Differences between your online persona and your IRL persona?

The blogosphere (including us) has recently been discussing how blogs are only a specific persona that the blogger shows (or curates, depending on your beliefs about the nature of truth and perception and personality).

That got us thinking about how we differ IRL vs. our blog personas.  We thought we’d share some of the differences.

I am a lot nicer IRL.  A LOT.  My snark only comes out with anonymity.  I may think things IRL but I don’t say things unless I can say something nice.  #2, however: I think I might actually be nicer on this blog than IRL.

I’m also more introverted IRL.  I’ve done meetups with groups of forum people and they are surprised that I’m quiet at the dinner table even though I’m super chatty online.  (This same thing isn’t true with people I know well IRL or when I’m at a conference on topics I’m an expert on– I’m perfectly chatty with subject matter I feel comfortable with.)  #2 is super-introverted all the time and prefers online communication.  Or books.

I’m less annoyed about giving an impromptu lecture on my subject matter of expertise IRL than online.  Online it often feels like someone should be paying me to argue with them.  (I know it may seem like this isn’t possible, but I promise, I lecture a LOT IRL.)

What don’t I share with you?  Mostly boring stuff.  I only online share things if I find them interesting and/or funny.  I also try not to share things that would hurt other people if our blog and real identities became front page news.

I’m often not as witty because online you only get the good stuff, not the stuff that failed at being funny or brilliant (at least IMO).

Who is the real us?  Well, what is reality anyway?

How do your IRL and online personas differ?  Who is the real you?

Scenes from paradise

  • Hipster couple at Mediterranean restaurant at the table next to us gets their tea.  It is crushed fresh mint  leaves in hot water.  Man starts berating waiter.  “Where is the tea?  This is nothing but leaves!  There should be tea in here!  This is just leaves and hot water.”  The waiter apologizes and shows that the menu does describe the mint tea as being… fresh mint leaves in hot water.  But the waiter takes it back and the guy continues to grumble to his sympathetic companion about how he ordered mint tea but just got leaves in water and how can they charge $3 for that.  DH and I catch each other’s eyes and try really really hard not to bust out laughing.  We also fail to ask the guy just exactly what he thinks tea is made of, though we are both curious.  I bet this dude drives a bmw.
  • Yesterday DH heard banging while he was at work.  After it stopped he investigated and someone has put in a home-made wooden mailbox next to the park bench in the empty lot next to our house.  There’s also a bike with fruit in its basket and two cans of Campbell’s soup.
  • While DH is talking on the phone to his cousin, he looks out the front window and sees a police officer walking past carrying an orange rifle.  DH chooses not to investigate.
  • Outside the library three middle-aged women are discussing how there is now scientific evidence that consciousness is more than just biochemical reactions.
  • Update on the lot next door:  There is also now a lazyboy chair and a Christmas tree.  One of the oranges has moved to the top of the mailbox.
  • Update:  now apparently an entire living room/kitchen setup near the lazyboy and Christmas tree, including a tall lamp.  And a stone path to the brick pit he has set out as a firepit.
  • Update:  He spends the weekend removing ground cover with a spade.  He brushes his teeth.
  • Update:  It rained.
  • Update:  All the stuff from the empty lot is gone.  Including the mailbox.  All that is left is a burnt area where the firepit used to be.
  • Coda:  The parks and recreation department sent 5 people over to clean up the area and to cover all the bad bits with mulch.  It took several hours, though they did trim trees etc. too.

 

How to avoid pointless parenting anxiety

Here we’re talking about whatever the current guilt-inducing fads are.  I would give examples of what they currently are, but the truth is, I don’t know!  But like 5 years ago they were things like:  not bringing store-bought baked goods places, using the right kind of sunscreen, avoiding BPA, etc.  I think there were a lot more, but that’s what I remember.  (Disclaimer, we still use the old-fashioned neurotic fad approved sunblock, because DC2 is allergic to conventional kinds.)

There are many other paths, but here’s one.   Most of this stuff is really easy to avoid if you don’t live in NYC or the ritzy suburbs of Los Angeles (or similar enclaves).  But if you do live in those places, you can still do the following:

  1. Don’t read anything about parenting (mothering) on NYTimes ever
  2. Stay away from parenting (mommy) forums
  3. If you read parenting books pick them carefully (read: evidence based) and remember that one size doesn’t fit all
  4. Send your kids to a (high quality, obvs) daycare that caters to working parents.
  5. Avoid anxiety-inducing blogs
  6. Avoid anxiety-inducing playgroups

And there ya go.  No more worrying about pointless parenting stuff.

Do you get swept up into ridiculous parenting anxieties?  The kinds that come with, “worried about other people judging me” attached?  If so, where do they come from?  If not, how do you avoid them?

when are we sympathetic to complaining

Disclaimer:  This post is NOT talking about complaining about tragedies or things like chronic illness, death, etc.  If you are in pain, or you’ve lost a loved one, or have experienced trauma or been harassed, etc. we will always be sympathetic.  This is more about trivial complaints or complaints that are less trivial but are still more in the annoyance spectrum– things you could probably change but have chosen not to for whatever reason.  You know, like me complaining that democrats don’t even show up on the ballot and we have to drive a couple hours to get to Whole Foods when we could, in theory, quit our jobs and move across country to Paradise.

We are sympathetic to (or at least not irritated by) complaining

1. that isn’t chronic (because chronic complaining gets boring) and

2. that doesn’t seem entitled (I guess because entitled complaining makes me feel like I deserve more too but I’m not going to get it so that makes me irritated and I’d rather feel like I have agency)

3.  that is entertaining or funny (but not repetitive I hate Mondays that is trying to be funny but isn’t)

4.  that is about the weather (because we’re from the midwest and find it soothing)

What kind of (non-tragic) complaining are you sympathetic to?  What kind irritates you?

Can toilet paper spark joy?

Pretty much everyone has heard of the Konmari book about minimalism and cleaning and only keeping things that “spark joy.”

Detractors often say that some utilitarian things are just not going to ever spark joy.  Now, we believe in small well-made tools to the extent that we’ve recommended people give tweezers and pencil sharpeners for Christmas.  These little luxuries really do spark joy for me whenever I have to sharpen a pencil or tweeze an errant hair or open a jar or what have you.

What, of course, makes them spark joy, is the memories of using pencil sharpeners that don’t sharpen right, or tweezers that take a lot of effort.  Or jar openers that take too much hand strength.  And on and on and on.

Often people will say, “Toilet paper will never spark joy.”  And I submit that those people did not grow up with crappy toilet paper.  One of my guilty pleasures in life is buying really nice quality toilet paper.  Toilet paper that doesn’t melt upon contact with water.  That doesn’t scratch.  That doesn’t take handfuls and handfuls per use.  (It’s a guilty pleasure because I know it’s not the best choice for the environment, but I buy it still!)

So… how to make sure even your mundane objects spark joy?

  1. Use crappy cheap versions of the object
  2. Find the best version of the object
  3. Use that instead
  4. (dispense with the crappy versions if you’re Konmari-ing)

Joy sparked!

Of course, if you haven’t suffered, you’ll never know the joy.  I suppose that if you do get rid of everything that doesn’t spark joy then you’ll have a lot of unsharpened pencils until you get a new sharpener, at which point, its eliminated absence will cause new joy to be sparked.  So…

Ah, the cirrrrrcle of hedonic adaptation.

Do mundane objects spark joy for you?  Which ones?

What’s on your iPod?

This video because I am a huge nerd.  Also this video (NSFW!) because it is the funniest thing in the whole world.  Kanye’s song Power.  Albums and songs by Monty Python, MC Frontalot (quite a lot of songs), U2, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (singing Handel), Kathleen Battle, Michelle Branch, OAR, old Madonna, TMBG, Jessie J, Jonathan Coulton, the Muppets, P!nk, the Police, the Lion King, and the complete soundtrack of Labyrinth.

Podcasts about books and video games and other nerdy stuff and general stuff (some from maximumfun.org).  A photo of my cat.  A photo of my coolest pair of shoes.  A cartoon.

#2 does not have an ipod.  It is very sad.  Hir DH mostly keeps audio books on his mp3, and the occasional wait wait don’t tell me podcast or splendid table podcast.  We outnerd #1.  NPR nerdz!

What about you?

 

How does your toilet paper roll?

My first roommate that I shared a bathroom with took me aside one day, exasperated, and told me I was putting toilet paper rolls back all wrong.  I’d been flipping them under without even thinking about it, possibly because that’s what they do at my house.  My family has always been a bit different (my father is an immigrant), so I figured I wasn’t doing it the American way or something.

The next year, I had a different roommate.  After a few weeks of conscientiously making sure the toilet paper was flipped over when I put in a new roll, I noticed the toilet roll flipped under.  So I asked my roommate about it, and she said not only had she been putting in rolls flipped under herself, but she’d been changing my rolls because I was *doing them wrong* and found it seriously annoying but didn’t want to bring it up with me.

The next two roommates I had, I brought up this question the first day because I figured this was something I didn’t care much about, but a lot of people have strong feelings about it.  (Me, I’m just happy that the roll gets replaced at all!)  They both thought I was crazy for even thinking about it.  (And indeed, with them, sometimes the roll would be over, and sometimes under, almost at random.)

How about you?  Is this something you have strong feelings about?  Are there other kinds of habits like this where your way is the right way but other people do it wrong?  (Squeezing toothpaste from the bottom is my hobby horse.)

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