Do we have distinct personalities when it comes to living in the digital world?
I am thinking we do.
Not in a contrived or duplicitous way but in a practical way.
It is clear now all we write, whether by phone, by email or on the net can never ever be deleted and this must change the way we think about communication. In the early days of social media, we did not understand the complexities of a world without “delete”. I don’t think it was understood that once posted it would be suspended in eternity, forever.
Every spelling and grammar mistake I have made (there are many) are forever floating as a tribute to never-having-enough-time to check and double check. It could be worse.
The inability to delete is a like a bad argument; the heat of the moment prompts words that cannot be taken back. The one exception is forgiveness. An argument, even when that which should not is said, can be resolved. The digital world is less merciful.
Does knowing that social media is forever change our persona? Do we unconsciously temper our stream of influence or do we alternate our personalities to serve the various channels?
From my point of view I think I have, without knowing.
I am cautious about the personal photographs that end up on Facebook and Instagram streams. It is not that I don’t love personal snaps and a record of happy times but today there is little control. At most events snapping comes before cocktails and “tagging” a matter of course. Social media, unlike traditional photography, hasn’t got the niceties down yet.
Of course it is not a big deal. What’s a happy snap if not happy?
Except the knowledge that we are on show 24/7 could mean we become more mindful and reserved in our enjoyment.
I talk openly here and I hope my true voice is the one you hear but I am aware that once I hit “publish” the conversation is out there forever. I don’t discuss contentious issues so this has never been a concern but perhaps unwittingly this moderates my chat.
I don’t know.
Stealthy is the way of our digital reality. It has crept up. xv
image Keystone Getty