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Thread: Online persona

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    Default Online persona

    I don't normally do "Lounge" as there it doesn't attract much traffic from what I've seen. However, this question does not really fit in the pen side of the forum.


    How much do you think an online persona, as interpreted by people who only know the creator through the words they post, is a reflection of the actual person?


    Edit:

    It is alos worth asking how accurate do you think you are in determining what a person who posts online is really like in meatspace.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; February 10th, 2020 at 03:16 PM.

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    Senior Member silverlifter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Online persona

    It entirely depends on the extent to which the poster intends to reveal about themselves.

    Some people choose a persona to remain anonymous and go to great lengths to disguise themselves, obscuring their IP, nationality, gender, etc. Others are happy to share intimate details about themselves and their families.

    I am wary of making judgements about the people behind the words that appear on a screen, prefering to take what they type--for better or worse--at face value and engage (or, not) with that.

    I have met quite a few people personally after only knowing them via the Internet, and have almost always found that my expectations were confounded in at least some way in every case. Communicating clearly is extraordinarily hard, and doing so without the benefit of being able to see someone's face, hear their voice and observe their reactions and expressions makes interactions online especially fraught.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Online persona

    I've gotten quite good at sussing out the personality type of a person from what they present online, and am usually not very surprised when the opportunity to meet in person presents itself. Indeed, many people use the relative anonymity of the medium to obfuscate their true natures, but in my experience time will usually illuminate the persona as it is.

    When I came into the pen world, I specifically used my name as my handle, which had not always been the case. It has been my intent to be precisely who I am, whether it is from behind a keyboard or face-to-face in RealLife. I am confident that those who meet me for the first time are not confused.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Online persona

    Neat! If I ever got the chance to meet you in person, Jon, you would be thoroughly and completely confounded. (I do note that you say "usually not very surprised" so you won't take it too badly.)

    In general I don't assign a lot of weight between how people write on a forum and what they are like in real life - except with regard to specific personal subject preferences, although even then I'm never sure. However, ideals aside, I was really referring to general behaviour and approach.


    When participating in an online social forum there are no reliable social clues, so I often don't even bother trying to read anything into the way people write, instead concentrating on the content or ideas presented. I also adopt a persona that is light on social rules and mores. Mostly this is because I want information, I don't expect to make friends (although it occasionally happens).

    As a thought experiment, if I chose one of the members here and wrote down my perceptions of what they are like, based on their posts and responses in various threads, and then gave that summary to their friends/family/colleagues... how would those people react? In suggesting this of course I am including the observation that most of us have whopping biases and selective blinkers - especially when confronted by conflicting data.

    The other way round? It is near 100% certain that if any of you wrote a similar summary on what I am like, my family/friends/colleagues would fall about laughing at the gross inaccuracy. [the downside to saying this is that most people convince themselves that they are right in their perceptions. It's why fake news is so hard to get past]


    The point here is that in online forums there is often an overwhelming desire to kill the messenger and ignore the message. It's a common human trait, so hardly surprising to see it flourish here and there.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Online persona

    I don't agree with your assessment, but that is perfectly fine with me. There are far too many people that I have known virtually (first) and then in RealLife and the number who did not match my basic perception is very, very low. I don't doubt my observational acumen at this point. And, to not put too fine a point on it: sometimes it become abundantly clear that a person is purposely masking or hiding their true self. I don't have to worry about matching my observations because I essentially avoid that kind of evasive personality.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Online persona

    My assessment is based on you having a negative perception of me through my online presentation. Of course I could be wrong on this point, in which case my whole statement about confounding you would be also incorrect .

    If your perception of me from online is negative then you are guaranteed be confounded* You may not believe it, but it remains true nonetheless, in this case. It's kind of making my point for me regarding the accuracy of our assessment of our own abilities: we nearly always overstate our own and understate that of others.

    I have no reason to either doubt nor support your observational acumen, in general. Specifically though, right here and right now, you would be incorrect.

    If I was to try and assess you based on your postings here then I would expect to meet a guy who was full of himself; pompous, arrogant and self-indulgent. Do you think that an accurate portrayal of the kind of man you are, or is it just a function of the way you write and express your ideas? Should I then use this perception to inform our first meeting? I would not, but others clearly might.










    *I appreciate that you will not take this statement at face value, and will likely interpret much of the above as attack on your perceived integrity, when it is nothing more than a discussion about making judgements on highly limited data.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Online persona

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    If I was to try and assess you based on your postings here then I would expect to meet a guy who was full of himself; pompous, arrogant and self-indulgent.
    You nailed it. You're a fucking clairvoyant.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Online persona

    You see, I don't mind discussing these topics, even if I find them a little disagreeable.

    Do you think that was my true perception of you? I ask that because what I am seeing is high degree of self-supporting selectivism within the framework of a discussion. As it happens this is not what I think of you, Jon* It illustrates two things, one - how hard it is to know what is true and what is not, and two - how quick we often are to leap to a conclusion based on our pre-formed opinion (posited on limited data).





    * Again, I appreciate that you will not be mollifed by this, because you have just been deliberately triggered by my previous statement of assessment. Experiments can be harsh, though often quite illuminating.



    Edit: what's also interesting is that we've conversed a number of times on Reddit, though you would have been unaware of this. Reddit is where I am closest to presenting myself as I really am. Happy hunting.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; February 10th, 2020 at 07:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Online persona

    No one is in typed words only
    What they are in wholeness in person.
    We see through the internet glass
    But darkly.



    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Online persona

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    No one is in typed words only
    What they are in wholeness in person.
    We see through the internet glass
    But darkly.



    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
    I have met a few writers through work and their personalities were just what I had expected from their written work because really I dont think you can easily hide what you really are. Same thing with people on here, some you would hug, some you would shake their hand and others you would cross the street to avoid.

    Only been fooled once and it has been on my mind for months. A extremely warm and friendly man, the most polite, warm and civil person you could ever want to meet, best friend to everyone. Turned out to be a liar and a fantasist. Fooled me completely and I normally think myself as a good judge of character although often naive it has to be said.
    Last edited by Fermata; February 11th, 2020 at 05:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Online persona

    Everyone thinks they are a good judge of character. It is something of a self-perpetuating delusion. We overstate, often widely, such abilities when referring to ourselves. The reality is that most people are actually quite superficial in their judging of others. What is worse is that judgement is nearly always made on minimal information. Some say you should judge actions and not words. Words are the easiest to manipulate - I should know - actions, especially under stress, tend to point to true character. So it is laughable that anyone should state that they can accurately judge anyone just from the words on a page/screen in absentia of ANY corroborating data. Just delusional.

    Silverlifter has, to my mind, a much fairer and rational approach to this. Of course I am biased because it is similar to my own. Twist that how you will.



    Edit: most people react badly about being told they are a poor judge of others. It's a knee jerk reaction.

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    Default Re: Online persona

    It seems many are thrown off by the bow tie when worn on the internet.

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    Default Re: Online persona

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I don't normally do "Lounge" as there it doesn't attract much traffic from what I've seen. However, this question does not really fit in the pen side of the forum.


    How much do you think an online persona, as interpreted by people who only know the creator through the words they post, is a reflection of the actual person?


    Edit:

    It is alos worth asking how accurate do you think you are in determining what a person who posts online is really like in meatspace.

    With me, what you see is what you get. I'm simple like that.

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    Default Re: Online persona

    My sister-in-law is loud and shrill and boisterous in real life. She's never met a stranger. Online she is loud and shrill and boisterous and overshares EVERYTHING. She's exactly the same in person as she is online.

    My wife is loud yet circumspect and shares little to nothing in person except for with me. Online, she is pretty silent yet more sarcastic and suffers no fools.

    I tend to try to live, both online and in real life, by the maxim 'better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open my mouth and remove all doubt.'
    I use a fountain pen and a paper planner - paperinkplan.wordpress.com

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    Default Re: Online persona

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    It seems many are thrown off by the bow tie when worn on the internet.
    Minimal swipe rights for bow tie wearing men

    Even less for women.

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    Default Re: Online persona

    Kinda makes the point about superficial judgements. [this statement is made in the absence of any indication in the preceding post that indicates it was humour]

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    Default Re: Online persona

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I don't normally do "Lounge" as there it doesn't attract much traffic from what I've seen. However, this question does not really fit in the pen side of the forum.


    How much do you think an online persona, as interpreted by people who only know the creator through the words they post, is a reflection of the actual person?


    Edit:

    It is alos worth asking how accurate do you think you are in determining what a person who posts online is really like in meatspace.

    With me, what you see is what you get. I'm simple like that.


    Same with me, with the corollary that most people are not that good at 'seeing'.

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    Default Re: Online persona

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Kinda makes the point about superficial judgements. [this statement is made in the absence of any indication in the preceding post that indicates it was humour]
    Other than being quite funny.

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    Default Re: Online persona

    To you, perhaps, but I didn't read it that way. So is my assessment invalid?

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    Default Re: Online persona

    No, you just lack perspective and a sense of humour. Not to worry, you're "on trend".

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