Looking back on 2015, I started by asking myself a simple question: what happens when a major part of our efforts goes to trying to control how people perceive us rather than simply… being ourselves?
How large is the gap between who we really are and how people perceive us? What is the real impact of being exposed to the judgement of dozens or even thousands of people who hardly know us, but can ‘like’ with one mouse click what we share and do online?
The danger of loosing our real self in technology
When managing our digital ‘public’ image becomes a primary concern in our daily lives, we tend to ignore developing our real person (which is by definition an inner exercise).
Of course, our digital ‘public’ image created online is much more exciting, and perfect than our real one. Unsurprising, because it’s just an artefact created by us.
But this is where things become discomforting: as the gap between real personality and perceived identity becomes wider, some people start confusing their digital self with their real self. Like when -as I have experienced in my own circle – people suddenly call you in distress when you disconnect from then on social media, asking ‘the we are not friends anymore’ (actually, they don’t call you mostly but send you an online message).
Let me call 2015 the year of the restless. Maybe because we lost something important underway: our real identity.
Finding ourselves back
My real self a rather boring person. I make quite some mistakes I’d prefer not to share. The number of social activities I’m involved in is limited, and the pictures I take are most often uninteresting.
For that reason, my personal ambition for 2016 is to stick to my current number of friends in Facebook: 0 (zero).
But I’m optimistic about the future. People around me realize something is wrong. I believe they will find a new way of dealing with technology and social media in particular. Technology should and will finally help any person to reconnect with his real, less perfect but so much more authentic, self.
I’m not expecting you, dear reader, to agree, like or share my message. Actually I don’t care at all what you think. Not because I don’t respect you, but because nothing can replace that feeling of satisfaction and freedom of being authentic and listening to your inner voice rather than to other’s superficial judgement.
I sincerely hope, dear reader, that 2016 will be the year of authenticity for you too, as well as for all the people I care about. I hope I will disagree and – who knows – even ‘unlike’ your statements more than once in 2016.