It took me a while to consider what blog I wanted to talk about this on. This one, my book blog? Geetakesphotos, my photography blog? My Tumblr? Or should I just tweet about it?
I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to maintain a personality online. And I think there’s quick a lot of discussion around it too – especially with more visual platforms like Instagram and YouTube. I read a quote once about people “cropping out the sadness” on Instagram, and it’s totally true for most of us. Online spaces are where we can construct ourselves however we want to – we can choose how anonymous we want to be, and exactly what we want to share and keep private.
I have been blogging here on The Bibliomaniac since 2011, when I was eleven.I had a Facebook account even earlier (oops). Over the last two to three years in particular, I’ve subconsciously started to separate my interests, filtering them into different places on the internet. My bookish interests go here, on this blog. Last year, when I got into photography, I decided to not stray from the main topic of this blog – and created another site for that hobby. I’ve realised all my hobbies/interests are divided up onto completely different areas of the internet. Books – this blog and my Instagram. Photography – geetakesphotos and my personal Facebook. Artistic stuff – Pinterest. TV, film and music – Tumblr.
I’m not sure if it’s only me who does this, but I’ve noticed over the course of this year that I’ve created such a huge divide between all of my interests. At the start of this year, I got hugely into interacting with other fans of Tegan and Sara, my favourite band, online – but most people I know in the community of fans don’t know I blog about books. Vice versa, book bloggers I’ve known for years probably don’t know the level of obsession I have with Tegan and Sara (unless you’ve seen the occasional tweet on my main twitter).
So, why do I separate everything? Why have I created multiple ‘internet personalities?’
The answer is, I don’t know for sure, but I do have a few ideas. Part of it is definitely down to my obsessive need to organise things. Part of it is also probably down to the ideas I’ve constructed in my head about blogging. On Tumblr, I post and reblog completely random things with no order, whereas on here, it’s practically business like, and sticks to one topic: books. I feel like if I were to start posting about Tegan and Sara, or my personal photography on this blog, it wouldn’t fit with the content people expect from this blog. Therefore, I’m hesitant to post anything here that can’t be attached to anything bookish. In the same sense, you can’t find a trace of my passion for reading on my photography blog!
Is it a good thing to separate your interests, though? No, I don’t think so. It was an automatic thing for me, something I did subconsciously and have only recently become aware of. I’ve noticed a huge gap in the way I post and interact, based on what topic it’s on. If it’s about books, I tend to be a little more articulate. If I’m talking with friends from the Tegan and Sara community, I’m incredibly informal (and everything is memes tbh).
I feel like my internet presence would be a lot more ‘genuine,’ most especially on this blog, if I put all of my interests together and in one place. Over this year, this blog has become more of something I feel like I have to keep going – whereas my interests in photography and music have been growing, and when I post about these things it’s more whimsical, whereas this blog is more structured. I feel as though I talk a lot more informally, and more genuinely, on platforms where I have different interests. It’s strange, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently! I do feel like I’ve accidentally constructed different ‘personalities,’ and that this does affect the way people see me online.
I have made lots of attempts to blend my interests – I use my original photography on this blog, and have also made posts such as Songs and Stories which quite a few people liked! I really want to try and integrate my interests more, so there isn’t such a huge gap in my interests online – I want my personality to seem more genuine across every platform, and not so divided.
What do you think – is separating your interests online a good thing or a bad thing? Do you do it yourself?
I’d love to see what other people think about online presences!
I definitely think it’s a bad thing to separate your interests too much. Which is why my blog was always MOSTLY books but also everything else too. Otherwise I would have spread myself a little too thin.
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