Virtual Lives and Virtual EmotionsMarch 30, 2010 - Author: Michy
After writing on Popularity, and then reading Web Worker Daily’s post on Our Emotional Lives in Social Media, I began reflecting on this subject. How do our real emotions differ from the emotions our virtual identities appear to have? How much do we show, and how much is good to show?
Living on the Webz
Running a blog and an online store has put me in a perfect position to develop my virtual life to an extent which it has never before seen. In many ways, my virtual life is a reflection of my real life: On Twitter and Facebook, I talk about what happens in my day-to-day real life as well as what I do on the computer and internet. I think the distinction between my two lives comes from what is left out of the virtual one.
It’s not always done on purpose. There’s just not time to include every part of my life in my Facebook status updates, and the character limits on my Tweets makes me condense even more. Besides, there are things that I feel are too private to share – or too uninteresting. Part of this group of “things not shared” happens to be a good portion of my emotions.
Thinking Too Hard
As Hubby and I consider whether to start a video blog, or vlog, I had to assess my virtual-emotional outlets again. I’ve settled into a routine of posting my problogs here, my daily life updates there, and my emotions in my private blog. I write and write and write, basically. I Tweet, Facebook, blog, blog again, and then write at 750words.com.
But what, I thought, if I start a vlog with my husband? I don’t want to have too many emotional outbursts on YouTube for all the world to see, and you don’t want that either. I don’t want them on my problog, and I don’t want them on my social media. But! I could drop my private blog and let vlogging take the place of that, and let 750words.com become my emotional-ranting-place. *pants*
I had to put all that thought into the issue of where it was okay to show my emotions!
My negative virtual emotions are much more subdued than the emotions that come out in my real life. My positive virtual emotions are sometimes magnified. My anger is virtually shrugged off, and my jealousy virtually (ha, I can use two definitions of the word in one!) hidden. Thus my virtual persona has an appearance that differs from me, the real me.
It’s all about acceptance and reputation. When it comes to our virtual lives we have to consider the balance of what is seen and shown.
- Do I appear to be always unhappy, always happy, or in between?
- Who am I going to upset, and who is going to worry about me?
- Who is going to look down on me, and who is going to be driven away from my store/whatever because of the image they see?
In other words, how is my reputation going to be affected by my virtual persona?
I like how Aliza Sherman was able to look at the situation. She allows herself to be bathed in the support of her virtual peers, and she chooses not to worry about the effect on her reputation. More precisely, she believes that the impact on her reputation will be mostly positive, as we are drawn to people with whom we can relate. I, on the other hand, cannot shake the mentality that there has to be some regulating done.
What do you show, and what do you hide? Where do you vent your emotions, if anywhere?
Oh, and most importantly, should Hubby and I make a Vlog? 😛