From the mailbag:

“We all act a little differently online, as opposed to RL. Are you meaner, nicer, wittier, sillier, or more verbose in RL than in online venues?”

I certainly do have a blogging persona. I don’t craft something on purpose – communicating via written word to a general audience simply has a different effect than talking in person with an individual. I think this is true of a lot of bloggers. The most popular example is how vicious, rude, scathing PZ Myers is actually a soft spoken teddy bear in person (don’t deny it PZ!).

So there are definitely ways that act differently. I’m actually an introvert, which a lot of people have a hard time believing. I think that’s partially because most people don’t know what introversion means. It doesn’t mean I’m shy – it means being around people drains me, and I need time to myself to recharge. I love conferences, but by the end I usually need to sporadically hide in my room and avoid talking to people. It’s challenging being “on” all the time.

I think that’s probably the biggest misconception – that I’m always “on.” I’m not witty and insightful 100% of the time. Hell, that’s not even true here. But at least my blog has a certain level of curation. Shockingly, I don’t generally post my stupid ideas or unfunny jokes. But in person there’s a lot less time to think up something profound, so I think I’m disappointingly derpy a lot of the time.

I’m also a lot less confrontational in person, which is probably true of most people. The internet gives people courage, often the courage to say a lot of stupid crap they would never say to someone’s face. But I balk at saying even some of the non-stupid stuff. I hate getting into verbal debates – not to avoid pissing people off, but because I suck at them. Again, I’m much more intelligent when writing. You don’t want to invite me to debate someone because I’ll get tongue tied.

Other than that…many people have told me I was a lot taller than they expected, haha. I TOWER ABOVE YOU PUNY ATHEISTS! Or something.

If you’ve met me in person, are there any other things that are different between “in person” Jen and “blogger” Jen?

This is post 19 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.