Living in a modern world, a person can have more than one identity. It is a privilege one has, and an ability that one possesses. Your online identity might or might not be the same as your offline identity. Well, I guess that actually depends on the person itself. Of whether how insecure they are, or how overconfident they are, or maybe how comfortable they are in their skin. I can only give my opinions about this based on my own experiences, and I have met all three kinds of online/offline personas that I mentioned about.
The insecure type usually hopes to impress other people online because they are not completely satisfied with how they are in reality. So they tend to over exaggerate their identity in the real world. Their online persona turns out to be their alter ego, or how they wished they could really be in reality. A clear example would be in social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram. I’ve seen people who are so famous on Twitter, who tweets constantly and seemed so friendly. But when I met them in real life, turns out to have zero personality and could barely start a conversation with other people. Or there are also people who post pictures of them online that are heavily edited using Photoshop or filters. This is to appear as though they are flawless and beautiful to gain attention and likes from other users on Instagram. But in reality, some does not even look anything like the photos they uploaded. According to ‘Managing Impressions Online’, “Goffman’s work on self-presentation explicates the ways in which an individual may engage in strategic activities ‘to convey an impression to others which it is in his interests to convey’,” (2006).
The overconfident type usually represent themselves online in a less exaggerated way, but constantly try to prove a point that they are either cool, hot, fun and interesting in the online world. They try too hard and sometimes might come across as annoying and desperate. For example, there are pretty girls on Instagram who post pictures of themselves or ‘selfies’ up to ten times a day, and decorated their captions with hashtags like #nofilter #bareface #nomakeup. There are also people who love to post pictures of their branded items or of them holding tons of shopping bags from high-end stores. I don’t mean to sound smug, but I do not find it necessary for people to be posting pictures like this because although they don’t mean to show how rich they are, other might perceive them differently. Also, it is dangerous for you to be sharing certain things on social media sites that are open to public.
The comfortable in their own skin type are the people who are honest and truthful about whom they really are in reality through online sites. They post ugly pictures of themselves without being worried of being judged, they post about the things that they do in their daily lives. They create an online persona that completely represent them or is a splitting image of them without the tiniest bit of exaggeration. This does not mean they are uninteresting or that they are have no imagination but rather they want people to perceive them as how they really are in online and offline settings.
I guess everyone does have all three types in their system. But the question is of all three which are you more inclined to?