Danger: Radical Transparency

Here’s Marry Harrington on the potential dangers to being radically transparent online.

Are we, on one extreme, putting on a performance? A show? Faking our lives for clicks?

Or are we, on the other extreme, turning our private lives inside out? Not faking our lives, but sharing everything private and sacred with the world? And what happens when we start making stuff up, when it turns out that our private lives aren’t as interesting as we hoped?

I’ve struggled with these ideas for awhile. I share my thoughts, and the thoughts of others – via podcast conversations, YouTube videos, and blog posts – because I love bringing people interesting ideas and a few laughs along the way. But there’s always a degree of selection and performance at play. I’m selecting which parts of my personality I’m OK with sharing online. Sometimes I select a more serious or personal side. And other times I select a more ironic or silly side. My serious side balances my silly side, my silly side balances my serious side.

The line must be drawn between true self-development and Internet-Self-Development. You can’t workout or meditate or pet a therapy dog with a keyboard.

You have an internet personae, and a real Self. I won’t say that they should always be separated, but do your best not to confuse your real Self for your internet personae, your internet personae for your real Self. Blur the lines at your discretion.

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