This is a question I’ve pondered as of late. I mean, in truth, I never was much of a joiner, guardedly independent, a “go my own way” sort of guy. I’m not here to socialize or meet people via the chat rooms and such (it involves divulging too much information for my comfort), though if I were younger and single I probably would. So 3000 posts and nearly five years later I find myself examining how it is that this forum has become of importance to me. We all have various reasons we are here (discussed in other threads), but I think for me and perhaps for many of us the reasons are primarily twofold: one, (loath that I am to admit to it) is the sense of belonging; and two, it has become another state of being. We are who we are. However exactly how we project that differs by various degrees in different settings. Surely most of us aren’t exactly the same at work, for example, as we are at home, or perhaps among the guys/girls at a game or a club, or perhaps with our parents or family members around; because we all alter our personas, by minimal degrees, to fit our surroundings. The entities we are online go through that same kind of subliminal variation. We project ourselves our feelings and our thoughts through typed words on a screen, sometimes sharing our innermost feelings, and in so doing we interact with other personas, some with whom we agree, and some with whom we don’t. It is a form of sharing oneself while projecting one’s presence into the fold, and that interaction in turn crafts our online identity. Of course online we can try to project an entity totally different from our real selves. But something like that can only be short lived. I believe that in time, be it a thousand or three thousand posts, the real you inevitably shows, by the sum of what you say, by what ideas and principles you defend, and by what opinions you hold. And in time, putting that out there (and holding true to it) takes on an importance all its own. In effect, this becomes an extension of one’s own world, a projection of one’s identity; your entity, in script. .........Nahhhhh. All bullshit.