It made me think about how your online persona can differ from your real life persona, if you want it to. The great thing about the internet is it allows you to be who you want to be – or who you feel like you should be in real life.
Of course there are lots of different real life personas too: a work one, a mother one, a daughter one, a friend one, a wife one, but essentially they’re all part of one whole congruent real life persona.
For some people they only share so much about their real life selves online. For others it means becoming a completely different person online from their real life persona.
I’m not going to make any judgements about which is right or wrong, but I am going to explain where I sit on that scale.
Some of you have met me in person, so the pictures of me on this website are me. Hopefully those who’ve met me think the Liam Livings in person is pretty much like the online Liam Livings. For me it’s about authenticity.
Ok, hands up, Liam Livings is not my legal name, it’s not what’s on my passport or birth certificate, it’s a nom de plume taken from my dad’s best friend’s first name and my mum’s maiden name. I also like how it’s alliterative. In the m/m fiction genre people stick to their pen names much more than in mainstream romance. Mainstream romance authors often introduce themselves as ‘I’m Jan Smith, and I write as Mary Hatfield or Sandra Colant or Sharon Barina’ like it’s nothing. With all my writing friends, I am always Liam Livings. For me it keeps it simpler.
I am a British gay man in my *rolls eyes* twenties – thirties, living where east London ends and becomes Essex.
All of this about me stuff on here is true – except 5) but that’s something my mum did.
I did lose my dad in a light aircraft accident in 2001.
I read trashy autobiographies, chick lit and sometimes go off piste with an adventure or some m/m fiction.
I basically have the musical and TV taste of a teenaged girl, what is pretty stereotypically *gay* – and I don’t apologise about it: I love Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek; I love The Wanted, Girls Aloud, Abba, Steps and lots and lots of eighties electro pop; I have a penchant for cheesy John Hughes films from the eighties and my favourite female actors are Toni Collette, Cameron Diaz, Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep. As you can imagine, Death Becomes Her, The Holiday and Muriel’s Wedding are watched with remarkable regularity at Livings Towers.
What don’t do online as Liam Livings
- Use my BF’s name, or post any pictures of him
- Same with members of my family or friends
- Talk about my day job
- Talk about any bedroom activities – I know other male m/m fiction authors who do this all the time. No judgement, but it’s not for me.
All the rest is much WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).
So to paraphrase an Abba song – had to get one in somewhere – I’m Liam-not-the-kind-of-guy-you’d-ask-to-put-up-shelves that’s me!
*steepling fingers and twirling round in a white leather chair* Of course, I could be a human like android like that little boy in the film, AI Artificial Intelligence, controlled by a big computer in Milton Keynes.
How does your online persona differ from your real life persona? Do you have some rules about what you do and don’t talk about online similar to me?
I’d love to hear from you,
Until next time,