Few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who has recently given into the Snapchat hype, a social media app which is popularly used by young people all over the world, about how fun using the app is. He was recommending me to join Snapchat and telling me how fun it is. Something he said struck a chord “you can be yourself on Snapchat”. That line quickly made me question and assess how I present myself and if I am really myself on my various social networking profiles.
I like to believe that I am a veteran and somewhat a geek when it comes to social networking platforms. Hi5, Xanga, AsianAvenue, MySpace, Bebo, Zorpia, WAYN, TravBuddy, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Viddy and even YouTube – I have used all of them and continue to use a selected few from the list.
Observing social networking sites and users in the present day leads me to believe that platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook give an individual an opportunity to be the star of their own reality TV show. The boundary between what is acceptable to share in public and private has been blurred and the more you share, the more following you might get.
When I first started logging on and connecting to the world and its people, my biggest draw was the fact that I could create the person I wanted to be. My profile, my interests, the playlist I had on my profile that would automatically play and my photos, were all in my control and I shaped this ‘person’. I think I’m a pro’ at this. In reality, I was somewhat an awkward kid who connected well with some and felt disconnected with many, fortunately on the webosphere I was confident, outspoken, pompous and my online network extended to several thousand profiles. I like to believe I have matured since then. Lex Limbu sounded like a catchy, cool idea and I acted on it to make Lex Limbu a person.
Skip to 2015 – when I sometimes view my profile under my real name, it really makes me wonder how I would have been had Lex Limbu not happened. There’s hardly any online presence of myself under my real name. In this day and age of MTV Catfish stories where people pretend to be someone who they are not online, my real profile looks like a poor mans attempt to be ‘Lex Limbu’. I have even had some people message me (Lex Limbu) saying there’s a fake profile floating across the web. It amuses me but very rarely confuses me.
Having consciously given away so much of myself on social media, the last thing I’d like to join is another social media and begin exhibiting a real self to the eyes of the known and the unknown. I have realized that the way I view social media is very different to the way some do. Even though I try not to shape me as a person (profile) according to the following I have, it is something that I think about before I share a link, post or photo. Twitter means more article links, good reads, critical things, Instagram is lighter with more focus on the images of the world and myself, Facebook Page needs to be a mixture of a lot of pointless things and meaningful shares and by the time I finish being all these profiles, I hardly have any energy to update via the other profile.
In a bid to stay on top of social media and not let it rule my life, I do not have notifications turned on for any of the social media sites that I use. Knowing what it feels like to not receive a reply from a favourite celebrity or person you look up to, I also made the decision to turn off the messages on my Facebook public page. This does shut me off from many people but it’s better than messages left ignored. I constantly view how I am coming across as a person and question whether I am a person online or a profile. Viewing ‘Lex Limbu’ as ‘lexlimbu’ definitely helps as in the future, I would like to make ‘lexlimbu’ a brand and for it to represent a group of people rather than only myself ‘Lex Limbu’.