Are you the real you, even Online? July 4th, 2012

Vinod Kumar

This is one topic that has been on my minds for a long time. These are my views and there are obviously two schools of thoughts – are we the same as our online avatar or are we different as compared to our online avatar. If I ask you this one question, what will your answer be? Think again !!!

What type of person are you online?

  1. Are you the the real “YOU” when you are online and offline (in-person)?
  2. Are you more real online when compared to your offline persona?
  3. Are you more real as an offline persona when compared to your fake online avatar?

I think these are obviously tough questions and I do want to know your thoughts on the same. Which choice describes you the best?

Get to the 21st century

  1. I have seen people generally share / post stuffs online that they would never be comfortable sharing or discussing in-person. This is good-and-bad in my opinion because when you meet them, they will never be their own self. This is the case of lost identity.
  2. Keep in mind the human element when you are online to tweet or talk about someone. This is a small world and you are obviously going to bump into each other some day, some place – be prepared, be careful yet be yourself.
  3. Let your online presence be the online you which speaks your mind rather than the one that you want to paint being as one.
  4. Being yourself and sharing something to your friends must be spontaneous and with the only purpose of sharing the happiness. Basically the number of “Likes” or “ReTweets” don’t really matter in my opinion.
  5. Does user counts over twitter or facebook really matter if they were like your real friends? How does it really matter if you don’t engage and keep in touch with them? Don’t go or fall for the number game.
  6. Focus on creating a lasting impression with your online avatar and make sure you feel good about what you share and it is a good experience of your time which is worth sharing now with others.
  7. If you consider online interactions and communications as real, then you are framing a real you even in the offline world. If you are hilarious over your tweets, I expect you to be funny even in real life when I meet you.
  8. If you are thinking twice about creating an aura by your updates and are hesitant in posting something online, well you are becoming conscious. Personally, if you ask me – this is absolutely fine provided you keep your professional and personal likes separate ALL times. Think twice before doing anything yet be yourself.
  9. If you are apologizing for writing something online, there is a fundamental problem. The above Point 2 is a classic case. Being candid is not same as being arrogant. Though there are differences which some ignore to accept.
  10. Personally, Don’t lie in your online world. Build your rules and play by the rules. If you plan not to befriend your office folks in your FB page, fair call. Play by your own rules with no exceptions.

Play careful

Just a word of caution, these days even hiring companies keep an eye on the social sites to see what kind of person they are going to hire. It is quite possible by being yourself, you might be making a prospective employer stay two steps away from you. Be very careful on what you are online. It is a tough thin line to walk.

Again, if you have a fake online activity of a different person – well expect the potential employer to also expect you with competencies that you really don’t posses. This means it is just a question of time that when you get to real job, you are just setting yourself to failure.

Final words

The fundamental problem isn’t the screen or the Internet connection; it’s what we do with them. And there’s no reason we can’t be us and real, when we’re online as well as we’re off. You know your limits, listen to your heart and walk the tight rope !!!

Please feel free to send me your comments, if these made sense.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 at 20:32 and is filed under Personal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

32 Responses to “Are you the real you, even Online?”

  1. Sameer says:

    Nice to Read, especially about the Fake id’s. We all Know there are tons of Fake id’s available, Thanks for putting a spot-light on it.

  2. […] I wrote a post asking “Are you the same person online?” I have seen this is fundamental where people are lesser sensitive and comfortable to comment on […]

  3. Anup Warrier says:

    Absolutely refreshing and very thoughtful post ! Thank you Vinod.

  4. Nice Post Vinod … :-)

    Well my answer to your first question in the post is “1” (I am the same person online and offline) …. and i m straight forward, have paid for being like tht in my life :-)

    As u mentioned in the post i have seen some people who are not the same as online when we meet them offline …….

  5. Madhivanan says:

    Very well written Vinod. Have you met anyone who is different in person than online?

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      Madhi – there are tons of examples. You will see them sitting almost next to you in office :). Even in corporate these things exist where people talk rosy in front and when it is time to their emailing presence they are completely in the opposite direction. These specimens are all over.

  6. Shyam Viking says:

    I did quick reflection of myself and I see that I have a very small %age of blurred picture. If I had to meet you in person to give my opinion on this topic I would have not opened up, but I am giving back my thoughts over the web. That’s the small difference I see in my Online /Offline personality. Well, is this bad? To best of my knowledge “No”, however it is important and useful if I synchronize both identity’s.

    Thought provoking and I am going to take this learning and see if I can make difference by merging both traits. And when I post my comments on any other post you hopefully would visualize of how I would say my thoughts this in person :). That will be the objective of this post, a change in self.

    As usual a good “inner voice” post, Vinod. Thanks for writing.

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      Shyam – I don’t personally think it is bad to have two distinct identities too. But how different are they is the whole point. You can also be different person in office when compared to at home. So these personalities are very much there and trying to force merge is not a great ideas IMHO.

      Read article again, I reiterate of being yourself !!! I am not advocating to be the same person. Your attitude and traits don’t need to converge.

  7. Gopalakrishnan Arthanarisamy says:

    Hi Vinod,

    Nice article on person behaviour when we speak with them in Person as well as in Online. I can see lots of people are different in these. Some people behave well matured and some not. You are rocking Vinod!!!.

  8. Sahal says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful post

  9. krishna says:

    I’m sure, I’m real in both online and offline, but as per the boundaries in both versions my attitude behaves. If I have same platform as online while I’m offline I definitly behave same.

  10. Anil Mahadev says:

    Hi Vinod,

    As always a joy to read your blog, before end of the day :). Very refreshing and thought provoking indeed!

    Interested in a Part II if there is gonna b one.


  11. Manas says:

    Real is real. Its like validations of yourself online with the real you. Everyone has to ask these set of questions, because you will enjoy the physical life as well as the online one if both return IsReal() to true.

  12. Pavan Kumar says:

    Really Nice one Sir….:) Valid Points

  13. Pinal Dave says:

    This is indeed good question.

    I have always found people more interesting when I met them in person. Online identity is great but one should not expect that to be the final identity of person.

    The point which is most interesting is – If you are apologizing for writing something online, there is a fundamental problem. The above Point 2 is a classic case. Being candid is not same as being arrogant. Though there are differences which some ignore to accept.

    I see lots of people getting involve and over involve with similar concepts. A great writing and great points to ponder – absolutely genius.

  14. Nilesh Gule says:

    Nice post Vinod. Long ago, almost two years back, I had written a similar post about the impact of Social Networking on developer community.
    I agree that now a days many employers are checking the perspective candidates profiles in social networking sites. Having an identity on LinkedIn or something like StackOverflow can be an added advantage.
    It was also bit surprising for me to read recently that Facebook contributed to many divorces across the world. Technology seems to have good as well as bad impacts on our lives.

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      Valid stuff even over your blog Nilesh. Thanks for the mention here – will surely help readers who come here. Every technology has its own pros and cons. Esp in the world of FB, Twitter and LinkedIn people need to be extra cautious is what I wanted to mention.

      I have known people say, LinkedIn is for professional and FB is for personal while twitter is for rant. Trust me, when someone will hire you they will look at the other places too. They surely want to know how stable of a person you are :). Tough world but a small world !!!

  15. Awesome topic again. Loved the points you raised in the article. I think you have covered almost all the symptoms of web allergy. Indeed many people flashed in my mind while reading it (Including me, at some points).

    Loving the way you are taking your blog… Thank you!

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      Thanks Pranav for the mention. If this is making you think of your own styles – well the blog served its purpose and I am happy to know that. Let me keep pushing new topics that come to my mind …

  16. Lohith says:

    Hey Vinod,

    A very nice and important subject you have picked here. One thing i got fascinated in 2010 was having an online identity and one which resembles close to who i am. I am glad to say that people to attribute me online the same as they find me when they meet in person. My online presence is so strong that many know me by my online identity name “kashyapa” so much that they dont know my real name. Nice and informative post. thinking we should convert this into podcast. exclusive rights for the interview to me. i am serious…what say :)


    • Vinod Kumar says:

      :) … Well, sure no problem for the podcast stuff !!!

      Now, let me clarify: IDENTITY <> Nick Name :). This post is around attributes of this person called Lohith aka Kashyapa that we are talking. Are your emotions, feelings, anger, likes, dislikes, competencies, hatred etc captured same as the person I know as Lohith as a person even in the online avatar is the question?

      Again, thanks for sharing and dropping a line buddy !!!

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