Your Online Shadow

I don’t know what I look like online. 

It’s kind of like looking in the mirror. You think “Is this actually what I look like to other people or does my brain play tricks?”  Please write back and tell me if I look cool or not.

I spend a lot of time establishing my online presence because now we have two identities. The identity displayed in the digital realm, and also in the physical. I’m sure movie stars and the famous have understood this for awhile now. People come up to them when they’re shoving food into their mouths at Shake Shack and still think of them as this superhero played in a movie.

But these online reputations and presences can be powerful. Hackers in their boxers are influencing literally millions at a time via Twitter.

Services like Klout tried to help us gauge our online popularity so we would know where we all stand. Are people listening to you? Are you Jenna Marbles status? Do you sit at the cool table at lunch? 

The internet has opened up a new type of fame for the average Joes of the world. Tweens on Vine with a million followers or video bloggers on youtube talking about makeup or Legos. These people have a new voice, bigger than the one in the real world. 

I’m pretty vain if I’m telling the truth. It’s probably why I am thinking about this in the first place. I admit that I stare into the online mirror pretty often.

Sometimes I just click on my own Instagram or personal website and just look at it for a bit. Not to mention the good feeling when we get likes or favorites. We all get that feeling of seeing ourselves in a new way. Maybe the way we always wanted other's to see us.

Is that what this whole online thing is about?

We want to be seen as experts. As craftsmen. As social butterflies with big lists of followers or friends. This desire is so fundamental to the way the web is built it’s hard to think about what it could look like without this drive.

I guess our online identity is more like a shadow than a mirror. It follows us around and mimics our life but without the true richness of color that we experience in the physical world. The influence is real, but only in the light. 

And the closer towards the sun we fly the bigger the shadow we cast. 

LifestyleDavid Sherry