Giving Birth to yourself: The Online You

Internet was born before we were born. We are the digital natives. We are the cyber stigmata(click for my older srticle on cyber stigmatas), who type faster than we think, and have a dark region on our wrist, and know that the thumb is for the 'space' key of our laptop keyboard. 


Image by hdzimmermann via Flickr

Not all the people who were born before the Internet, have adapted to the newer world with ease. They are typically identified by the typing-with-two-finger (t-WTF) syndrome. This reminds me of a saying, 'All generalizations are wrong, including this one'. Generalization is a bad habit, because it is only when one looks beyond generalizations, can the real probing and learning occur. Hence, we will not generalize the people born before the Internet to be Digital Aliens. But they were lucky...

They, unlike us, did not have the responsibility of giving birth to themselves and watch themselves grow up. Yes, we are talking about social networks here and about our digital clones that we create online.


Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase


This now reminds me of a tweet. Yep, found it on twitter and also the voice that said it.

Who you really are, you're on Twitter; what you want to be, you're on Facebook; what you're not, you're on LinkedIn :)

We do share a lot of data about ourselves in the Internet. But this is not something to be afraid of, but definitely something we all need to be cautious about.

However, this blogpost talks about the people who were born before the birth of the Internet who missed the one great opportunity Internet has given the Digital natives like you and me. The things that they clearly missed are these...


  • The fun in giving birth to your own-online-digital-self 
  • Have fun in looking him/her/it grow up and make new friends, who again are the online-digital-selves of somebody you might or might not know in organic life.
  • At times commit terrible mistakes and later repent for having put "that" pic on fb/twitter
  • Learn a lesson or two from such misbehavior

These are my favorites...

  • Feel your real self getting older and wiser, but can choose to keep that youthful photo for your digital-self, for that will be his or her face forever, until you choose to change his/her age
  • Finally watch the your real-self die, while letting your online-self to live forever, until the last day of the Internet/world, whichever comes earlier.

One word of caution

Your online-clone will continue to live forever, and will neither age nor change until you choose to change him/her. So be a good parent to yourself and grow that online-child of yours with utmost care. For he/she/it can reveal a lot about you to your kids, to the future generations or to the Artificially Intelligent machines of the future.

Read an older article on Netiquette : HERE


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