The Self You Choose

Our radical connectivity leaves us carrying a ‘self’ in many different spaces, but not necessarily the same ‘self’ into each.

There are many views on how this works: some would claim that there is a ‘you’, a pilot that sits behind your eyes, who makes a calculated guess which ‘self’ to play in each sequential space. Others would say that ‘self’ is a performance in the moment, and that there is no pilot: we are simply aggregation, the story told, by all these ‘selves’ over time.

I doubt that the act of curation is an act of choice per se: or rather i suspect that we do make conscious choices as to how we ‘turn up’, but that these are probably laid over intuitive decisions our brain makes before we have a say.

I think that we often take quite a naive view of this process: perhaps viewing the ‘self’ more like a set of clothes that we choose from a wardrobe than a complex narrative we construct around ourself. The act of choosing which ‘self’ we bring is presumably at least partly a protective one: avoiding the possibility of judgement, censure, or exclusion.

I don’t have anywhere particular to take this thought, beyond the obvious: it’s likely that in the context of the Social Age we are more connected, in more spaces, and hence perhaps more ‘selves’ in more spaces too: perhaps our stories are becoming more sprawling, complex, or fragmented?

About julianstodd

Author and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the Social Age. I’ve written ten books, and over 2,000 articles, and still learning...
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2 Responses to The Self You Choose

  1. mmasarech says:

    How does this fit with authenticity? Do we expend too much energy when we try to manage or choose which self to bring to different situations? I will ponder…

  2. Viivi Vepsä says:

    This is so interesting Julian. I studied in my mater thesis way back how we in the narration of the self are constant negotiating and revising both the external and internal image of our self/selves.

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