Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Things Aren't Always What They Seem

So, George Takei shared this photo from National Geographic on his Facebook feed:

Looks like a bunch of camels, huh? And it is, though maybe not exactly the way your eyes were telling you at first glance.

In case you can't read the small print in the picture (and if you can, I'm seriously impressed with you eyesight), here's what it says: 

"This is a picture taken directly above these camels in the desert at sunset. It is considered one the best pictures of the year. Look closely, the camels are the little white lines in the picture. The black you see are just the shadows!"

Cool, huh? And it also makes you (and by "you" I mean "me") think. How much of what we "see" in other people is real? 

Especially the people we see on the internet all the time. Do you ever wonder how much of their real selves your cyber buddies reveal online? Do they--intentionally or not--display some innate inner truth, or are they just pixel-ated cyber shadows? 

My guess is, those of us who participate a lot in social media--whether it be through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc.--show a lot more of ourselves than we might think, to people who read between the lines. But not everything. 

People who know me online probably think of me as a wisecracking, camel-loving smartass who enjoys a good cocktail and has an aversion to cooking. Which isn't necessarily untrue, but trust me, there's a bit more to whole picture. I do have a serious side. 

(Maybe even a dark side. Bwah-ha-hah! Wouldn't you like to know?) 

It just doesn't happen to be what I choose to put on display for the world. Frankly, I'd rather make people laugh. (Which is probably revealing in its own way.)

How about you? Is your online persona the real you? The whole you? Nothing but the you? 

Or are you a pixel-ated cyber shadow?


Diane Henders said...

I'm your cyber-twin, minus the cigars. I've had too much serious sh** in my life already, so I try to avoid seriousness whenever possible. (I'm also trying to avoid aging, but so far I've only succeeded in avoiding maturity...) ;-)

Jennifer Shirk said...

That is sooooooo cool.

I think I'm pretty much me online. Of course, I'm never on the Internet when I'm pissed or depressed about something. LOL!!

Delia said...

I'm far more boring in person, which probably doesn't speak well of me. I'm not terribly entertaining online, so how much more boring can I be?


Carol Kilgore said...

I'm like you. What you see of me online is real, but it's not all of me.

That photo is awesome!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm too old (and lazy) to pretend to be something other than what I am. Heck, I rarely even bother to hold my tummy in anymore.

That camel pic is something else.

Judy, Judy, Judy said...

I have 2 facebook pages. One where I tend to let the real me through and one for family and people whom I don't show the real me.
My blog represents certain parts of me. Me as reader. Me as writer. Personal bits of me I like to share.
That camel pic is awesome.

Kimberly Sabatini said...

That pic is amazing and I'm pretty much what you see is what you get, but I can be grouchier at home. Ask my kids. LOL!

Deborah Small said...

I yam what I yam, and I can't be no more. :)

Cool Camel pic. ;)

Perry Block said...

I am exactly the opposite of my online persona. I act like I'm sort of a nervous 60-ish Boomer with very limited self-confidence & not much going for him in life. In reality I am a handsome 35 year old Jewish doctor.

Let's see if this finally gets me some women!

Anne Gallagher said...

Isn't that funny...I was just looking for a handsome Jewish doctor.

Anyway, the person I am online is only half of who I really am. I try to represent the "bright" side of me when I'm in social mode. You don't get to see the truly "ugly" me. Who wants to hang out with "ugly"?

As for the camels, are you sure those little white lines are camels? That pic is just so bizarre.

Hope all is going well for you over the summer.

Lola Sharp said...

I can't figure out those white lines...but, I get your point.
I probably should hold back more than I do, online.

It's interesting you mention Pinterest in our social media online persona (which for me pinterest is NOT social, I don't converse on there, which is one reason I love it so much. I go on there and zen out and get creatively inspired.), because while I am just quietly on there doing my own thing, in a way my boards, everyone's boards, say more about us than more social social media does. I never really thought of it that way before, because my boards and pins are just for me. Hm.

Anyway, I hope you're having a lovely week, Linda. :)

Denise Covey said...

Love the pic. Funnily I just blogged about social media this week and how it takes us over. Well, what you see is what you get with me, but I like to consider myself a bit of a wise cracker!

??? said...

I think my cyber self is more real than the person I am in person. It sounds weird, but I'm more comfortable being who I am when I'm sitting behind a screen. I have a lot of social anxiety and self-consciousness in person that just isn't an issue online, and I've made lifelong friends this way. One of my best friends was living in New Zealand when we first started talking... now she lives in New York and we get together every year. :)

But er, I curse a lot more in writing also. It's just so... satisfying.

Beth said...

What an incredibly cool picture.

As for cyber me -- it's a shadow I cast, but not a shadow of the whole me.