Jan 13, 2008

Portrayal Betrayal

It is as hard to see one's self as to look backwards without turning around. - Thoreau

There’s a certain irony to the way we portray ourselves.

I mean this in a few contexts. Of course, people are constantly misrepresenting themselves in person— if not by complete inaccuracy than at least by revealing only a very partial image of their selves.

And people are quite practiced at this. After all, it’s almost a constant activity we partake in from a very early age.

But if you really want to add a weird quality to it, make things written. As practiced as we may be at showing only very intentional aspects of ourselves, nothing adds to deception like adding the time and opportunity to premeditate.

If you want to skew things even more, you should constrain or truncate it by giving people tiny fields of knowledge to fill out, effectively placing emphasis on some things and devaluing others.

Favorite book? – Important. Favorite video game: Not.

Music that changed your life: important... Teacher who changed your life? Absent.

Relationship status? – Important. Relationship status with parents... not.

On some level we all know it’s constrained and vitally flawed, but it seems like we’re willing to let it go in favor of ... something.


It wouldn’t bother me if it was recognized that way. Still, the older I get, the more it seems to me like we’re willing to accept flawed pictures as mostly whole.

Maybe if we accepted its incompleteness, the picture would actually be more whole. And not just a—



Post a Comment