It had to happen eventually. As ubiquitous as the internet has become in our lives, people had to start writing songs about it. This morning I heard a song on the radio with the unlikely chorus: "I'm so much cooler online." I laughed, because so many, many people lie about themselves on internet dating sites and whatnot (I do not know this from personal experience. I have been married forever. Or at least since before internet dating. But I have friends, and I've heard the stories.)
But it did make me think: are we all cooler online? Not because we lie, but because we interact only on our own schedules, when we're in the mood for it, and we only show those parts of ourselves that are funny, interesting, and intelligent? If you could see me when I first wake up in the morning, when I'm scowling and incoherent and even making coffee is beyond my creative abilities, would you still want to read what I have to say? If you could hear me when I'm being completely unreasonable and more than a little bitchy in an argument that I know I'm losing, would you still find me likable? What if you discovered that my politics are offensive to you, or that I'm not raising my kids in a way that you can approve of, or I haven't mowed my lawn in a month?
We all make judgments about people we meet. Often they are based on early impressions or isolated incidents, and often we will never be able to see beyond our initial view of a person, even if we know that person for years after the initial meeting. Maybe we should all meet online first, where we can't see race or age or weight or attractiveness or social status, and where we all get a chance to think about how we want to present ourselves, and hit the backspace key as many times as necessary before we post for public consumption. Maybe the world would be better if we had to share our thoughts before we could interact in person. I wonder how many people I already know, but have written off as potential friends, who would be really interesting and fun if I met them in the blogosphere. Maybe we're all cooler online.