We’re Through the Looking Glass Here, People

Last night, Courtney and I were talking about the personas some people use on the Internet, and how it can be easy to miss certain excellent parts of people’s personalities when your most frequent impression of them is totally different and, it turns out, something that they themselves have created.

“Like with you,” Courtney said, “you have this persona, but I know the real Erin.”

While I don’t dispute that Courtney knows the real me and I want to stress that in no way was she being a dick, I was honestly unaware that it was different from my online persona, or that I even had an online persona at all. It was such an unexpected thing to hear that I didn’t think to ask for examples of this persona. All I could say was “Huh. I was not aware of this.”

And…I really was not. I am not. I write exactly like I think, which is usually exactly like I speak. This includes big words, ellipses, comma abuse, hyphenates where they don’t really belong, always the correct use of apostrophes, and a fuckload of profanity. The stories I tell here are true. Aside from some light editing to make my mental diarrhea readable, I don’t really make any effort to craft what happens here. This is my understanding of a persona, and why I didn’t think I had one.

Although this isn’t the first time someone has told me something like this. Once Graham said that while I do write like I talk, the stuff I write is “bigger” and “more.” At the time, I replied with something like “well no shit…who wants to read about me grinding my teeth for an hour while Food Network is on in the background?” Which does happen in my life, but it happens in addition to the stuff I think about and eventually publish here. I’ve also heard that I’m nicer in real life than I am on the Internet, but that’s just because I don’t often hear people’s grammar mistakes in person, and because I’m super bored by the people who use their Internet time write about how sunny and awesome their life is and OMG I LOST 15 POUNDS SO THEN I BOUGHT A KITTEN?!?! So if having a persona means that how I write is me but slightly amplified, then yes, I suppose I have a persona. I also suppose that I’ve done a bang-up fucking job of convincing everyone who reads this that I am not quite as strange, emotionally crippled, and socially awkward as I feel in real life. Or maybe that is my persona. I didn’t ask for details at the time. Either way, clearly I have fooled almost everyone, and probably also myself.

Sometimes I Don’t Get Me, Either

Lately, Black Whales
Still Life with Bottle Rockets, Swearing At Motorists
Sometimes I Don’t Get You, Yo La Tengo
Outlaw Blues, The Morning Benders
Write What You Know, Stars
Moon See, Day See, The Heligoats
Alley Cat, The Ettes
Barely Breathing, The Hold Steady
Behold the Hurricane, The Horrible Crowes
Vagabond, Beirut
Single Fins and Safety Pins, Japanese Motors
Frayed, The Naked and Famous
Let’s Go Surfing, The Drums
I Hope You Die, Wye Oak
In Spite of Ourselves, John Prine with Iris DeMent
Been in the Pen, Odetta
The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat), The Doors
Goodbye Johnny, The Gun Club
Haunting at 1300 McKinley, The Black Angels
Of Course, Hopewell
Please Don’t Go, Barcelona

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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