Personal, Pop Culture

IRL vs. Online Persona

Recently, a person who mostly knows me through the Internet called me an Enneagram 7. For those not well-versed in the Enneagram, a 7 is a personality that is FUN and ENERGETIC and ALWAYS MOVING.  I (virtually) laughed in this person’s face and said I am a 4, the personality that is MOODY and EMOTIONAL and DEEP.  This person was shocked and argued with me, and I realized…my internet persona IS a 7.

On Facebook, I intentionally try to keep things positive.  There is some internet pressure there, to show the best of your life, but I do try to keep things real with silly selfies or self-deprecating jokes.  But even the “realness” is framed optimistically.  I rarely complain on Facebook, or get into arguments, or share the deep things I’m thinking about.  I’ll occasionally get into those things here on my blog, but on Facebook?  It’s curated to be a safe, fun place for people to mentally and emotionally check out.

I am fine with this, and people who know me well know that this is not every part of me.  It’s not even the most important part of me!  But then there are the people who met me once or twice and then only keep up with me via Facebook.  I don’t really mind that they don’t know me, so long as our relationship stays online.  But when we meet in person?  I’m suddenly all “Let’s stay in and watch five hours of TV and then discuss what emotional themes struck us especially hard and why” and they’re like, “Um, jokes?”

This is why I am very skeptical of online relationships and why, for me, online dating is IMPOSSIBLE.  I cannot meet someone as a 7 and then reveal myself to be a 4.  Especially because, as a 4, it hurts SO MUCH to see someone start to like a version of myself that isn’t actually me.

But I have to say,  I like my online persona, and I’m not going to change it.  I want Facebook to be feel good and entertaining.  I’m comfortable with the knowledge that the people who matter to me know me beyond the Happy Fun Times version available online.


What about you?  Do you have a split personality?  How do you feel about it?

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