In the offline world (a.k.a. “real life”) it’s quite hard to hide who we really are. There are lots of clues that people can pick up on, that reveal how authentic we are being when we talk about what we do for a living. Those include our tone of voice, our body language, our ability to look someone in the eye, even (for the NLPers amongst us) which way our eyes move when we say something.
All of those clues are missing when we interact with people in the online world. In theory, that should make it easier for people to present a ‘modified’ version of themselves, one that focuses on what they do, rather than who they are.
But I wonder if that is really true?
I suspect that you can get away with the odd inconsistency or incongruity in the real world, because people can know the ‘real you’, and recognise that your slip-up is out of character. Online, they don’t have that degree of knowledge. Which means that while it may be possible to sell people on a fake version of yourself online, the minute you deviate from that virtuous avatar you created, people instantly lose trust in you.
That makes it a lot harder to be consistently fake online – and a lot more important to be who you really are.