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Jeruba's avatar

Your fluther persona has just met a ravening monster in the 49th dungeon and been devoured. What will you say as a memorial to your late e-self before you take up a new fluther identity?

Asked by Jeruba (46980points) April 5th, 2011

This is just hypothetical, of course. I think I’d say something like this:

I really enjoyed being Jeruba, a virtual character who is in many respects myself, and I’m sorry she’s gone. I liked being treated with respect and being consulted as an expert from time to time, and I loved the company of numerous virtual friends.

But in some ways it’ll be a relief. Being Jeruba was burdensome at times because I unintentionally set some standards and limits that were hard to live up to. When I’m reincarnated under another name and avatar, I think I’ll choose a persona that’s a little more laid back and not quite so fussy about what she says to anyone.

I don’t believe that anyone can fully inhabit an online persona, if for no other reason than that it exists in different dimensions from real life and therefore is missing some crucial aspects of a flesh-and-blood being, as well as being selective and controlled in ways that no real person is. So no matter how genuine we are in what we say and what we show of ourselves here, our online presence is a persona apart from our real selves. That’s what I think, at any rate.

I’m not retiring Jeruba at present, but the thought has obviously crossed my mind.

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14 Answers

Joker94's avatar

Farewell, dear Joker94! You served well, and I feel as though you’ve used Fluther as more than the outlet for spewing your teen angst the more you have used it! I hope your next reincarnation will serve even better, and you will hit the ground running when you come back.

You’ve been like me in pretty much every way, and maybe your next reincarnation will have even less humility and spill the beans about pretty much everything you see fit.

It is pitch dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

downtide's avatar

“I’ll be back.”

But I just wanted to add a comment to this piece you said:
“I don’t believe that anyone can fully inhabit an online persona, if for no other reason than that it exists in different dimensions from real life and therefore is missing some crucial aspects of a flesh-and-blood being, as well as being selective and controlled in ways that no real person is. So no matter how genuine we are in what we say and what we show of ourselves here, our online presence is a persona apart from our real selves.”

I don’t entirely agree. I think it’s possible (even likely) that other people do not see the whole of me when they see my “online persona”, but I do not believe that my online persona is actually any different from my offline one. You may not be able to see what I look like, my mannerisms, the tone of my voice and so on, but I do not put on a mask or adopt a different personality online than I do in the real world. Those crucial flesh-and-blood aspects are not missing, they’re just less visible to others.

If I were to leave Fluther and come back with a differnt account, you would find no difference at all between my old account and my new one. I don’t think I’m even capable of being any different from the way I am. So there doesn’t seem to be any point to me doing so, really.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@downtide-“If I were to leave Fluther and come back with a differnt account, you would find no difference at all between my old account and my new one. I don’t think I’m even capable of being any different from the way I am. So there doesn’t seem to be any point to me doing so, really”

Perfect answer! :)

Jeruba's avatar

@downtide, interesting answer. And I don’t mind that we differ in our opinions. But the point of my question is not what it would be like coming back under a different account. It’s about what we might think to say as an obituary for our present account if we were to preside over its termination.

WasCy's avatar

“Been there; done that. Will probably do it again sooner or later.”

I absolutely loved that you added the disclaimer that this is ”just hypothetical, of course.” I was in the way of being afraid to sleep tonight for fear of a dragon in the 49th dungeon. I’ll rest more easily now.

jerv's avatar

“Crunch all you want, I’ll make more!”

Following that, I would activate one of my clones, find the corpse of the monster you choked to death after devouring the former-me, and loot the body :D

Seriously though, my Fluther persona is basically my normal self with a slight boost in self-censorship (typing beats speaking as it not only gives one more time to pick their words, but they can be deleted without anybody ever having a chance to get offended) so it would actually be pointless for me to ditch the Lurve just to return and be the same old asshole I was before.

Kardamom's avatar

Sorry you got “squashed” by the monster. Maybe I will come back as a delicate strawberry or a wet dog’s nose or maybe a pinecone. Those are things that I like. I think my answers would be about the same as they are now, because I always say what I mean. I’m not one of those types who can be the devil’s advocate or throw out stuff just to get a response. Plus you know I’m never gonna stop talking about Alan Rickman, The Nanny, or cheese or posting a lot of links, especially photos of Scotsman in kilts. Just isn’t gonna happen.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Here lies @SavoirFaire, the best imitation of myself.

Cruiser's avatar

I too have felt I needed a change…even tried it recently where I felt I needed to be a more tolerant and calm Cruiser. How about we trade?? ;)

Jeruba's avatar

Still looking here for imaginary obituaries of your current persona—a kind of third-party reflection on how you currently appear, as if seeing your flutherself from the outside—rather than a discussion of replacing the old identity with a new one.

@Joker94 got it.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jeruba You asked for what we would say as a memorial, not for a third-party obituary. I would say exactly what I wrote.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes, you’re right, @SavoirFaire, and I did give an example. Yours was on the mark, though brief.

The distinction I’m making is that I’m interested in a kind of ex post facto take on the (hypothetically) departed persona, as opposed to thoughts about reincarnation. All my restatements of intent are meant to add up to the same thing: that is, how do you see your persona as if from the outside, and how would you feel if it were gone?

I guess I confused the issue by alluding to a new identity, when what I was really after there was just hypothesizing an optional retirement and excluding the whole question of involuntary banishment.

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