Online Persona

Last night I was lolling on the couch trying to think of what to write for today. I mentally ran through the list of things that’ve kept me busy lately, but decided against each for a variety of reasons. I’m not trying to tease–bear with me for a second–but it brings up a point several blogging friends have made over the years:

Your online persona is not necessarily who you really are.

Yeah, yeah, I know. That’s a given. But I’m sometimes amazed at how easily perceptions are formed by a string of words on a computer screen. By simply omitting this detail and including another, you can create a whole new facet of your personality.

I choose to leave negativity off my blog and facebook posts. As a result, most people assume I’m always in a good mood. While I am an optimistic person, I certainly have my crap days just like everyone else–the difference is I keep it out of the public eye.

The same could be true for those who use the internet as their personal dumping ground, but something tells me they’re also that negative in person.

So my question for you is: How much of yourself do you put out there? 10%? 50%? The full monty?

Me? I’d say I’m at about 75%.

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. I’m not sure of a percentage and there are things i hold back but there are also things I put out on my blog that I don’t bring up in casual conversation with my in person friends. In some ways i wonder if my blog world friends do not know me better than anyone. Especially my thoughts and feelings writing wise.

  2. ab

    Hard to give a percent here too. I always say I’m an open book online but… seeing all the negative status updates constantly on FB certainly keep me from wanting to do it as well. As far as my blog… yes, I am that much of a dork πŸ˜‰

  3. allen parker

    I am often surprised to find the negative people are usually cheerful people in person. Back in the old days of Usenet, flame wars were common, and often indicated that someone was having fun at the groups expense. Usually, when I got to meet one of the battlers, they were polite, nice and generally fun to be around.

    Some people just need a place to blow off steam and recover from the desire to choke those people causing them grief.

    I often wonder if Lucy didn’t pull the ball out from Charlie Brown just because it was less destructive than a gun shot to his head.

    • See, I just don’t get this. If I need to vent I’m not going to take it out on innocent strangers. That’s just sending out wads of bad karma that’ll come back to get you.

  4. JLC

    I think I was at 75% but now I am even more conservative with personal stuff. I know it might cause others to not “warm up to me” online, but with fewer privacy restrictions out there, I’ll take the chance of not gaining closer online relationships over exposing too much of myself to strangers or companies. So perhaps now Im somewhere around 40%.

    • I think of you as MUCH more private. MUCH. I have certain things I leave out of the public eye, and I think 75% may have been a little generous. I’m probably a lot lower.

  5. kreyfish

    wow… well, i think we can all up our percentages by simply replying to this thread, no? I would say that I am at least 85%… but some of what’s ‘out there’, isn’t really publicized so I’m not sure that really counts towards my ‘being out there’ portion or not? If not, then i’m probably in the 50-60 percentile only. Either way I’m pretty ok with that. The people that need to know, do… the people that want to know, can. I truly believe the internet has become one of those facets of daily life that people use as they see fit. Some people put a lot of weight on their cars, some people don’t. Same could be said for people’s online personae.

  6. Nadine

    I like to think I’m the same online as I am IRL. All the exclamation points I use? That’s really how I am. πŸ™‚

    Actually, I’ll go for 80%. Cause when I’m in a bad mood, I don’t post it and I really try not to be negative or play the political game on FB. So I’ll say 80%.

    However, on email? No holds barred. πŸ™‚

  7. I believe I’m me, but I’m really not sure which bits go out and how they’re perceived. I know that in real life, talking, I’m ADD, so my best friend was shocked to stumble across my blog and discover that I could be so coherent and organized, LOL. So there’s a difference.

    I do tend to splurt everything. I do think I fight a natural inclination towards negativity, but I do fight it equally online and offline, LOL. I’m often curious as to how I’m perceived compared to how I am, though. πŸ™‚

      • Hah! I know. My best friend, when she first found my blog, very politely said that she was shocked at how coherent I was, how I wrote in complete sentences and complete paragraphs, and had organized thoughts that get to a point and deliver it. She still can’t quite get over it, LOL. She considers talking to me a mental puzzle.

        My fingers organize my brain, I guess. Thank god something does.

  8. WendyCinNYC

    I try to keep the negativity to a minimum, unless it’s something I found funny. At least I think I do? I dunno. There are plenty of things I bitch about in my head and to my friends that I would NEVER say online, lest I sound like Quite the Royal Bitch.

  9. robinaltman

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty much 100% out there, personality-wise. My family in Boston loves that, because they can read about my adventures all the time and they feel totally caught up with my life.

    I do hold back things about the boys. I know they find their usual antics amusing, but there is some stuff they wouldn’t want to share, so I’ll hold that back. It’s usually obvious, but I’ll ask if I’m unsure. Girls – off limits for Kev at all times, iffy with Alex.

  10. Unfortunately for your family you mean? lol. I love how open you are, and it’s good to hear you do restrain yourself a LITTLE when it comes to the boys.

    I’m glad you said that about girls because I’ve been wondering…

  11. Hmm, yeah about 75% for me too I think. Maybe 80%. Most of the time I’m pretty upbeat, but I keep the negative crap off the net, well I try too ;o)

    There are times I want to post stuff about what’s wrong in my life, but really, why? So, I can bring everyone else down? Nah. I prefer the positive! Like you, my dear ;o)

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