Online autistic identity

I like facebook - I spend a lot of time on it. My profile is almost exclusively 'NT compliant but still eccentric old me'

Does anyone think that a 'dual identity' is healthy?

I feel like I want to 'live my truth' and just be completely open, but I think some/many existing friends would be confused and quite unnerved.

Above all I just want to share some things I know - to entertain, educate, resonate (or be happily disagreed with) - and feel that some of my things are VERY not NT.

  • I keep my FB account open because I have a couple of subscriptions for which I use it as a login. The internet is great for education and learning, finding information, booking stuff, and shopping... but I feel that the on social media platforms  everyone leads double lives and all of human stupidity and ignorance is amplified digitally.  

  • What do people do on facebook?    Is there interaction or is it just people bragging?  (I recently created a profile to try to find people from my past but it seems useless)

  • Once Facebook was a usefull social tool. Especially for students who had just moved into an area and needed to make friends.

    you could see who was in your university department and year, sometimes even the same course / lecture.

    peoples publicly viewable about sections told you Something about their personality. Movies they liked, music they were into etc.

    you could see who in your area had things in common with you and strike up a conversation online.

    you could find the friend of a friend you were chatting to last night and get in contact directly instead of waiting for the next time you’re friend invited you both out.

    you could see what events your friends were going to and ask if you could tag along.
    people would post photos of great nights out, student pranks and general banter.

    ‭now Most people have their settings so that anything that might Indicate their personality is friends only.

    some people don’t even put their actual faces on it anymore and a lot of people don’t use events or a least their upcoming events are no longer visible to friends.
    where before there were pictures of nightclubs and giant  snow phalus Now there are lots of posts on politics.

  • now Most people have their settings so that anything that might Indicate their personality is friends only.

    Yeah - the whole visible face seems to be either secret or fake - so how can anyone interface to that in any logical or genuine way?

  • It is what you make of it.

    I only have 'freinds' I have met in real life. We post positive comments, pictures of nature and such, and jokes.

    I 'hide' or 'block' anyone with horrid views or who are trying to push political or religious agendas at me.

    There are special interest groups for pretty much anything and many of those can be genuinely helpful.

    *If you are cautious* it can be a great tool to interact and learn while avoiding some of the social interactions some people find problematic.

  • I totally appreciate FB for that use - but I can do that with e-mail already - completely privately with CC and BCC

    And my friends already know me so there's no need for any 'persona'.

  • That's cool.

    I think I'm just looking for ways to more fully engage with an autistic community without throwing it in the face of people who don't want to know / can't deal with it...

  • This topic is something I've been pondering for a long time, and since discovering I'm on the spectrum, it makes a lot more sense why I was confused about it.

    Since learning I'm on the spectrum, I have been actively reducing my online presence, which basically involved stopping using accounts that suggested I was being my 'whole self' on there, rather than focusing on an interest only. I was using those accounts as you described - NT compliant. I realised that for a decade or two I've been specialising in creating an online persona for myself, which would change slightly to fit each purpose. I was very good and even worked in online marketing, advising people in their online strategies. Also, specialised in the analytics behind the strategies - so keeping tabs on algorithms (mostly Google, though, rather than social). It's nice to think now that I had turned my autistic traits and learned skills into something useful!

    But the same problems kept affecting me - I kept asking myself if people liked that persona or if they liked me. Did they like only the positive stories I shared, or would they like me including my darker days, my troubles.

    It also seemed like people much preferred the distance that passively liking/commenting on a post gives, rather than direct interaction. I've heard others suggest this - so I don't think this is due to my autistic traits (at least not on their own), it's certainly an issue with social media.

    What bugged me was that I could share something profound to me - something deep, personal, perhaps something joyful or troubling - and people might read it on their phone while trying to distract themselves from their own lives, so they weren't really engaging in the posts, they're using Facebook to escape their own lives. They could be sat on the loo!! Or waiting for a bus. Social media seems to be about self-serving, not genuinely connecting with others. I find this forum different - I'm not obliged to keep up a profile page or interact with others' profiles, instead we're connecting over specific topics.

    I'm done with the days of keeping up one of those generic social media profiles. Yet I am still enjoying using social media as outlets for specific interests - I think that's where most of the positive experiences lie for me. That basically excludes Facebook. Since deactivating that I have felt some subtle stress lift off my shoulders - it's liberating not to worry about another "me" out in the world that I need to check is masking enough, normal enough, not too weird, not ignoring people, not posting too much, to little... etc. etc. I trust genuine friends will stay in touch through direct means and that's now a better gauge for me when it comes to sincere friendships. I miss the acquaintances on Facebook, but somehow, I doubt they've noticed I've vanished! Many know or could find another way to contact me if they cared, but haven't. It has been hard to realise how small my genuine friendship circle is, but it confirmed what I felt underneath.

    I love the graphic you shared - I definitely don't always know who or what I am. I change and don't want to be tied to an artificial profile, either. Even choosing my username and profile photo on here was difficult enough. I'm more than those, and also not those at all. Yet I understand names and identities are useful!

  • Wow that was a long post from me! Open mouth Wasn't planning on that! 

  • More and more of the people I know have woken up to the toxic nature of social media. So many are leaving. Although, these companies make it more and more difficult for you to leave because they have got their digital hooks into every aspect of your life.

    As Plastic mentioned above, it is basically an amplifier for people to brag and boast about the redacted version of their lives they want you to see, and very few are actually giving a realistic depiction of their actual lives. You only get to see the edited highlights. 

    And this whole business of like/dislike is sinister.