I've grown up in an age where computers came to maturity at the same time that I did. I can't imagine today's generation, babies playing with cellphone toys, learning the ABCs from a computer screen... While I will have to wrap my head around it by the time I have children, I consider myself lucky to have known an age before texting, facebook and constant cellphone accessibility. I think it has allowed me to be doubly aware of my sense of self.
I do admit, that a lot of the wisdom and caution that I have towards the internet has trickled down through my mother and her own precautious and skeptical behaviour (although she embraced eBay 1000%). When it comes to my self and sharing of myself online, (un)fortunately (depending how you see it), the picture of who I am now stretches to the online realm.
What I write in my blog, what I share on Facebook, these are all statements as to who you are and what you stand for. I've found myself skeptical of supporting certain groups or campaigns online, calculating my future as if I were running for office (although I don't plan on it). The New York Times Magazine published a feature article last year entitled The Web Means the End of Forgetting and it is all too true. This age of cyber everything demands a new sense of self awareness.
Part of me doesn't want to care, part of me just wants to share. I guess it's like a yoga class, I just want to go and abandon myself to my practice, but that's not how it works. I need to have the same self awareness all the time. Sure at first it can be a nuisance, but I'm sure that in due time the self awareness will just become a unconscious good habit.
And it is also an opportunity (or a type of (performance) art, used time and time again, I am the curator of my identity. I create a constellation of facts, photos and tidbits that complete an image of who I am (or who you think I am). It can be quite a wonderful creative process, but, as with any exhibit, it is in the interpretation, in the spaces in between that the true feeling, the true soul comes to life.
(A neon work by Tracey Emin, currently on display at Hayward Gallery, which I think complements this reflection nicely)