Persephone: Parent

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My Real Life Versus My Virtual Life

on November 12, 2013

I’ve been wondering recently, before I started blogging again actually, if I’ve been sharing too much online. Which is such an odd notion for me. As a child born of the 80s, the internet hooked me in the late 90s when I was in the later teen years. The notion of privacy, internet security and meeting online people being risky wasn’t even a thought.

At the age of 16 I became addicted to the internet. I’d never googled anything, there was no facebook, no twitter, no fear. I had my own email address that was my full real name. I created my own website using basic html from a book I got from the library. I used my website to host my fanfiction, some original poetry maybe and heaps of photos. At the age of 18 I met up with an online friend in person; for a few years I’d have considered her a better friend than a lot of my real life ones. My online persona and real life facts were fully intermingled.

Which is why I’m currently a little bit more than a tiny bit pissed off with my real and virtual lives and how one seems to be interfering with the other.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate the need for internet and personal safety now; hence why my facebook-blog connection is a one way street, why only a few bloggers are on my facebook and why only a few virtual tweeps are on my facebook. The virtual friend I met in person over 13 years ago was done after a few years of online communication and in a super safe environment. The twitter friend I made and met last year was also done safely.

But!

There’s always a but, but I see the online world differently to most other real life friends. To them, social media is a way to keep in touch with friends and family or to follow trends, communicate with businesses – it’s all cheaper than a telephone call, right?

I do see it as that, otherwise why would my personally created webpage in the early noughties have been filled with drunken university pictures? There were no security settings on that, the whole world could see it. If anyone else ever stumbled upon it! There were no facebook groups to find common interests, there were yahoo groups with 100s of emails flooding in daily. I also use social media, the internet in general, as a means to communicate, to seek help and to meet new people.

When I started blogging, my real name was already out there so I needed anonymity despite how I was happy for friends and family to read my personal stories. So I created Persephone. The problem has now become that I want the two personas to be separate again.

It’s not that I want to hide my real life from the internet (other than for safety reasons); I want to hide my virtual life from my friends. It’s those I know in real life that have made me question, caused me to have doubts about what I tweet, my statuses and what I blog. I don’t want doubt and to question what I do after over a decade of life online. Maybe I had it right all of those years ago.

So, this blog, my twitter and my facebook will say what I want it to say. If anyone has an issue with anything I say unfollow, delete or simply don’t look. Because I’m not changing. If what I tweet, blog or put on facebook annoys you, don’t visit, follow, allow me on your feed, whatever.

What saddens me is the fact that through twitter over the past year I’ve met lovely people with similar interests to me, through this blog I’ve had amazing support from other blogging mummies, but it’s my facebook friends that I feel are letting me down. Despite all the pregnancy announcements that made me hate facebook, I never considered leaving.

Now I am.

~ P

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