The Ubiquity of Personas
or How Do You Like (This Version of) My Brain?
We all have personas. I am presenting a persona of myself through this blog, but even though I will be pretty open about some things, it really is still a controlled and crafted image of myself that I am presenting to the world.
For the sake of clarity, let me specify the type of personas I am talking about here. There are, after all, several definitions. Here I’m interested in the Jungian persona which consists of a mask that one presents to the world. Personas are designed on one hand to create a definite impression upon others. On the other hand, they are designed to conceal the true nature of the individual.
It is important to realise that we all do have personas, and this isn’t a bad thing. There are certain things I would never share online about myself or my family. I am sure this applies to most other humans as well. Personas can be a necessary protection. But they can be fraught with danger.
In the age of social media we can very easily compare ourselves to others. At least, we can compare ourselves to what we perceive of others. A person’s collection of social feeds combine to create a composite picture of their lives. But it is only a picture, an impression, a persona. One can very easily create a persona that is a complete fiction. We’re all capable of this, and we all do it to a certain extent. Whether we do it deliberately to mislead, though, is another question (see Catfishing).
Now to reveal something about myself (in order to paste another fact onto the mask I am building in front of your eyes). I’ve found myself addicted to checking the number of Views and Reads I’m getting on Medium. I resurrected this #MusingsOfATechie blog a couple of weeks ago now, and I have the natural urge to see how many people are viewing (and reading) my words. The addiction to viewing these stats isn’t healthy, I know that. I’m sure, in time, I’ll work towards weaning myself away from it.
My stats are pretty skewed now anyway because I posted a few one-line comments on some popular posts and now I am getting high View and Read counts because of the number of people reading those posts. Perhaps this “dirtying” of my stats will help me work towards ignoring them altogether.
The best advice is just to keep on writing. Ignore the stats. Readers will come, or they won’t. It doesn’t matter. Just keep on writing. Daily blogging is not an end, it’s a means to an end. (What’s your end?)
So there you have a little slice of my brain served up again for your consideration. Please do say hi in the comments, or drop me an email, or tweet me. I’d really like your persona to meet my persona.