Thursday, August 13, 2009

Emerging personality types

Aamir Khan announced on his blog today his wife had recently had a miscarriage. Paula Abdul announced a few days back on Twitter that she won't be returning to American Idol after 8 seasons. And Kourtney Kardashian (from Keeping Up With The Kardashian) announced that she's expecting, also on Twitter.

Despite even-celeb-sneezes-are-newsworthy media, agents that charge an arm and a leg and paparazzi who act as their shadows, celebrities are taking the route of directly connecting to their fans. Then there's the added drama of their friends, cousins and others interested in their lives that react/respond to these news on these blogs or social networking sites.

The phenomenon isn't limited to celebrities. Even we mortals are at it. Every new event, non event, budding gossip, comic or witty or interesting story/feeling/opinion is saved for the online world before being shared with fellow warm blooded creatures. Our online profiles are an extension of us but it is our alter ego? If at the end of the day people try to reconcile their online existence with their offline one, how much of it would be real and how much fantasy?

The encouraging part is, it makes story tellers out of us all. It makes us think what we're really doing and we've conditioned our brains to learn that 'laying on the couch and watching TV' is not a daily acceptable internal response. It sometimes gives us TMI about ourselves as it continually contributes to the self discovery process at some level. And the best part is that it makes us aware of what our limitations should be, emphasizing the classic think-before-you-speak, for someone might call us out. As Indians, we lacked that quality by and large but the new generation is forced to be conscious of it.

The not so fun part is that, most likely you have a heterogeneous group of people as 'friends' which bars you from being you. With those with 2-300 odd people watching your every move, you need to be ever so careful about what goes on record. For those of us who're not too comfortable in our skin, this can take a toll as the goal might become to spit out something impressive as opposed to something in its bare form. But then, dull honesty isn't all that appealing on a recurring basis either.

Psychiatrists of the world will now have to go through extensive training to decode these aspects of our personalities. Now, they’ll have to deal with more than just a few types. There’s a quiet-in-person-but-miss-nasty-online, a married-with-kids-in-person-but-mr-looking-for-kinky-affair-online, a charming-in-person-but-miss-overkill-online, a humble-in-person-but-mr-narciccist-online, and so many more permutations.

As for me, in case you're wondering, I'm just me. Trust me. Just me. ;)

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