Are you faking it on Twitter?

8 Jun

Hiding behind a mask in social media

I’ve always advocated authenticity in social media. Be yourself.

Lately I’ve become increasingly aware of people who aren’t themselves at all. They create personas, some by grand design, others through assimilation.

I met a guy last night who puts out a sarcastic, satirical vibe on Twitter for his 50,000 followers but is, in reality, not that guy face-to-face.

It’s part of the larger trend I notice away from authenticity and towards eccentricity. Now that Twitter is so mainstream, people are starting to look for an edge to keep it interesting.

You fake it when you’re bored, or opportunistic.

If you’re a guy like Ricky Gervais, who’s the only celeb tweeter I follow, everything you do is in character: in person, online, in the boxing ring. He’s edgy and pisses people off, but consistently so. He’s authentic. Doesn’t seem bored or exploitative to me either.

Ricky Gervais tweet about his weight loss

On the other hand, many tweeters are becoming generic hyperbolists. The exclamation mark is alive and well and propagating on Twitter. In 140 characters, communication is most often left to grunts and squeals and screamers.

OMG! So #EXCITED to see CB speak!! #cantwait

The trend towards positively orgasmic reactions to everyday occurrences is symptomatic of both the willful cultivation of our personalities in social media and the homogenization of our experiences.

With all this social teeth-whitening and public performing going on, is Twitter simply becoming the new Hollywood, all fake and bake?

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3 Responses to “Are you faking it on Twitter?”

  1. Amy June 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    There are a few people I follow on twitter that I know personally. It helps keep me honest. However, I tend to say whatever is on my mind in real life, so I don’t temper myself much on the internet. If anything, I’m probably nicer on twitter!
    I do fake it on Facebook on occasion. Only because my in-laws are all on there and I don’t need any more of their judgement than I already get.
    Sorry that it’s taken me so long to get my ass over here!

    • Doug Brown June 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

      Let’s call it Fakebook then!

      Happy to have your comment on the blog Amy. Looking at my stats, I just learned that you are my ALL TIME LEADING COMMENTER! That’s just awesome. Thanks for being such a great supporter.

      • Amy June 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

        Wow! I feel like balloons should have dropped from the ceiling.
        The support is mutual, Doug. Always has been.
        Besides, I know to take care of the guys who are on my mom’s payroll.

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