In my article Virtual RelationShaping we discussed how we deal with each other in the real and the virtual.
Over the weekend we revisited some of the arguments in that article in my Fining Sacramento Kings Bad Taste piece where I said this in a comment:
I think when behavior is tamped down in public it gives rise to dirtier and nastier exploitations in private. One could make an argument that the public expression of a distasteful thought needs the public correction of the majority in order for perception and a frame of reference to be constructed around it for a continued socialized series of checks and balances.
When the nasty is hidden and shared only with like-minded people, terrible things happen because the light of reason is never shined upon the dark wonderings. I think we have all been numbed down by too much pressure on the perception of being wrong and wronging the whole of society in public. Making a public mistake should be fine as long as a remedy is offered and if no apology is offered then public shunning is the next appropriate step.
Transparency and evenhandedness in all situations is vital for an ongoing public discourse that may offend, that may be in bad taste, but should never be shut down because it threatens the bottom line or the constant flow of dollars between the entertained and the entertainer.
My question today is about the false and the real when it comes to your
non-virtual Public Face and Private Persona interactions.
Are you the same person at home you are in public?
Do you change your face with protective masks throughout the day? If
yes, when and how does that change happen and if not, why not?
I was raised with the common Midwestern mindset that at home you “let
loose” and exposed pieces of the real you that should never be
witnessed by those outside the family — slovenly, irritable,
non-curious — while in public you were stoic and staid — always
gracious and proper and non-clever.
My mother was raised in a small town and an entire Sunday family outing
could be ruined if others in town thought less of them while they were
“performing” by merely interacting with the other members of the
village: “Here comes Sadie!” became the whispered family battle cry
with inherent orders to stand up straight, lick your lips and make sure
the part in your hair was straight.
If Sadie thought less of you,
everyone in town thought less of you. If you pleased Sadie with a smile
then your reputation was safe until the next public encounter.
As I grew into my own person, I rejected that duality of persona as
being impossible, two-faced and, frankly, obnoxious because more value
was placed on what you pretended to be in front of others in public
instead of who you really were with your family at home.
It was a struggle to “become my own man” by rejecting that amoral and
confusing behavior between the public and private self — but I
overcame the restrictions of my childhood slowly and with caution —
and I now believe I am predictable in all being: The person you meet on
the street is the same person you get at home.
The secret to getting
there was to simply be a good person at home first.
I am no longer confusing to myself or to others I love by switching
personas behind closed doors. Some now may not like the “always me” but
that’s okay because they are making a decision based on honesty, a
unified person and a genuine effort to always remain real and unabashed.