Sex, Lies & Online Profiles (Or Posing For Fun & Profit)
Creating profiles seems to be the bane of my existence as a writer and “online personality,” so while working on a profile for that new project I was looking for something I’d previously used that I could cut, paste and tweak a bit.
When I found my old LiveJournal (don’t bother to click; there’s only the one post and I’m sharing it below), I had a good giggle. The sole entry (because I lost all password recovery options) is dated from January 10th, 2005, and reads:
I am moody, enjoy being moody for the most part. And I like things that elicit moods, such as books, weird finds at thrift shops, strange items & photographs, and the thoughts of other people. I enjoy weird writings, even if I must make them myself.
Dark, dark is good, but I do not like the disgusting shock-value or wannabe-goth dark. Dark is a place. A mood. Not a place constructed by mere crass comments, incredible images, or the grotesque-on-display.
I enjoy intelligent discourse. As long as it’s not too brainy. (I don’t like to read web articles or posts that require footnotes.)
Humor is good. Humor is subjective. I heartily enjoy good subjective laughter.
I believe creativity is the spawn of Dark & Humor. Somewhere in the incompatibility, the wry sparks intelligence that seeks a life of it’s own.
I enjoy chocolate before, during & after sex.
In don’t enjoy long walks on the beach holding hands, unless we are holding hands to hold one another up, laughing so hard are we at some hideous find, some inappropriate humor.
I dislike intensely cutesy animated gifs & websites with insipid ‘music.’
I am curious as to how this works, both from the tech side & the culture/social aspect. A tad uncomfortable even.
I’m not really quite sure what that last line was all about… I’d been writing online for roughly five years already by that point. Was the “blogging” software that new to me? (I do recall finding the display of mood by text and emoticon as insipid as embeded music.) I’d have to use the Wayback Machine to verify the publishing mechanism of the old columns and websites back then– and I’m not in the mood.
Or maybe I was posing as a newbie so that no one would be able to connect that LJ user to the professional me. That’s what that whole “I enjoy intelligent discourse. As long as it’s not too brainy. (I don’t like to read web articles or posts that require footnotes.)” thing was about. How funny!
Funny that my self-described identification as a writer was so tied to intelligence and even footnotes that I thought my best disguise was “not too brainy.” What, do I own both the attribute and the ability to properly attribute documents? lol
Funny that my level of paranoia at being “found out.” Just avoid your legal name and other specific information guaranteed to be found via a search engine, and you can’t be found — at least not with any degree of certainty by even the most smugly sure of themselves. Omission is the key, not little lies.
Funnier still that it reads rather like a dating site profile or something.
Ah, but what really prompts me to post all this is the thought that your profiles are like mini-memoirs…
Memoirs, as a genre, are not like biographies or autobiographies. Our limited sense of self combined with our abundant egos creates both the space and need for fiction; fiction to fill in the spots left by the fallible fragility of human memory, inspired by the need for the delicate deceptions we tell ourselves. In fact, memoirs are rather more like narrative non-fiction or, if we are so deluded that we present ourselves in the correct time and place yet doing and saying things through the filter of wishes, they even become historical fiction.
In fact, it has me wondering if autobiographies can really be so distinct from memoirs at all.
Reading our profiles — even the current ones, is not only to laugh, cringe &/or be puzzled by that moment’s snapshot of our own psyche, but to wonder, if at some future time someone should feel it’s warranted, how our own words would color the research and writing done by our biographers…
Why would we even need to fear the filter of the biographer? Our own recollections and presentations get in the way!
When it does come to the filter or agenda of the biographer, perhaps their bias is far more important, even necessary, than typically thought. For certainly their own human reaction to our own (sad, amusing, trite, etc.) constructs is one way to get past the posing and self-fiction to a more real truth about ourselves.
And it is for this reason — certainly not my personal discomfort and loathing! — that I wish for someone else to write all my own bio boxes and profiles.