IS THERE A GAP between the online “persona” which we present here and the person who we are in real life? That is the question. It is so easy to devise a squeaky-clean idealised image and present it here, replete with attractive selfies, pics of cute pets, dynamic yoga poses, quotes from Gandhi, Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama, inspirational soundbites and carefully-airbrushed clips of generalised life-information. Not only can villains reinvent themselves online but even the most seemingly principled people can, to a lesser degree, do this unconsciously — gradually building a composite picture which is based more on an ideal than reality. So does the ultra-loving, highly-evolved, super-spiritual, debonair, civilised, ripped, six-packed, impeccably-manicured and coiffed, caring, hyper-handsome, excruciatingly beautiful Wonder Woman or New Man pose which we assume online reflect the real people who we are in our everyday reality? 🙂 If not, then we are living a schizoid existence in which we become pathologically dissociated from truth/reality and live in a chimeric manufactured fantasy world. Social media provides the ultimate fertile territory for this, where one can build a list of pseudo-friends who we can bewitch with our carefully-woven web of concoctions, outright lies and carefully-constructed half-truths. A good antidote to this is to ensure that a healthy smattering of friends who know us well In Real Life is mingled with the virtual ones on our lists of friends on social media. The presence here of real life friends is going to keep us grounded and realistic about who we make ourselves out to be online (especially if they lovingly call us out when we exaggerate, fabricate or over-inflate!). If we are 100% honest online, then we will attract the kind of people as virtual friends who we would want to go on to have as friends in real life too. So… I here lay myself wide open for scrutiny and hope that all my virtual friends do so too. Let’s get real!