In these digital times, we can create our own online identities.
We become the perfect tweeter, entrepreneur, online date or blogger. The internet is the perfect platform to try out our perfect online persona.
I’m sure we all know a friend who went on a first date with someone they met online only to find their picture and/or profile was a flattering version of the person they met. There’s even a new term for it: “kittenfishing”.
The virtual reality of the internet offers a perceived distance and anonymity. This can be useful eg I am able to blog without giving away too much personal detail.
There is something that feels “safe” about online personas. We can be who we want to be. This illusion of security may be down to feeling anonymous or being free to choose who we want to be.
The online screen acts as a barrier. We are able to keep in contact with people on our terms.
We have less face to face interactions but still feel connected. For example, we are aware of what’s going on with friends and family by social media eg via Facebook. But is this a genuine representation of what’s really going on? Are the fabulously loved- up holiday pictures the true story of our relationship? Or the image we wish to share with the outside world?
Digital contact keeps us connected, but at what level? There is a tendency in today’s manic world to text more and talk less. To have short catch-up interactions instead of quality time together.
Working with clients, I have often found, to begin with, they may find it strange to talk about themselves. To have the focus entirely on them for 50 minutes. In our world of super speedy interactions, it takes a while to become comfortable with sitting still for 50 minutes and concentrating on oneself.
However, the uncomfortableness does wear off, and the person usually comes to relish having two people think about their issues: exploring who they are, the personas they unconsciously put on in different situations with different people, the real and the not so real self…
Over time we gradually uncover who our authentic self is,
(that we are not so bad after-all) and discover the life we genuinely want.