I’ve had the luxury of recently spending some time in a relatively small country town. My brother-in-law and his family have been very kind to host my family and I for a few days in their gorgeous home overlooking a country vista. The children have loved spending their days playing with the dog, roughing up the chooks, collecting eggs and getting water-logged in the pool!
My hosts have lived in this area for quite some years, and, by all accounts, know and are known by many in town.
The massive proliferation of social media has seen the globalisation of community, which essentially makes me think about the nature of ‘self’. The Onion satirises the perfect ‘facebook’ family, and it can be easy to get slightly envious of seeing others ‘picture perfect’ lives on social media.
I don’t think it is uncommon for an individual to have difference ‘personalities’ on social media. For me, I’m on Facebook, Instagram as well as this blog. On each of these, I’m slightly different. My instagram is stacked with photos of my beautiful children, things I love and things I’ve drunk. My facebook jots random thoughts and chronicles random Friday night happenings. My blog is where I put to words some of my deeper musings in life. I am the same, but slightly different.
I suspect it could be quite easy for one to either project a completely different ‘self’ online, or even fabricate their existence all together on social medial.
Getting back to this country town, I was amazed to see how close my brother-in-laws social circles were. He played football with guys he worked with, traded with, drunk with. The wives met together, chatted together, met at the school together. I compare this to my life in the city. I work in town. My church friends will rarely come across my social friends. My work colleagues will never come across either of those circles.
Essentially, I could be the same or completely different in these different circles, without any major ramifications or affect on each other, due to the geographical and social distance between the groups. This is compared to my brother-in-law, who’s circles are all very closely linked. If you have a bad reputation in one circle, it’s going to very quickly flow into all other circles, due to the close geographical proximity.
What I’m interested in knowing is if people find their ‘selves’ more congruent when their circles or communities are more closely linked geographically.
Tell me – do you differ (or not differ) in your projection of ‘self’, depending on the community you are in?