Posts Tagged ‘ multiple selves ’

Character catalogue

How well do our FB profile photos represent us? What can we learn about our selves by examining the pictures we choose to display? How might we archive our FB selves?

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I’ve tried to choose profile pics that relate to aspects of my current Fbook self. Now I can see how these might represent different developmental stages of my FB self journey. At the beginning, I chose a more recent photo that I felt would give a good “first impression” and one that was easily recognizable, straight to the point. Thinking about the upcoming struggle I foresaw with balancing my multiple selves and multiple networks, the first profile pic was the closest match to my “general” self. Other profiles pics convey nostalgic phases, connecting with people from the past, and then transform to images that represent the here and now, working and balancing roles of artist and academic.

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Remember when…

:: I remember saying that if I joined Facebook, I would not solicit Friends beyond the people I am currently in contact with. Well, whadya know… I am now searching for long-lost childhood friends. Just when I think I’ve searched for all of them, another one comes to mind. I find myself stopping whatever it is I am doing on my computer to go into Fbook to see if I can find them. After awhile it becomes a game of sorts, a scavenger hunt. What is the drive behind this quest? I don’t think it’s to start up new conversations necessarily….I say this because of my lack of ability to stay up to date with the people I hang out with on a regular basis. I was a bit obsessed for awhile, but the obsession has worn off now. I imagine this is why I haven’t been “searched out” for as much as I thought I would be…everyone else has been on FB for at least a couple of years, thus the novelty of the search has worn off. [Paranoid self: “Or maybe they could give a rat’s ass about me?”]

What is this developmental phase of FB?………………

< Is it curiosity? [What has become of them? Where are they living and what are they doing?] > Is it nostalgia? [Remember when we used to make igloos in the school yard? Remember that smurf-themed birthday party I had?] > Is it voyeurism? [Why don’t I just click on all their photos without friending them? If I’m not sending personal messages, why do I need to know what they are doing on a weekly basis?] > Is it ego-driven? [Why won’t they accept my Friend request?] >

:: I remember saying that if I joined Facebook, I would either be on it too much or never — another one of my all-or-nothing self identifying characteristics. Because Selfpost adheres to a project manifesto that requires me to bare all for others to view, I self-monitor how well I am following the guidelines. Because of the manifesto, I am reaching out to acquaintances and friends to an extent that I would normally not embrace. And I’m getting something back in return...a connection between past selves and present selves, the far and the recent past, a sense of warmth, and a sense of being part of something.

Heidi worlds collide

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What has made me so resistant to Fbook?

Well, that is the purpose of Selfpost | Postself, to investigate this question…

The main thing that has held me back each time I have almost joined is the challenge I foresee in balancing my different ‘worlds’. I’ve learned to handle balancing my different ‘selves,’ although it is an ongoing struggle at times, however, the fear of ‘worlds colliding’ has always been a difficult one for me. Perhaps the challenge is allowing others to experience my evolving multiple selves (artist, teacher, philosopher, writer, academic, student, friend, wife, sister, aunt, daughter, niece, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, neighbour, animal lover, activist, realist, dreamer….) for themselves, yet within a system that defines me merely as a “friend”. I guess one might equate this to the blending of personal and professional worlds…there’s that too.

Quoting the words of George Costanza, “a self divided against itself can not stand.” Or can it?

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