I have a very simple post today, as I have been thinking about the different reasons that people use social media, like Facebook, Twitter and others. Clearly, some people are more “social” on these networks, where others have more business-oriented goals for their norm. However, as we all “be ourselves” on these systems, I wonder who we are telling other that we are.
The point for me is to learn more about myself. Anyone reading this can glean his or her own lesson. That said; I think there are two general categories of social broadcasting into which people fall. There are those who tell others what they want them to see, and there are those who reveal themselves uncensored. The truth is we all probably do a certain mix of each, but mostly likely we gravitate to one side or the other.
Either way, I find it interesting the consistency of the theme of “who you are” that is sent to one’s friends and truly the rest of the world. This is likely how we are in public, business meetings, around the dinner table, etc. The difference is it is often impracticable to take inventory of one’s own image and behavior in real life, as it is difficult to observe oneself outside of personal perspective. However, with social media, there is a record of what we’ve said and posted.
It would be intriguing to use the “Facebook Download” features to pull the history of everything every posted and then truly inventory it. Place each status in either an optimist/pessimist category, or in theme groups like joking around, what I’m doing, complaining or news events.
If presenting an image for business or networking, this may not apply because that is more strategic than personal; however, there are those who pretending to be something they are not and strategize about their personal image in hopes the world will like “that person” rather than who they really are.
This is not me as I have a bit more tell-it-like-it-is attitude, but if it were, I would have to question what I was hiding and why I was afraid of being myself. On the flip side, the inventory of “who I tell people I am” is probably a more accurate reflection of the true me. From this view, I will look at this to determine more about who I really am.
Either way, there are lessons we can learn about who we are, whether that person really is who we want to be, then take steps to maintain or change accordingly. It’s a challenge; one few ever take. But to paraphrase Socrates, I question whether the unexamined life is worth living.