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Writing and the Looking Glass Self

It’s interesting, isn’t it? Having metrics to determine how people view you? The “Looking Glass Self” theory tells us that our concept of who we are is created by a series of interactions with others and their reactions to us. So, that 7th grade snot interacted with you, and it helped create a basis of, joking or not, thinking of yourself as “gross” or some approximation of that word. I don’t know you, but you seem like an alright person and she seems like a doink. Because, see, we can’t trust reactions to us.

Medium has really mind-fucked me when it comes to my looking glass self. I’ve never in my life had a job as a humor writer, or thought of myself as particularly funny in the written word, but my humor pieces on Medium are the only standouts, according to numbers. It disheartens me. I want my writing to change something or raise awareness of something. But when I write something I care about… hoooo brother, talk about going over like a lead zeppelin.

So here’s the question, DCI Woodz. Am I a humor writer or is Medium just one summative interaction that’s giving me a false reflection? Are your popular pieces an accurate reflection of what people want you to write, or not? Maybe chasing the green-heart dragon will help you suss it out. Maybe it’s not a bad thing to be driven by metrics, at least in part. Maybe it helps us know ourselves better so we know how to communicate better about the things that matter to us?

I don’t know. But you should stay.

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