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Must Read Can I be any different online than I am in real life?

Banter and the desire to kill boredom can, of course, be the motivation for the posts on Twitter or Facebook, but consistently posting vulgar, offensive or insensitive jokes and comments could only mean one thing: that I gain a certain amount of pleasure in posting the stuff I post.

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Can I be any different online than I am in real life? play

Can I be any different online than I am in real life?

I find it really important to create an online personality that tallies with the image I want others to have of me at all times. It is important that I do this because I –like most people – am quite easy to read.

I am especially easy to read now than I was some years ago, thanks to my social media statuses, my comments and the profile pictures I use on those platforms.

A careful study of my online personality is all someone may need in arriving at a solid conclusion of what I am like in actual life.

You may disagree; you say it will be unfair for anyone to assume knowledge of my character from a virtual platform. Surely, people ought to know that most of the posts on social media is for banter; a way of whiling away the time while trotros, salon cars and taxis convey us slowly towards campuses, offices and homes.

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Banter and the desire to kill boredom can, of course, be the motivation for the posts on Twitter or Facebook, but consistently posting vulgar, offensive or insensitive jokes and comments could only mean one thing: that I gain a certain amount of pleasure in posting the stuff I post.

Jokes cannot be mere jokes; if they could it wouldn’t be irreverent to laugh at the news broken lives and souls of genocide or at children living with cancer. All I will need to say is: it’s a joke. Jokes are not mere jokes because I am my jokes; the things that make me laugh gives clear indications of who I am.

Who am I then? Can I post my jokes and still live the life of actual-life angel with candy wings? I very much doubt I can; I cannot be ‘nice’ in real life if all it takes to turn me into a foul-mouthed, insensitive troll is the anonymity of Twitter handles and Facebook names.

I will only not be the hypocrite every loves to hate when I succeed in reconciling my offline personality to my Twitter and Facebook personality. It will mean deliberately crafting, and portraying a presence which truly reflects how I want to be viewed, and judged, by friends and strangers alike.

It may mean refusing to forward, comment or favourite a post which portrays me in a bad light.

Above all, I may need to go the dramatic mile of scribbling this on my bathroom wall: Inconsistency in character is a magnet that attracts the world to dig through the folds of my life; when they did hard enough, they will find something.

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