Thursday, 7 July 2011

Public personas

What masks do you wear? Where, and with whom, are you truly yourself?
If that is while I'm alone, then the 'real' me seems to be in 'sleep' mode - in low-power mode, but capable of restarting when needed.
I'm not an extrovert (surprised? Probably not), but I can spend a whole day interacting with people - workmates and customers. So, when I get home, I need downtime. It's tiring wearing that public mask for hours on end.
What about online? Here - on my blog - I share a mix of professional and personal info. On facebook, it's more personal, and family-related, really. Twitter - again a mix - but there I'm more like a stalker, than a participant. On linkedin, strictly professional. At all times I'm aware that people I know from my different worlds are reading and, possibly, passing on my public thoughts. So, although I share stories from my personal life online, I am careful how and what it is. Because you never know what happens. What goes online, stays online.
At work I can be a bit manic, a bit of a flirt (depending on the audience and situation, of course) - a performer as needed. Watching the surprise on my sister's face one night when I slipped into work mode made me realise that most of my family don't know that person -  that Annie. [We were at a fundraiser, and there to be customers, but our family were swamped, so I helped out].
So many people know that work-Annie. And/or the Storylines-Annie.
Within the family, through strength of numbers (and growing) I'm known mainly as Auntie Anne - or Auntie Annie.
It's rare to find someone who knows Anne. And I sometimes think she is vanishing. And I miss her. I don't really know her these days, if I ever did.
Then there's the online me - often masked as madhamster. Sometimes angry-mad. Sometimes crazy-mad. A bit forgetful. And mad-keen on family. Oh, and knitting.
All this made me think of Alice Cooper (lately I've been doing that a bit. Not sure why - it began before seeing him in Top Gear out-takes). In an interview I saw/read/heard years ago, he talked about his concerts. How he knew what he was doing. But when Alice came on stage - he had no idea. Another interview, he talked about his kids saying things like 'Dad. Dad. Alice is on tv.'
So, in his head, in his behaviour, and within his family, Alice is a very distinct separate persona. A mask - a performance - that he dons as needed.
So - where does this leave me? Trying to find myself within the masks and faces I wear for the sake of others.
Welcome. Welcome to my online mask - Ms Mad Hamster.
What mask are you wearing?

1 comment:

Thanks for visiting and sharing... please share your name, too...
I'm going to check the comments first - and it might take me a while to remember to look - sorry!