You can talk to anyone, at any time, about anything. You can be anything you want to be and it is the most freeing you will ever feel. No I’m not talking about October 31st where you get to play dress up for 1 night out of the year. I’m talking about Twitter where a new evolution of reinventing yourself has evolved. A place where people go to “play” out their fantasies or live out a better life if only for just a few hours.
How did this social media evolve into a place that started as a way for people to report on small daily happenings, shout out quirky comments, or even upload a few photographs into a place where role play has almost taken over and you begin to question if the person you are talking to is even really who they say they are?
It made me want to delve deeper into this world and really try on the hat of an RP’r to see just what was going on behind the scenes. Without giving away anything about what I do or who I am, this is what I discovered.
Creating a persona was scary, yet fun all rolled into one. I became part of an established group and was immediately thrown into a place where fans started following me. I was in awe of the enormous responsibility I felt. The responsibility alone of keeping up the quality of the written word and the quality of the characters behind the stories we were role playing was a weight I felt immediately. Placed there solely due to the fact that we were playing out characters written by one of my favorite authors.
I also needed to keep followers entertained when we weren’t doing main storylines, which was a main focus for me. I was not a main character in the plot. If I wanted to build a fan base, I would have to build it based on my creativity alone. I had no problem pulling ideas out of my….head, and slowly, but steadily my fan base has grown.
Starting off right out of the gates, just having the name attached to my account, it was somewhat like having instant star status. Like Orlando Bloom putting on his Legolas outfit. Orlando is a man and Legolas is the character, I was suddenly wearing the Legolas costume.
Lines began to blur and realities began fade. I found myself wondering if it was me or the character speaking. Who was really running the show, the character or the real me?
Immersing within the persona of the character, I created relationships with people who really believed I was this person. That was like living in another world, or alternate reality.
On some level it was freeing, on another I wished I could have been honest and truthful with the people I was talking to on the other end. Tell them that “Yes, I am an entirely other person, but don’t hate me because I’m not a bad person.” Yeah, that would go down well.
The thing is, that freeing feeling I had in the beginning when I put on the “Legolas costume”, started to close in on me. I began to wonder if playing a character was really worth the price for lying to people. I was living in a world of daily anxiety. Wondering if or when people might find out about my dual life. Both in my personal and in my fictional world. Living wild and free was beginning to take its toll.
I had two options; one-continue lying and keep up the ruse. Two-confess and hope the people I’d built relationships with would still want to continue one with me after I explained I had been lying to them. Both options caused me even more anxiety.
I wish I had the perfect answer for those seeking one in this crazy world that has become a huge part of Twitter. The only advice I can offer is be true to your heart. It is what is on the inside of people that is important.
As for myself, people who were always true to you, no matter if you decided to wear pointy ears and tights, will be true no matter what. People who want to bail will jump ship no matter what happens. Why not find out who would masquerade with you instead of lurking in the shadows waiting to stab you in the back?