that are happy with things the way they are, but are they truly happy? They are being deceived and manipulated. They are often being put into a situation they are not going to want to deal with the consequences of if the truth comes out and they don’t even know. What right does one person have to make that decision for another person?
Let me use the example of someone who is married and has an addiction to cyber-fantasy. They live a very conservative real world life but are not sexually satisfied by their partner. They find that they receive sexual gratification online and that it would only hurt their partner by being honest with them since their partner is very happy with their life together. Now let’s say the unsatisfied partner decides to start interacting with people online and making choices that if found out could completely devastate the other partner and their way of life. Is it fair of this unsatisfied partner to make this decision for them both? I am constantly amazed by the choices people make online because they don’t have to immediately answer to the consequences of their actions and they justify it because they are not physically doing anything with the other people. I agree they are not physically doing anything wrong but if you know that your partner, family or your friends are going to possibly be hurt if this information is found out is it fair for you to take that chance with all those people’s lives?
I, myself, have had times in my life that I felt that keeping my wants and needs to myself to protect others, was the only option. You tend to truly lose yourself and can become very lost. The longer you hide your true self, the more damage is done to you and to those around you. When you finally can’t take it anymore and you are either found out or your just can’t do it anymore. You then are not only hurting those you were trying to protect by being honest but when they find out that you were deceiving them all that time you break their trust and cause those involved to question everything you have ever told them.
If you know you have a problem and you need help or just aren’t being satisfied in your life the best advice I can give is get the help you need to have the strength to confront your inner demons and find a way to stop living in secrecy. Be true to yourself and accept yourself as you are so that those around you will be able to accept you as well. If you don’t like yourself, you are right neither are those around you. If you believe your wants and desires are bad or even a little insane, then maybe instead of hiding and doing these things in secrecy get the professional help you need to get to the root of the problem and face yourself.