Social media allow us to craft our own image and present it to the world, in ways that only a few artists and writers were able to do in the centuries before us. More than that: we can do it over and over again, in various ways. We don’t have to present ourselves on Facebook in the same way that we do on LinkedIn, or Tumblr, or Twitter.
Take me, for example. My Facebook persona is pretty vanilla. I repost this blog to my Facebook feed, but I suspect very few of my sixty-odd “friends” read it. And, after all, why would they? Facebook Loren is mostly 1970s Pacific Northwest Loren. A large percentage of my Facebook friends are my school acquaintances from Battle Ground, and various Pacific Northwest relatives. As you can imagine, their politics vary considerably from mine, in most (though not all) cases. So: we stick to safe topics, and harmless photos, and nostalgia.
LinkedIn Loren is very dull: he’s just a brief resume. He has a reasonable number of connections, but (since he’s not actively looking for a job) he’s not out there roaming the LinkedIn network very much. Mostly I use LinkedIn to find out what my various work acquaintances are doing nowadays. Now and then I’m amused to find that some of them are exaggerating their titles, and their experience, and their education, and their accomplishments. (But I won’t rat them out. Not here, anyway. Give me a call, and I’ll tell you all about it.)
Twitter Loren is a nonentity. This blog reposts there too, but I seldom look at Twitter; it’s too busy, too full of chatter.
Blog Loren is the same person on Posterous, Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress, as this goes out to all four. Three of them – Posterous, Blogger, and WordPress – are full of windy pontificators like me, so I’m just a face in the crowd there. I’m not really at home on Tumblr, which is really more about images and memes and being cutting-edge. I like Tumblr, though, more as a subscriber (and occasional reposter) than as a contributor. Few people on Tumblr read me, but I read and look at lots of people on Tumblr, and enjoy them very much.
Then there is (or was) Pinterest Loren.
I heard about Pinterest, and decided to try it. I was sort of charmed by it; I liked the mosaic layout of the pages, and the variety, and the ease with which you can browse, and the way you can click through a pinned image to an original website. In no time at all, Pinterest Loren had lots of stuff pinned: funny pictures, and cute puppies and kitties, and cute G-rated men, and pretty landscapes, and …
Pinterest Loren was a sixteen-year-old girl.
I deactivated Pinterest Loren not long ago. I don’t think he/she will be back anytime soon.
I think I did the world a favor.