I’ve been thinking about social media for the past day or so. About the carefully curated persona we present to the world through Facebook or Instagram. I mean “curated” like I curate my closet, in the sense that the images and details are “chosen, organized and presented” very deliberately, to achieve a certain end. Some social media users get slammed for over-curating their content, for presenting only those pictures which depict their lives as perfect when, of course, they aren’t perfect at all. On the other hand social media users are often criticised for not being selective enough, for posting overly personal moments, and events, that should be kept private. Think of all the future fifty year-olds who are going to regret those high school party shots shared on Facebook.
So where should we draw the line, do you think, on what we share and what we keep private? To answer my own question, I guess our own need for privacy and our own level of comfort in talking about ourselves will dictate where we draw that line. As well as our sense of good taste, and maybe even our knowledge that whatever we say on-line is very difficult to take back or erase. We are the curators of our own public image. Whether that image is shared with a few friends and family, or made public on the world wide web.
And I’ve been thinking that despite the fact that social media is relatively new, the idea of choosing what we share with the world is not. Haven’t we always chosen what we share of ourselves and our lives with others? Haven’t our lives always been “curated?” Whether it’s the photos we have in our wedding album, the details on our work resumé, or the difference between what we tell our co-workers about our vacation versus what we tell our best friend.
|My cousin Mark and me after my brother Terry’s funeral in September.|
|Hiking in Patagonia. Somewhere on this day long hike I was bitten and did not react well. Not at all. Ouch.|