When talking to my friends and contacts online, I often come across profiles that do not match the real person at all. It is not, that the profile is fake. Not at all! But people tend to pimp their profiles in order to look cool, fresh, fit. Or at least they leave their young gun profile pic in it while acting quite adult – in ‘real`life. When asking them about this phenomenon, most people said: ‘it`s online, that does not matter’. So is online different from offline? Shouldn’t it be the same?
Of course it should! But that`s the point. It should – it is not. At least not all the time. Many people live – to exaggerate a little – two different lifes. One online, one offline.
Offline – matching expectations
When it comes to our ‘real`life, the offline life, we tend to meet expectations. Expectations set up by the society, expectations set up by friends & family and – of course – expectations set up by ourselves. Even though most of those expectations (our own!) come up due to expectations or lives by others.
The idealistic young gun
That’s how most of us start, right? Dreams. Ideas. Willing to make them all come true. But instead of rocking the world, we finish school, study, get a job…and with every stage of growing up, we lose more and more of our idealistic young part. We fit into our society. Not only because we have to, mostly because it is easy, convenient and – honestly – not to bad. Fitting into it and having a normal life is quite nice. Having routines, hobbies, friends…A PLAN – that is nice to have and makes life a little less dangerous or difficult interesting…
– Think about it. Ain`t it right? I am not judging right now, just pointing out how we develop when getting older or to say it more nicely when we grow up. Idealism adieu, convenience welcome!
Talking to the man in the mirror
Did you find yourself – at least – a little in the above mentioned paragraph? Well, I do! And I did even more some weeks ago. That is exactly why I am sitting in North East Thailand while writing this post and not – like before – in Vienna, Austria in my own neat appartement close to the city centre. There is the time, when we think about what we did, what we do and what WANT to do. To say it with the King of Pop: If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make a change!
Online – matching dreams
That (above mentioned) is now when online comes into action. Our last straw, last exit – our second life. Turning on the computer and the internet is for many people like going on air. Light’s down, spot on…
Many of us use their online identity as possibility to become – or stay – a little more of the person we want to be. It`s not escaping from the real world (that`s a completely different and very sad topic), it’s a kind of improving the real world online. Trying to stick to past events or heroic adventures and achievements (e.g. 4 touchdowns in 1 match). That’s why we keep our sporty pictures in facebook, write stuff like ‘slam dunk champion omaha high 1999’ in our CV and cover it as funny.
Even if we do not use those sporty pictures, we pretend to be cool and hip, right? Have you seen how many of your online contacts use cartoon-like pictures, wear baseball caps or stuff like this?
This is all part of ‘staying young’ or being what we want to be – but not always are. And now the surprising thing about it: That is not a bad thing! – Keeping dreams alive is something good and valuable!
In former times we would have become depressive or angry and would have spent more time with thinking about the old times – now we can do all that (come on, everybody get`s a little depressed once in a while) AND stay cool and up to date. Thank you world wide web! BUT there is more…
Same same – but different
Offline vs. Online. Even though there might be differences in our behavior, image & actions, it is still the same person. It is still you who goes to work from 9 to 5 and then rocks the blogging world. It is stille you, the beer-bellied dad in the office and the talented sports blogger. And it is still you, the mid-thirty-slightly-grey guy with the cool comic cartoon picture on facebook! So why don`t we just combine those two worlds? I am not saying that you should quit your job and travel to the other end of the world – but simply think about what CAN be done. What can you do? What takes only a little effort or what brings maybe a little less convenience but in the end way more freedom? And if it is only going to work by bike instead of taking the car. WHATEVER, just do it.
The good thing about changes – small or big – they all start with the first step. And hey, I bet you know the story of the butterfly, right?
Now did you realize how we went away from the starting topic? Age? Do you know why? Right! It does not matter! Neither online, nor offline. Just do! Remember!