Wednesday, September 29, 2010


A student in my son’s high school class who came from an affluent white family wrote his college essay as though he came from a black family in the ghetto.  He got into most of the schools to which he applied.  Was that dishonesty or clever writing?
It strikes me that the Blogosphere offers us the same chance to reinvent ourselves, to become something we might want to be but we are not.
For many of us, it would simply be far too much work to try to remember the characteristics of an invented personality.  So we just slog through post after post as the sometimes boring, flawed person we are.  If I attempted reinvention, I would probably be a constantly evolving personality because I would never be able to decide what I wanted to be.
Thinking over the Bloggers I know, most of them match perfectly the person in their Blog.  A few do not.  The split personality approach can work well as long as you can stay hidden in cyberspace.  
There’s no judgment here, just observation.


Blogger lacochran's evil twin said...

Sounds like the student committed fraud to me.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LA -- My guess is that sadly the school he chose to attend never realized he wasn't the person depicted in his application essay. And if they had would they have denied him entry and returned his tuition money? I think not.

2:42 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Hi Barbara! Doing one of my marathon catch ups again..

I have been lucky enough to have met 3 or 4 bloggers in real life, and have found them to be exactly who they depict themselves as on their blogs, which is just wonderful!

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My experience with "real" vs. online personae has been mixed -- most people (like yourself) seem true to their online presence. Others are decidedly altered. Personally I'm fine with that as long as it's made clear, but I feel creeped out and saddened by folks who surreptitiously try to reinvent themselves online, whether for nefarious purposes or out of an inability to function well and accept themselves as they are in the "real" world. (You and I have, sadly, both seen the latter.)

On the other topic, I know an outstanding Euro-American male musician whose application to perform at a prominent music festival was turned down. He reapplied under the false persona of an older African-American male and was accepted. He then told the organizers who he really was, to make a point.

Identity is a complex, fluid, and fascinating topic!!


1:05 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'd like to think I'm me but I'm probably nicer on the blog. It's hard not to write yourself as the person you want to be instead of the person you are, but I try to include warts and all. I definitely don't make up warts.

4:35 PM  

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