On Schizophrenic Social Identities

The Facebook Man. Facebook is celebrating its ...

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I would like to know what people think when they look at someone’s Facebook account. I know that I make judgements based on our mutual friends, interests, their job, their relationship status, etc. I do this because sometimes, for me, this is my first impression of them.

Remember the days when a first impression meant actually meeting someone? The most innovative way to make a first impression then, was to send an e-mail or have a telephone conversation with them. Now, things are incredibly different. Sometimes it feels like I have multiple personalities based on the social network I am dealing with at that very moment. Let me explain…

My Facebook account showcases the closest, non-professional identity that I have. My friends list is populated with people I have actually met at some point throughout my journey. College students that I have worked with on a project, elementary school buddies that I haven’t seen in years. People from high school that I probably couldn’t spend five minutes with. Best friends from a previous life, those in the present, and maybe even future BFF’s. On Facebook I have family members, ex-coworkers, ex-boyfriends, and people that I generally care about on a personal level. This is my personal network.

My Facebook statuses reflect the people that I am talking to, so they can keep up -to-date on my life. They can look at pictures, write a message on my wall, send me a message, or ‘like’ something that I am doing. All of these things matter to me. This Marissa is a social butterfly with lots of real-world friends – and lots of pictures to prove it.

As a deviation of my Facebook personal life, I also have a Facebook professional life. This exists for mainly advertising (since Facebook doesn’t allow you to run multiple campaigns, on multiple credit cards, all on one account). I also use this account to talk to our customers, and to keep them distanced from my personal life. At the time that I created that account, I had come to the conclusion that customers wouldn’t be interested in the personal life of said companies employees. There are no status updates, no likes, no photos, no friends. This woman, is a loser.

Then, there’s Twitter. Twitter is different for me. I would never post something on Twitter that I would share on Facebook, because these audiences are different. I have dedicated my “personal” account on Twitter to networking. This is the only way my “social superheroes” are accessible. I will send them numerous @ messages, holding my breath for a reply. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.

I started this Twitter account as an experiment. In March (yes four months ago) I decided that I would see how savvy I could be with a personal Twitter account. In the last four months, I have racked up over 3400 tweets, 500 followers, and found over 700 mildly interesting people to follow. I didn’t ever expect that I would fall head over heels in love with this Twitter thing, and see the real value that I can gain from it. This person is dedicated to her craft, and dying to connect with these new world celebrities. She has a 61 Klout score, and is considered second-to-none on the content that she publishes. Dedicated, she is dedicated.

Then, there is Marissa as a “contributor” to multiple corporate Twitter accounts. She is a poker. She likes to drive conversation with the customers that would turn a blind eye otherwise. The most unexpected love came out of this contribution. I discovered how passionate people can be about things like photography, videography, graphics, and the connection they have with a brand. Sure, sometimes they are disappointed, angry, vocal. But this is how I learn who these people are. They have a lot of beautiful things to say, and they make my job what it is.

This Marissa, she is in constant awe. She is a mediator, a poker, she wants to be the voice of the customer, and make sure she is the reason that they are heard and noticed.

Finally, there is this Marissa. The ninja, the blogger. The reason why this is yet another personality to add to the list is because this is a combination of all of the above mentioned personalities. The friendly, social, dedicated, and most importantly, pulled together. This is the real me because this is the place that I can reflect on how all these social identities make me a better, stronger, wiser, and more understanding person than I ever was before. It’s a strange paradox, that being schizophrenic… has actually given me the grounds to stand on to be a better person. A better person with one shining personality that is made up of a few crazy ones.



  1. William Johnson · June 18, 2011

    Loved this post — the content, and your writing. There is a unique fluid-ness and voice in it. I feel like I could recognize your writing anywhere. Anyways, great post. Thanks

    • marissatheninja · June 20, 2011

      Thanks for the feedback William, it’s really appreciated. I’m hoping I don’t run out of things to blog about 🙂

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