Online Identity: Why We Struggle to Exist
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with my online identity. I get anxious thinking about my abandoned social profiles (RIP Myspace) and I always worry about the platforms that are related to my blog. In a way, it’s a feeling of duality. It feels like I have this authentic version of myself, and then there’s a professional writer & blogger, and then there’s the seedy me who wants to write about sex and kink and yet doesn’t want her family to see it. Haha, it’s a weird way to feel, especially for a space on the internet that isn’t tangible, or something you can touch. Much like the real world, I think that it will come to a point where we have to embrace who we are online. No more side profiles/separate accounts/aesthetic accounts. It feels wrong to box ourselves in, yet I have 2 Instagram accounts, 2 Tumblr accounts, and a range of other social networking profiles that all relate to one aspect of myself. Down the line, I think I’ll work on merging myself onto my blog, and introduce everything I want to talk about – niche be damned. I created the blog to be myself, showcase my writing, work with brands and embrace myself, so it’s exactly what I need to do. But why do we struggle to exist online? I have a few theories, and the majority boils down to comparison…
Comparison is the Killer of Joy
Whether you notice it or not, we are always comparing ourselves to others. I know I do it, and I know you do it to. Whether it’s on Instagram,Twitter, or in real life, walking past beautiful women in posters and magazines will always give us this standard to meet. We’ve been given people to compare ourselves too since we were little, and it’s something that will never change. But what happens when it does change? When we start to embrace ourselves, our flaws, our style, it becomes apparent that we don’t need to “prove” ourselves anymore. It’s a long process, but it’s doable. We’re capable of loving ourselves, and it’s a journey I’m still in the middle of after years of self-care. I feel as though bringing together the different aspects of me to one space will give me some clarity, and one day I hope to achieve it.
We Need to Be Noticed
Another theory of mine is this need to be noticed. I’m seeing it a lot recently in terms of Micro Influencers and Instagram stars. No longer are we interested in Hollywood, but the everyday person. We want to be them, and since it’s more accessible to become famous online, it’s something that a lot of people aspire to have. I’ve noticed a huge increase in bloggers and influencers lately that the market has actually become oversaturated. As much as I hate to say it, we come in our droves, with similar content, wanting people to like us. One way to tackle this is to write content for yourself. For the majority of the time, the content I write on this blog is for myself. For example, this post is quite therapeutic for my disordered thoughts – and I can come back and read this if I’m ever feeling disconnected on the internet again. Having an audience is great, but it takes time to find people similar to you. Keep at it, write for you, and things will fall into place.
If it’s not Online, Did it even happen?
This is another thing I’d like to talk about – the theory of “pics or it didn’t happen” or FOMO culture. When we see someone posting that they’re having a good time online, it doesn’t mean that we’re automatically having a bad time in comparison. However, it can feel that way. It’s this comparison act again – where we compare what someone chooses to put online against our behind the scenes life. Remember that not everyone puts their life online, and some people may be in a dark place when it comes down to it. Online doesn’t have to be your life – that’s how I like to look at it anyway.