Thursday, 1 October 2015

Dot-Com Personalities

By Paula Tabares Anzola (8th semester undergraduate FIGRI student, English through Multimedia elective)

While surfing around social networks we can find many kinds of people, and when you log into Facebook you can realize how different people are. This is not a matter of real-life personalities; it is more the alter ego of every person that is only visible through the computer screen, and yet is completely public. I’ve called this kind of phenomenon “Dot-Com Personalities”.

Dot-Com Personalities are standard for today’s generation; the people that were born and live in a world defined as globalized. Real-life people can be introverted or extroverted, but that does not imply that their social network profiles are the same. In fact, some people end up being the exact opposite of the people they are when they interact with others. Even though this could be the object of scientific research or psychological investigation, I would rather talk about the funny side of this situation.

How many times have we been surprised, amused and also annoyed by other people’s posts: sometimes because their behaviour does not match their real-life self, or sometimes because it is intensified. Now, there are a lot of “Dot-Com Personalities” to examine. For instance, there is always a person in your Facebook that is constantly showing you how happy he/she is in love, uploading photos with his/her partner in front of different landscapes and writing on each other’s walls like they do not even talk when they are together. These people fill your Facebook page with a pink aura full of “darlings”, “honeys”, “loves”, “sugars” and so on, and end up being too intense.

On the other hand, we have the self-analysing people: the ones that are usually writing about their feelings and updating their emotional status all the time. These people are aware of everything that surrounds them and want us to be too. Everything in their lives deserves a full post, from their family to their everyday experience, and that is why sometimes we can find a picture of a road that comes with a caption that goes something like this: “Oh my God, today I saw this road and I realised how lucky we are. This road has been here for almost a hundred years and we are now walking on it. A lot of people don’t have roads but we do; it’s such a beautiful thing...” and the funniest part of it is that we read it all, always, and we ask ourselves if it’s because we are not deep enough that we find this boring.

There are also the controversial people: the ones that write about abortion, equality, religion, politics or anything that involves an unstoppable discussion. These people are always writing about their positions on the issues, but what they do not know is that they are opening Pandora’s Box of opinions, which fills your whole Facebook page and in the end –most of the time- finishes with people agreeing to disagree.

There is also the extremely deep person whose photos are anything but deep: this person whose photos are normal bedroom selfies and who come up with a really deep quote of something not even relatable to what we see. We can see this in the girl that is showing half her boobs and her happy duck face and who quotes Mandela with a sentence on peace; this is funny but also a bit worrying. Also, to continue talking about photos, there is another kind of person, the hashtag-aholic. We know hashtags are used to find opinions, articles, or photos about a common topic but there are people that cannot handle this kind of responsibility and upload a picture of their shoes and write something like this: “#shoes #uggs #winter #girl #girlwithshoes #girlwithuggs #uggsareshoes #girlinwinter #beautiful #fashion #love #beautifullovefashion #fashionlove #loveforuggs #uggsarefashion #beautifuluggs #beautifulgirl… #STOP IT! This is not just annoying, it’s also stupid!

Finally, and even if there are a lot more of these personalities, there is the GPS person: the person that is always traveling and sharing how they stop in every airport, city, or mall. This person shares too much! The GPS person is worse when he/she shares his/her location everyday inside the same city; they show you they are going to work, to study, to the theatre, to the park, and even to walk – for god’s sake! Most of the time it’s not interesting at all, and it can be unsafe.

To sum up, people are not what they seem to be on their Facebook profiles or maybe that is really what they are, but they just sometimes express themselves too much. It is not bad to have a bit of these personalities inside you when they are well-balanced, but if you suffer from this problem, you know what I’m talking about.

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