Our secret identities.

I finally figured out why we love the Internet so much.

No, it’s not because of Facebook which we confidently tell ourselves that it is a tool to ‘keep in touch’ but in fact, it is a tool to stalk our exes or friends whom we are secretly jealous of. And no, it’s not blogs where we can express ourselves and no one can judge us (well, technically, partially this).

Not because of the videos on Youtube nor is it because of free porn. No, it’s not because of the online games or magazines or gossip sites. Although all these reasons are pretty much valid, it dawned on me that these are pretty minor reasons.

The reason behind our love for the Internet, I believe, is because of the fact that we can create identities for ourselves; an alter ego or two (or several). Both you and I know very well that our online personalities are not really a reflection of ourselves in real life, despite how much we tell ourselves that.

Although we may be the person that we are online, it is far from being a reflection of ourselves. It is instead an extension of ourselves that we very rarely get to explore and bring forth in real life. It’s us, but not us. Contradiction much? ;)

We all know this.

What I’m more interested is at the fact that because of how big the Internet is and how we are able to roam about anonymously, we are free to create a persona that most of us are not able to explore or feed (our fantasies) in the real world. I think that’s pretty interesting… Or scary, depending on how you look at it.

I’ve always wondered what people’s secret identities are online. I wonder whether they go to websites and create profiles for themselves to feed that part of their fantasy; perhaps posting naked pictures of themselves or act as someone they are not – which is pretty normal in the online world, don’t you think? Or perhaps, showing a rather satanic side of them and posting bizarre things on their blogs just to feed their fascination towards death or something more insane than that – though honestly, I can’t think of something more insane than death.

Thinking about this makes me think about what my innocent-looking friend or extremely strict teacher are actually like on the Internet. Who knows, they might just be one of the web’s biggest paedophile with shit loads of pictures of naked kids on his/her computer?

Does this ever cross your mind; about other people’s online identities?

All of us have secret identities.

I know this too well because I too have a secret identity. I too engage in things that nobody know about because nobody in my real life know this side of me although I did talk about it casually to some friends. So I guess, because I too have a secret identity, it makes me wonder what other people’s secret identity is or whether they actually have one or realize that they have it.

Having Facebook and showing a different side of you is barely a secret identity. I guess what makes secret identities as it is is when you exercise your fantasy. Like, someone who has never been through a sexual intercourse is being extremely sexual online with strangers he/she barely know, just for the kick of it; to release some ‘tension’ he/she may have.

That’s what good about the Internet; it allows you to break free that extension of yourself and exercise it without anybody knowing about it. Not that I’m complaining.

The thought is quite scary though.

So tell me, do you have a secret identity?

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8 thoughts on “Our secret identities.

  1. Judging by the number of people anonymously posting sexually-explicit pictures of themselves online nowadays, I would think that the whole world was doing it but me.

    But I agree with your article. I personally take great pains to craft my Facebook profile to present an idealized version of me, barring the odd rant about work/life issues. If I actually did post a status update for every thing I did, I’d come off as boring, or worse!

    It helps that I actually have an awesomely sexy personality though. Haha!

    1. We all do that; crafting our Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter etc to present an idealized version of ourselves. Same goes to posing for the camera, especially for the camwhorers. They’d pose a certain way to bring forth the ‘nice’ side of them. It’s a common practise amongst all of us.

      And I do agree with the sexy personality of yours! Creating an ‘idealized’ version of one self is one thing, but actually having an actual personality of that idealized version of yourself is another!

  2. Hey Jas,,,

    Strongly agree with this post. All I could think of was how people treat their internet personality like their internet photos (i,e. they photoshop them until they are barely recognisable). I think it’s pretty natural to do this… (in a sense, isn’t that why girls wear makeup. You’re not so much hiding yourself, as promoting your better features).

    The only thing i’d like to add is this: a lot of this ‘secret identity’ stuff is just people craving attention (but fearing the response). If you go nude in public, you have the risk of arrest, or of people calling you ugly. If you go nude online, you still have those risks, but they are nullified by the ‘safety’ of the internet. [The same with satanic stuff: do it in real life, and Christian groups might attack you. Do it on the internet and they won’t be able to find you).

    This is why Internet blogs are the new diary. Most of this secret identity stuff used to only be found in peoples diaries. Now, It’s all over blogs. So i don’t necessarily think it’s the internet that is responsible for the secret identities, it’s just magnified our abiliy to use them to express ourselves.

    I’m starting to wonder what MY secret is now when I socialize online. I’m assuming it’s my tendency to be lazy. It’s probably most most regrettable quality… and because I’m very self-aware, I’m happy to be open about my sexuality, and my image, and the other things people typically keep a secret. But it’s definitely made me second guess what I type today, Great post :))

  3. i actually find myself constantly frustrated at how little my blog reflects of the person i really am. after 8 years of blogging, i find that, more and more, on one blog you usually tend to emphasize on a certain facet of your personality, and not the full extent of your personality. and sometimes those different traits in your being seem too contradictory to post up together on the same domain.

    i’ve been running multiple blogs since years ago, when i came to the conclusion that people can sometimes only accept (or really want to see) one aspect of you. then again, i’m bipolar, and the extremes of my character might just be too much for many people to accept. and maybe, just maybe, i keep too many secrets, and live double, or triple lives, that makes it easier for my to compartmentalize the conundrum that is my soul for the viewing of the different audiences i pander to.

    1. I can relate to you, somehow. Although, I am not bipolar or anything. I never keep multiple blogs before, but now that I do, I feel that I am projecting different versions of me on each blogs, though for people who read both my blogs, they don’t feel it as much.

      I guess if I could put a reason to why you sensed that your blog reflects very little of you, and not that I am saying this is the reason, just merely putting a hypothesis. I suppose it is because with blogs, bloggers tend to be a certain way to attract readers. So suppose, you know that people might not be interested in things that you say, so you subconsciously make your blog (things that you write and what you write about) be a certain way so that you are able to attract people to read it. Because, at the end of the day, what bloggers think about most is whether people read their blogs or not.

      That’s just what I think though, might not be true on your end. That’s how I look at me though, having been blogging for about 10 years now. That’s a long time! I tend to write my things in a way that it would cater to the audience, somewhat. I am still me when I’m writing, but I go to lengths to make some words or emotions easy to understand and be unlazy by putting in images in my blog to make it interesting. :)

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