Are We All On-Line Fakes?

Social media Mask?

There is some teenage text language that has found its way in to mainstream social media that doesn’t quite fit. In the chat #SMManners, I kept reading the term I.R.L. I gave a definition to someone new to twitter as “In real life.” This got me thinking.

Does the term “In real life” not indicate that our time in social media is in some way fantasy? I can understand that in second life, Farmville, mafia wars or any of the fantasy games, but shouldn’t your twitter stream, blog, Facebook posts or any of your social channels be an extension of your real life and your real life personality?

Do you wear a social media mask different to the real you?

Real social networking needs to be real life, complete with the trials and tribulations. On the whole, people follow people within brands rather than brands. (The giants would be the exception.) I follow people first and then find out who they work for. I don’t follow broadcast streams.

Perhaps we should change the term to I.P.M. (In person meeting.) You should be the same person on or off-line, and not adopt a mask.

How do stay real in a social world? Be glad to hear your thoughts.

Keep being ambassadors for great social networking,


Links In This Post:

The #SMManners Transcript

Photo Credit: http://www.etravelpilipinas.com/tourism_news

7 comments on “Are We All On-Line Fakes?

  1. Bill, I agree with you – there is no barrier between the virtual and the physical world.

    It’s important that we all stay true to ourselves, be the same person where ever we are and whoever we are with. That means we are authentic.

    For me technology (and social media) enables us to build an authentic brand – be it a personal one, or a corporate one – this might be an interesting read: http://felixwetzel.com/how-technology-enables-the-building-of-an-authentic-brand-1000


    • Felix,

      it should all be one in the same thing, which is why my thoughts occasionally conflict with the branding talk. It will be interesting to see if people view IRL to be restricted to off-line.

  2. Online I have a more personal life on say facebook than Linked In, but no mask. I am the real thing, a writer with opinions, news, views and blog on what takes my fancy. Social media is like real life, fakes are unmasked sooner or later.
    T. @alastairw99

    • Thanks for commenting Alastair. As a profesional writer, how do you balance your own personality and beliefs when you write for someone else?
      I’m very interested in how this equates to being yourself on line, or do you adopt the honest brand of the person?

  3. I’ve been using forums for over 12 years now, and have usually stuck to the rule of having an anonymous username. These forums can be for a wide range of things, from Saab Central for how to fix my car to Digitalspy for techy, TV and movie gossip.

    Of late, I’ve seriously considered changing all my usernames to my real name. On balance, I think we’d all be far better off if we stuck to just one persona.

    • Stick with your own name. I’ve often wondered about those that take a pseudonym in a forum, then attack people from behind the mask. I understand and respect the likes of TheHRD who need to distance personal opinion from professional job, but aside from this, be you!

  4. Bill,

    Great post. As you know, I love to blog (though I haven’t had much time to finish my most recent post–coming soon!), and I keep my writing style similar to the way I converse with people. I am starting to write for my company’s blog, as well. I am actually duplicating one of the blog posts on my site for them, since the topic was based on recruiting for my company. They asked me to change the last line to make it sound a little softer (it was a little bit sarcastic, and employees might not take to kindly to the way it is worded). Since I will be writing for the brand, I am obliged to make the post seem a little friendlier, and am happy to do so. This, however, will not take away from my post’s personality. As long as you follow guidelines, you can put personality into the brand, as well. After all, it is people who make the brand, and no one is the same!

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