The internet is such a strange animal, isn’t it? Over the past 10 years, especially, it has grown into a massive beast that consumes so much of our lives.
I love what the internet and social media offers us – information, entertainment, even community. I have the absolute BEST Online Friends (OFs) ever. Like, for real. I also have my Real Life Friends (RLFs), those friends I physically see often. They are also the best ever. (And yes, even if I have never met them face-to-face, I still consider my OFs REAL friends.)
But with the odd beast that is the internet, I don’t want there to be any question of who I am. With my RLFs or OFs … especially my OFs. Because authenticity is where it’s at. Nobody likes a fake.
For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12
People are smart. Readers can smell out a fake from 1200 miles away and through a computer screen. I know I can.
But because I don’t want there to be a shred of doubt in your mind about who I am, the way I act, or what I think, I asked some RLFs the question, “Is there anything about me in real life that is different or inconsistent with who you see I am online?” These are the things I think (and clearly my RLFs do too) my OFs might be surprised to know about me should we meet in real life.
So here goes … the four things that my OFs need (want? could care less?) to know about me.
1) I cuss.
Eeek. This was the resounding answer from every one when I asked the question. I’m not necessarily proud of it, nor am I very ashamed – it is what it is, I guess. I used to be much worse. I sometimes used certain words that are (in my mind now) horrific. (Though I still don’t consider the F word one of the worst. Shame on me? Maybe. But I think there are worse terms and phrases out there. I even wrote a blog post on the F word, once upon a time. And frankly, I loved writing it.) My off-limits words deal with using the Lord’s name in vain and naming any body parts in a rude or crude way. Honestly, you won’t ever hear me say any of this.
However, since having kids, being more involved at church and writing more online, and knowing Jesus better, I have scaled back. This is mainly because I hate – hate! – to offend people and swearing offers plenty of opportunity to offend.
I’ve got a long way to go in the “no-cuss” department. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever get there completely. But I’m better than I was. Imperfect process is were I am currently. So there you go.
2) As much as I have been known to “let loose” online, I am pretty private about certain things.
Like my relationship with my husband. Or my parents’ divorce and the emotionally draining aftermath of that situation. Or any number of other work and personal situations I’ve been through. I don’t want to offend or upset people I love, so I withhold a lot of information that I could word vomit all over the inter webs. (Trust me, some of it would make a COMPLETE MESS here. And frankly – I don’t want to clean it up.)
I’m not saying some of this stuff won’t ever make it onto pages I type, but right now you won’t find any details. Because – for now – they are mine to keep.
I’m not sure this is a big deal, but it was mentioned to me that my OFs may not know I have tattoos. Not just one, or two, but three of them. I started off with a butterfly and a ladybug on my foot and hip (feel free to call me the bug lady … I’m not sure why I chose those?), then I finished it off with the words “be still” written in Hebrew on my wrist. The wrist tat has actually become pretty popular on Pinterest and has been shared something like 576 gazillion times. (That number may be an exaggeration. But maybe not. I’ll let you decide. 😉 )
I’d kind of like another one (or six), but I’m not sure what. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.
4) I’m not scared to go 4 days between shampoos.
Because I’m lazy. It works out because my husband is cheap, and it saves on water. 😉
Though you won’t find pictures of me online on Day 3 or 4 of No-Shampoo. Call me vain, but whateves … 😉 Our culture is selfie-obsessed. We use filters and corrective apps to fix blemishes to “fix” pictures. But no, I don’t use these. (At least not often.)
So it’s doubtful you’ll find proof of this fact. 🙂
So there you have it. Those are some things about me that you may not be able to tell based on my online life. Do you ever feel different in real life than online? In what ways?