We have just had a week on Twitter of adding a purple hue to our avis in order to support an anti-bullying campaign: http://twibbon.com/join/SpiritDay. I noticed that many commented that their timelines had turned purple. Many also used this as an opportunity to change their avis. I was one of them. I thought this is again an expression of personas.
So how do we perform our personas? Our social media personas live in floating worlds and have nomadic qualities away from our routine everyday selves, or do they? I googled some key words and found that of course the marketers already have strategies and are probably conducting training session about social media personas as I write this. After wading through several pages of marketing strategies I came across a post by Johnny B. Truant. In this post he talks about not merely adopting a nom de plume, but also becoming two people residing in one body. The process he describes is very similar to how an actor approaches a character role.
Which brings me back to the “not not me” so cogently defined by Schechner. And Lacan would say, that no matter how hard we try to hide, we shall always reveal ourselves though our writing even through the characters we create. So really it is impossible to be anyone other than ourselves, even if we conceal certain mundane parts in the realm of Twitter and its colliding possible worlds. I look through the list of people I follow. They are all personas. The differences lie in how much of their everyday concrete material selves they wish to reveal. Yet at the same, their personas are also a substantial facet of their everyday selves. I feel that the term is slippery. As soon as I try to pin it down it wriggles in a new direction. How much do we know of our followers and those we follow? There are distinctions to be made, that is for sure. The timeline is in the public sphere; then there are DMs, which are sometimes the sites of revelations, the place where we go to be private, almost like a corner in a crowded room. This is the place where we feel we can let our masks slip to reveal yet more personas.