This weekend, I found myself sitting at SALT, downtown Vancouver, suddenly engaged in an almost combative conversation about none other than good ol’ me.
To be more accurate, a friend of a friend who has recently become my friend, via the gift of none other than good ol’ Facebook, began asking me about my decision to lock down my public profile. Why, he wanted to know, did I keep my friend list hidden? My profile pics limited to only one visible 1.5 x 2 in bleached-out side profile? My wall, inaccessible?
I had plenty of excuses in response. Professionalism. Stalkers. Loose-lipped friends. None of them, however, seemed to answer his real question: what was I hiding behind my walled-up wall?
While the conversation quickly evolved into banter about donkeys and superegos, I left that evening feeling somewhat stressed out, and I’m not even quite sure why. It’s been a good few years since my philosophizing undergraduate days, when Friday evenings meant slipping about Sarah Weigum’s backwards-rental in backwoods Langley (not sure that I could ever find that house again) and slipping under the influence of a glass of wine or two, while names that meant nothing to me slipped from my mouth and back at me again: Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and that wonky-eyed Sartre. I was looking for my Self, and am still not sure what I found instead.
Perhaps the stress came because I’ve just fallen out of fluency with such conversations, or perhaps I do fear I’m unknowingly hiding something deep inside—that despite all my attempts to ‘write it out,’ there’s something that’ll always feel stuck.
A few years ago, a close friend and I discussed how today we hide in transparency: that our over-photographing of ourselves, often in poses divested of any emotion, is symbolic of a cry that “I’m so out there, you’ll never really see or question what’s right here at the heart of me!”
Is that what’s going on?