Only because others have told me so, I have an idea of how my online personality is perceived. I know that with all of my gangsta swagger, it might seem like I’m probably the life of the party and don’t have any issues with fitting in socially. I’d I wish I were that person. I’d like to be Steely Dan’s Josie:
When Josie comes home,
She’s the best friend we ever had.
She’s the raw flame,
The live wire.
She prays like a Roman
With her eyes on fire.
In actuality, I’m feel like I’m closer to this Josie:
I’m far more introverted than I am extroverted. I am shy, and while I can put up a good front in social situations, I’m usually awkward to the point of having minor mental freakouts. When meeting new people, in my mind there is this running dialogue of insecurity:
They’re going to think I’m weird. I’m talking too much. You don’t to be that person who keeps talking to people who are smiling and seem to be listening, but what they really want you to do is shut the hell up already. Now there’s that heavy silence. You’re not talking enough. Should I say something? What’s something I can ask them which is good enough to show that I’m genuinely interested, but isn’t so personal that it won’t be considered nosy? These people are way cooler than I am. There’s no way they’re going to like me.
Oh, yes — I’m a freak like that. I feel small and quiet and meek and sometimes almost insignificant compared to the people around me. Once I get the sense that people think I truly am worth talking to, I always have something of a Sally Field, “YOU REALLY LIKE ME!” moment.
So if I’m so introverted and shy, where does this animated and ballsome online bravado come from? Well, it’s definitely me. It’s just the side of me that doesn’t come out in person until after I’ve grown comfortable around someone enough to know that they don’t think I’m a spazz. Still, even to some degree, I feel awkward online and have to pep talk myself into being the Steely Dan Josie part of me that I’m sometimes afraid to be.
I’m going to start a club for socially awkward people like me. We’ll earn badges for things like “Furtive Glance Mastery” and “Friendly but Not-too-Eager Smiling” and “Nervous Shuffling Achievement” and “Artful Small Talking.”
So tell me — how does the personality that you project on your blog line up with what I’d see if we were meeting up for coffee in an hour? Would you classify yourself as feeling socially awkward? How does that affect your interactions with people online, if at all?
Josies of all kinds are welcome to join in the discussion.
Gangsta Point Question:
“Josie” is one woman of Steely Dan song lyrics. Name five others (the names can be either titles or merely mentioned in the verses). This question is worth ten points. No Googling allowed — answer according to the Gangsta Code of Honor.