The Evolution of An Online Persona: Or a Softer, Gentler Winelibrarian

I have been thinking of writing this post for some time now, but forcing myself to sit down and write this has been a hard thing to do. You see, I am a drastically different person today than I was two years ago. And an even more drastically different person than I was three, four, or five years ago and my metamorphosis over the last few years is all right there in my online identity really; mainly in my Twitter account @winelibrarian.

It’s hard to write this because it would be easy to blame people for some of the things that happened to me or name names of people who lied about me and did not have my best interests at heart in our relationships. It would be easy to do a lot of that and spill a lot of sordid details in a blog post, but where would that get me? People that hate me now for who they knew two or three years ago and stalk me to this day will continue to do so no matter what I write, say, do, or become. That’s their choice. Additionally, it would be easy to blame my ex and detail his problems and blame them for why things went wrong and why that lead me to create a Twitter account and act like an ass sometimes. But, he doesn’t deserve that. There’s enough blame to go around, I am sure. Bygones.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend whom I met on Twitter and know also now in “real life” said, “You guys are both totally different people than when I first started following you,” to me and @sarainthestacks. That’s an understatement. Anyway, that comment is what made me think that maybe I should, you know, blog my feels about this change.

When I first created @winelibrarian at ALA in 2010, I did it to be snarky and funny and totally bitchy. Boy, did I succeed. Before long I had *hundreds* of followers. I was funny. This was fun. It was the perfect life distraction. My job at the time was super stressful and OMG I hated some of my coworkers, but I had Twitter. And I had great friends on Twitter (mostly), who would not judge me and would play Twitter with me all day at work if I wanted to. Then, something else happened on Twitter. You see, I was fairly anonymous back in the day and something about being an anonymous, sexy librarian got me attention from men. This was something I was totally not used to.

Along the way, Bitchy (@sarainthestacks) and I became really good friends. We had some others too, but this is my story, so I am leaving them out. Sara and I realized that we had A LOT in common. We first talked on the phone in 2010 when her then husband had to be hospitalized. A few months later, I went to Cleveland, from Texas, to visit! As we talked, we realized we were both really unhappy. And like moths to a flame, we were drawn to other unhappy people. Together, we talked, and bitched, and complained, and drank (a lot), and raged about everything.

Boy, that was healthy.

Then, there were the suggestive avatars that we would use (yes, some of them really were quite sexy). The Wednesday bra shots. We even had the matchy-matchy ones. She and I both loved the attention because, well, we weren’t getting any from our significant others, why not let strangers tell us we were beautiful and hot? So, there we were, hot, lonely bitches, complaining about everything all day on the Internet. By then, there were thousands of followers, lots of haters, and too much attention.

So, what happened?

One day, we decided to change our lives, our attitudes, and be happy. Yep, it was that easy.

Neither of us are in relationships with the people we were back then. Neither of us are in the same friend or acquaintance circles that let us become such negative people. Both of us are really happy with our lives.

In the process of coming to this major change in attitude (and all of the life changes I’ve gone through), I stopped needing the adoration, attention, or anything else from the Internet. I am pretty freaking amazing. I know that and the people who are in my life now know that and tell me that every now and then :) . What I did, starting in 2012, was reveal more of myself through my Twitter and make @winelibrarian into actual me, Michelle, instead of the anonymous librarian sex kitten she once was. Do I really love shoes and stockings and knee socks like I always acted I did? WELL, YES. Some of that was actually me in there. I saw the revelation and changing of my Twitter persona to be somewhat of a taking back my Twitter and making it something I liked again. The first thing I did was show my actual face, mostly so that people could see that I really am quite adorable. (And so that my haters could suck it.) After I moved to Cleveland, I put my location on there too. Another reason I chose to reveal more of myself is because people were threatening to reveal my information or tell my boss. I will never forget when I told my old boss about my Twitter and she said, “that’s nice. why would anyone think I would care.” I don’t know why I thought people would care, but oh well. I don’t reveal the exact college where I work, though a lot of my followers know, because I do consider my account to be a personal account where I sometimes talk about professional stuff, but never where I represent my employer. I mean, I tweet as much about college football and Mad Men as I do libraries (or more, really).

I will still never Tweet about the things most personal and dear to me and I’ve made that choice because 1) the Internet is creepy sometimes and 2) somethings really should be kept to oneself.

I often wonder why anyone still follows me on Twitter. I think I’m pretty boring and definitely not as exciting as I once was when the Internet knew there would be a sexy new Wednesday avi with a bra and pearls. I guess some people must still think I am interesting. I hope it’s not too disappointing to people that I am just a normal woman who is not really that sexy, completely clumsy, and sometimes really fragile.  I lose interest in Twitter a lot because most of the time now I want to just tweet “OH MY GOD, I AM SO HAPPY. WHY ARE THESE GOOD THINGS HAPPENING TO ME?” but I go back to just thinking that I will keep most of my mushy, happy thoughts to myself. I have almost tweeted about magical kisses and really, really liking someone, but that’s none of anyone’s business either ;) So, yeah, I will stick to the football tweets.

What I told my friend a couple of weeks ago after his remark on how much I’ve changed was, “Well, yes, I was a really sad and lonely woman. Amazing how different things are when you are happy.” Or something like that. We had had a lot beers.

In the end, three years after we met on Twitter because I was jealous that her Twitter name was bitchylibrarian and *I* wanted to be The Bitchylibrarian, I owe so much to my best friend @sarainthestacks. Without her patiently listening to me, always, and guiding me through some agonizing decisions, I might still be the undersexed, exhibitionist all over the Twitter. So, I guess you have her to blame. LOL. In seriousness, I thank her for her unwavering friendship and guidance and I am happy that we are both truly happy. And I will always find it funny that while we found this amazing, wonderful friendship in each other, both of our exes blame the other one for the demise of our marriages. Ha!

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2 Responses to “The Evolution of An Online Persona: Or a Softer, Gentler Winelibrarian”

  1. Lou Lange says:

    You two have really changed and evolved – and it has been a great thing to see. You wear your hearts on your sleeves but you hold just that little bit back so that you don’t “tip your hand” as to who you are. It has been great to see.
    I enjoy the banter the two of you have with each other and with those of us that follow you. It’s part of being friends and how your friendship has evolved.
    Thank both of you for being friends (even though we have not met). If you ever come East, there are drinks with your names on them on me.