Obviously there are similarities. Apparently those people on television want the world to see what is happening in their lives. Given the fact that those lives are hardly ever worth watching, exhibitionism certainly is the word here. Not even a flasher in the park is as desperate for attention as someone who volunteers to be locked away in a house with camera surveillance 24/7. Several people who seem to have missed out on instant fame that way seem to have chosen the internet, in this case LiveJournal, to make up for that fact.
I remember people faking their own death, somebody starting a cyber relation with several others through his journal and people pretending to be someone famous. In the same category communities where people expose body parts I rather not see are plenty. And what about the rating communities: Am I popular enough?
There is a huge difference though: The director. On reality TV someone else decides how you will appear for the world to see. On the internet you are your own director. You decide who you want to be. If you like to be a Casanova, while IRL you only sit behind your computer and avoid any human contact, the web will give you this unique opportunity. If you use a beautiful girl as your icon, someone will think that is you. Who cares?
So while on television we see the truth the director wants to sell us, on the internet everybody can create their own world. There has to be a certain exhibitionist tendency inside us that drives us to maintain a LJ, next to that I sincerely believe that 90% of the people here on LJ are genuine. If that’s not the case, I’d rather not even know it.
Speaking for myself I can tell that there is some vanity in the fact that I know people read my scriblings. Every once I a while I even venture some personal stuff, though I leave that to ‘friends only’ or even a selection of that group. And no, I doubt if there are many people who really know me through the internet. So even if you call me an exhibitionist, that has probably nothing to do with the fact that you read it here.
(You asked for it, a series I started to give anyone the opportunity to tell me what to write. You want to tell me as well: leave a comment or mail me (email in user info). This was part 6, no requests waiting at the moment.)