A few years ago someone said that I had no way of knowing that Riverbend was a real person - that she could be lying about her identity.
This same person also suggested that I could not authenticate tommigoodwin who had been keeping a blog Senitel 47.
At the time I was fed up to be doubted like this - to have it suggested that Iwas being duped. But in retrospect I see this was an understandable suspivcion from someone who did not spend much time online - and it made me work out how Iknew that these bloggers were not 'fake' - whatever that might mean.
I realised that I had undergone a subconscious checking prodecure - just as I might in other areas of my life - just as when I meet someone new face top face - . In face to face situations I am not naturally suspicious of people but I guess obver time you learn how to pick up inconsistencies and can then spot someone who does not seem quite who they say they are - the person they say they are is not the same as you see enacted. Goffman writes about this as 'telling' signs - you can articulate one thing but your behaviour tells another.
What I find interesting is the way we want always to move beyond the text onscreen, back out to the lived life beyond the virtual world. When I was studying English Lit many years ago, I was atold always to keep to the text. To analyse just the text and not worry about the author's life. This is now an unfashionable approach I believe - I think now that in English Lit they learn that context of the writer is part of the meaning of the text.
And so too I suppose onscreen. We have to take into account the context of the writer.
Thus we tell people in our profiles where we live and who we are . People read this stuff and are angered when it is not true.
Just thinking aloud today - for once in months.