What Is The Story of Your Computer Me?

A couple days ago, a girlfriend and I were talking about our love-hate relationship with social media; how often we get sucked into believing that what’s posted on Instagram or Facebook is the whole story and truth of someone’s life… and how easy it is to dehumanize someone in the computer because they are #humblebragging or #blessed or just putting stuff out there that paints them as entitled and egoistic and narcissistic.

And then only cure for disliking someone’s online persona is to actually see them in person, because then you’re reminded, Oh, hey, they’re not nearly as bad as they seem on Instagram! Seeing them in person reminds you that they are real people, with fears and baggage and insecurities just like you.

This conversation has stuck with me – because I’m obsessed with Hamilton and the idea  you have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.

Last night, I got a Facebook friend request from a former client. Because I consider her more than just a professional contact – we have a lot in common – I decided to accept her friend request.

And, of course, immediately went to check out her wall, because I know her on a professional level, had heard about her family, and I wanted to put faces to their names.

But then, a question niggled in the back of my mind.

If she was looking at MY page right now, what story would she read?

I don’t spend a lot of time managing the Computer Me. I use Facebook as a way to keep in touch with friends, but I’m not good about posting pictures I take up there. Consequently, most of what happens on my Facebook wall is posted by friends at races and random funny articles my friends find for me.

My Facebook wall, then, is 90% triathlon and exercise pictures/posts, and 10% other stuff. Which, yes, I love triathlon and training and races (okay, well maybe I don’t LOVE racing, but I do love how I feel after a race!), but that’s not my whole life.

If I had to make a pie chart of where my time and energy goes in a given day, I’d say the training and racing is maybe 15-20% of my life.

So it makes me wonder how many people are looking at the Computer Me and thinking, Man, she’s obsessed with this triathlon stuff! and getting annoyed at me because I’m #humblebragging and #grateful and putting stuff out there that maybe paints me as a bit entitled and egoistic and narcissistic.

I’m not sure I’m going to spend  significantly more time and energy managing my Computer Me, honestly, but it does give me pause a bit. What story am I telling via social media?

Do you ever get annoyed at some of your real life friends for their social media personas? Do you ever consider what story you are telling through social media?

Please like & share:
This entry was posted in #FindingMyHappy, #ThingsIHaveLearned, Out of My Head, Social Media, Triathlon. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What Is The Story of Your Computer Me?

  1. Deborah says:

    My Computer Self on FB is really all about “my kids are cute and we’re having fun together”. I think my blog self worries a lot and doesn’t take action. And the real me, of course, is somewhere in the middle.

    I am apparently in a very small minority, as seeing other people’s FB posts doesn’t usually make me unhappy or jealous. I figure that is only a small part of their lives, just like what they’re seeing of me is only a small part. Actually, I can think of two people whose posts do make me feel that way, but that’s because they made me feel that way in high school, too. Maybe I just need to unfollow them. 🙂

  2. My computer self on FB and Instragram is the same as Deborah- my kid is cute and I share funny/adorable moments. Once in a while I will share work stuff or pictures of me after races (not recently because I am pregnant), but that’s about it.

    Also like Deborah, most of people’s FB posts don’t make me unhappy or jealous. Some travel pictures- maybe if it is a place that I really want to see- make me jealous but I know that I have been lucky to travel to many places that other people haven’t seen.

  3. Saskia says:

    I’m not on FB. Or Instagram. Or any social media, really. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on connections, but mostly I like not seeing what others are posting. I guess my social media story is that I’m completely antisocial. Or paranoid. Or both. Which is not too far from the truth.

    I do read blogs, though and there are definitely bloggers that seem to have amazing lives.

  4. torthuil says:

    Like above posters, most of what I share is cute child photos, family activities, things like that.. That’s mainly what people want to see, as far as I can tell. Occasionally I will post something related to politics or current events but people rarely if ever engage with that kind of stuff. Sometimes silly observations about life. While I don’t lie about myself on FB but I am not often open and personal in the same way as in the blog, but I guess I figure most of my network is only looking for a shallow connection and isn’t interested in personal introspection or depth. On the other hand I assume by blog readers are looking for that depth though. I’m not sure why I make those assumptions.

  5. Jess says:

    I love, love this post. It is interesting to see the difference between the person you know in person and the person depicted by Facebook. I wonder how different my two personas are…I tell people that if they friend me on Facebook, they can expect a lot of flowers, cats, and food. Travel pictures that are mostly hikes and critters and gardens. I don’t do a lot of political stuff on Facebook because people get rabid, but occasionally there’s something I can’t pass up. I share my blog on Facebook, but probably 1-2 posts per month out of the 8-12 I publish, and sometimes those are the bitchy ones. They don’t get a lot of “likes” because people don’t like large reality doses on social media platforms. They like babies with month stickers and kittens playing with owls.

    I think sometimes people think that Facebook is like the car thing, where you pick your nose or do weird things because you don’t realize other people can see you…people post really bizarre stuff that doesn’t match their personalities (older people in particular, my MIL is infamous for posting things that would make you think she is a hyper conservative, hyper religious, fairly racist person and she’s not) or that make people seem like big complainers when in real life they aren’t. I had someone complain once to me that “being friends with you is knowing what you cooked up for dinner” and I said back “well being friends with you is a zillion pictures of your kids, and I don’t have that, so food it is!” I see people thinking things about others based on Facebook personas, like a conversation about Pokemon Go that resulted in my MIL saying “I bet that family doesn’t do that! They’re always fishing!” and the family in question does a lot of gaming and device-staring, actually–they just don’t photograph and post it.

    Thank you for the excellent brain food!

Leave a Reply