Today I am an online nobody.

I currently have 23 “followers,” I “follow” 59 tweeters (would it be sacrilege to call us “twits?”), and I have put out 66 tweets (here, I prefer the term “twitters” for its visceral quality).  In contrast, my current online guru, Alexis Neely, has racked up 27,894 followers, follows 1,146, and has been rather prolific and profound in her 18,186 tweets.  Anyone else notice that my Twitter ratio is all messed up?

On Facebook, I have 194 “friends,” which I believe to be “below average” in comparison to other Facebookers, and even that number is difficult for me to maintain.  For some reason beyond my understanding, I seem to have a high attrition rate on Facebook!  Now compare my numbers to those of one of my gurus on that site; Simon Jacobson, who is also prolific and profound in his messages of a Meaningful Life, maintains TWO FACEBOOK PROFILES, because he reached his maximum number of 5,000 friends on one profile page and had to open another profile page in order to accommodate his overflow.

Yes, as you can see, I am definitely suffering from a serious case of profile envy.

I will even admit to being afflicted with the oft-misdiagnosed Online Inferiority Complex (OIC).  I will absolutely not allow this, though, to devolve into a full-blown Online Identity Crisis (again with the OIC acronym? Oy).  Symptoms of OIC include negative “scripts,” sour grapes, self-doubt, self-blame, minimization of others, dissociation, false ego, that seething jealous feeling in certain body parts, bloating, insecurity, irritability, thoughts of how easy it is for others and not you, diminished vision, other idiosyncratic ways one suppresses, represses, and dysfunctionally handles negative feelings… and, left unaddressed, online death.

You know how on those pharmaceutical ads on tv, the description of the “benefits” of the drug being pushed takes about the first 10 seconds of the ad, and the remaining 2/3 or so of the ad talks about the terrible side-effects, and ends with strongly advising you, upon risk of death, that if you experience these negative side-effects, you must immediately stop the drug and see your doctor?  With OIC (either one), the side effects actually serve a positive purpose, are to be embraced and welcomed, and are best utilized as a cue to CONTINUE IN THE PROCESS of building your online identity.

To clarify: if while going through the process of creating an online identity, thoughts come to your mind that introduce negative side-effects like the ones listed above, the prescription is to continue “taking the pill” of creating your identity – both in the “Real Me” and online terms.  Practically speaking, use the OIC side-effects to develop a mindfulness of what you say to yourself when you are holding yourself back.  I like to “look at” the thoughts, feel them, see what really applies to me and what I can improve on… and then I need to move forward with my plan.

Here goes…

Today I am an online nobody.

No… scratch that!!!

1)  Today I have a certain number of followers and friends on my online communities, and I am going to change that.  I am going to try to connect to people in a variety of ways – one of which will be to let you, the reader of this blog, see the “Real Me;”

2)  I realize that I will connect with some people and not others.  I am going to risk being seen by others as stupid, inferior, fraudulent (all my negative “scripts,” by the way), yet continue putting my expressions out there in as authentic a way as possible;

3)  I am going to persevere until I succeed.  I’m not sure what that will look like right now, but I will not give in to an “I can’t do it” mentality;

4)  I’m going to remain open to feedback and constructive criticism.  I am new to this process, and I am going to allow myself to learn as I go.  I will not expect perfection but, rather, an acceptance of my individual way of going through the journey.

Today I am an online somebody, with an as-of-yet unrevealed identity and, as a result, unlimited online possibility!

Moving toward Day 3…