Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On the Internet, No One Knows You're a Dog

I run into this problem frequently. Doing software development work at my job, I'm practically required to be at the computer 8 hours a day. That being said, the only way to talk to my friends is through chat programs, text messages or email. Being someone with an overactive imagination, my friends overtime seem to develop their own 'online identity' in my mind.

Have you ever noticed that? Your friend Mike can be thought of one way, but MikeIsCool55 seems to take on his own identity completely separate from his reality. Maybe the concepts discussed online are different than the ones in person, maybe the lack of body language and inflection creates a course separate identity, maybe I'm actually talking to someone else!

Regardless of what causes it, it creates a problem. The problem mainly being that over time the real person often becomes a subset of the online fantasy. So when you do then see the person face-to-face, the illusion is shattered.

This happened to me just a few days ago. I talk to one of my friends everyday online. Going to see her in person at her job, it was like the mask came off. Now, whenever I think about talking to her online all I can picture is the reality... and it bothers me. I liked the fantasy better.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any thoughts or solutions?

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