A friend and I were reminiscing about the good old days of Xanga – a blog/journal hosting service that we used (along with many of our friends) to chronicle our lives and our thoughts.  As we moved from high school to college, our Xangas started to become less and less frequently updated until, finally, we stopped updating them altogether.

Since then, I’ve moved on to a more serious type of blogging.  I’ve started to write about the fields that interest me and have used my blog as more of a branding tool than as a place to talk about my life.  My hilarious (and sometimes R-rated) rants have been replaced by posts about Twitter and my thoughts about social media.

Lately, I’ve been asking myself – is this me?  Is this what I really want to talk about?  Would I use these words?

I’m finding out more and more that the answer has to be yes, at least here.  Shawn Farner can be found inside the domain name.  Shawn Farner can be found in the blog itself.  All of my social networking accounts, most of which have a link to this blog, have Shawn Farner as the user name.  There is no escaping the fact that this blog now belongs to Professional Shawn. Consider Professional Shawn an alter-ego of sorts, like Clark Kent is for Superman (except not as super).  As long as this blog serves to represent me to the social media world, I have no choice.

I suspect that a lot of people have found themselves in this situation.  Behind every blog you read is a blogger with a lot more to them than you could ever learn through their posts.  I suspect that someday soon, I’ll make another attempt at creating a more personal blog.  Until then, Twitter comes the closest.  And to get the full experience?  You’ll have to get to know me. :)

8 thoughts on “Are you being someone else on your blog?

  1. I am more myself on twitter than probably anywhere else in real life. My blogs & radio show are a close second & third, except they are more of a “personality” version of Elizabeth Potts Weinstein. Facebook is a combo.

    As a natural introvert (who hides in the closet at parties & networking events), it's so much easier for me to be “myself” online where no one can see me. Except for the thousands of people who listen to my radio show, read my blogs, read my twitter feeds, etc. (for some reason that does not bother me …).

    What I say on Twitter is what I would say IRL after 2 glasses of wine. But without the wine. Most of the time.

    ~ Elizabeth

  2. I used to be that way. My Xanga blog really read as a no bull look into my brain. Unfortunately, that isn't the kind of thing I want my blogging peers, those I admire and potential employers reading. Maybe I'll start a new one? I don't know.

  3. I feel like I come pretty close on Twitter as well. Twitter seems to be that kind of place, though – I see a lot of blogging personalities acting more themselves on Twitter than anywhere else.

  4. I think the blogging world has come a long way since the hayday of Xanga and LiveJournal (which, for me, was circa late 90s). I think you hit the nail on the head for a lot of people, because an unfiltered view of our inner-most thoughts — archived for all eternity — isn't necessarily complimentary to the notion of, say, convincing an employer that you're worth hiring. I use an alt for any sort of ranting or not-necessarily-mainstream opinions, and I go to great lengths to keep it completely isolated from my floor9 and blogHarrisburg personas.

  5. I totally remember Xanga! We were all so obsessed! I just started my own blog too and it's fairly personal so far, I believe. All I really blog about is myself, but should I be focusing more on the things I like, similar to your blog? Because I feel as if I am bringing back Xanga, but in a cooler blog format. Thought?

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