Lazy Luddite Log

30.4.12

Web Face

Both facade and facet are words that in origin relate to the word "face". I find it fitting then that I use both to refer to personality and how we present who we are to the world. A facade is the most public of however many layers our personality has. However the problem with that concept is that many will think that the facade is pure fabrication rather than an aspect of a more complex truth. As a result I find talking of facets useful - many different sides to who we are that come to the fore in different settings or circumstances.

I have a shopping me and a work me and a friend me and a family me. In fact I have different behaviours for different sets of friends - the closer I am the more layers are exposed. However the longer I have known them the more some older self-perceptions are preserved and reflected in my conduct. And there is now another aspect of our selves that I think we are still coming to terms with - our Internet selves.

I remember in school we were given a project of putting together some sort of poster telling the world who we were. In a sense it was like a resume but personal rather than professional. It was an interesting exercise in self-perception and selection of what is worth telling the world. And that is what we do with online profiles and with all the many things we commit to writing online.

Some present information more deliberately than others. I notice for instance some will list every tiny interest they have. I however tend to select a handful that I feel are important and representative and present a balanced picture. I possibly also do this because I have a sense that my 'public' can only take in so much info and that I am catering to that. Suddenly I have an audience and I am anticipating how they think.

I think carefully on what profile pictures of me look good and what sort of image they present. And then I try to empathise by looking at the images other present and ponder what that tells me of how they perceive themselves. It is a fun game to play. I wonder if it plays too much into my hands however. I tend to be overly conscious in what I do and this media may just accentuate that tendency. I can become too focused on public image - a ridiculous notion for a private citizen.

It can be another way however. I find at times this blog is very useful as a way of clarifying and expressing some very personal things in a frank way. Saying very frank things to the world can be rather cathartic. Still there are always some filters engaged and I enjoy the act of filtering. This post for instance says nothing much at all. There will be other times for more candid posts. For now just look at my pretentious mugshot!

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