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I Am Who I Think You Think I Am – The Reality of Self

Shots of Awe

In the age of social media, people increasingly get to have sense of authorship over how they present themselves to the world. Your carefully curated Instagram feed, your Facebook profile pictures, these are ways in which you essentially get to dictate, you get to construct the way other people perceive you and this raises all kinds of questions about the fluidity of our identity. About how we interface with other minds, with other people and it raises all kinds of questions about authenticity and authentic exchanges.

Who am I and the philosopher by the last name of Cooley, a sociologist, wrote about looking glass self theory and basically what he said is that we come to be through the interactions that we have with other people by making models of the other person’s mind. In other words;

I am not who I think I am. I am not who you think I am. I am who I think you think I am.

In other words, we make renderings of what other people think of us and actually play the role of becoming, we think they think we are but, in the end we never actually get to know other people’s minds. All we get to know is our modeling of their modeling of us. So, at the end of the day, we live inside of a construct of our own making.

Perhaps what we should do is come clean about this fact and stop asking questions about authenticity in the ways that we present ourselves artfully on social media and instead, accept the fact that identity is a fluid act of improvisation and that the self is not a solid thing and never has been. You know, again, I am not who I think I am. I am not who you think you are. I am who I think you think I am. Wrap your head around that one!


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