For the most part this place is just a bunch of like minded people with similar social interests hanging out and goofing off, and that's why it's fun. But it also worries me that some things here are things I would normally only talk about with friends, I mean it gets pretty vulgar and raunchy, but it's all in good fun.
But if this were the real world I wouldn't say all those things in public, so it sort of concerns me that there is this public record of it.
In "real" life, we speak, the words are said, they fly away to exist only in memory.
On the Internet, we speak, the words are said -- and search engines ensure that they endure forever (or at least as long as the core software medium survives). Our passing moods survive in atemporal time as never before. Years later, a random search may run across an early teenaged rant, and the words will seem as immediate as if they had just been written a few minutes before. More: the nature of search 'bots is such that they make links we might think we have escaped. Just a few hours earlier, I quickly notified a friend (who is trying to keep "real" life separate from on-line life), when one of my searches pulled up both real name and board context on the very first page.
For myself, I have never said anything on the Internet that I do not say in "real" life (and perhaps this has somewhat to do with that bridge aluded to in When faces can be kept separate -- which, interestingly, is not the same as those around you actually seeing you for who you are and not for their expectations and preconceptions of you). Should the "searchable me" ever come into "real" world existence, nothing would change of me. (I do try to protect identity in the other direction though, for reasons specified in a different thread.)
Yet the awareness of a secondary existence, an echo which one had never perhaps suspected existed, changes how we see ourselves. Previously that echo was nearly unique to writers, media people, and public personages, with only the occasional hints of atemporal existence in the vast majority of lives (say, when the parents pull out the traditional baby pictures when one brings home one's first date).
Now, however, we all have a bilevel existence: the changing now of our self-awareness, and the changeless now of records. How is this changing our willingness to interact? the way we see ourselves?