Fandango’s Provocative Question #64

Before I ever started blogging, I was talking with a guy who was a blogger. I asked him why he enjoyed blogging. His answer surprised me. He said that on his blog, he could be the man he always wanted to be. He added that he liked who he was on his blog better than who he was in the real world.

That floored me. I couldn’t fathom how someone could be one person in real life and another person in virtual life. But he explained that he could more freely express himself on his blog. That he was actually more forthright, honest, and open about his opinions, perspectives, and beliefs in the blogosphere than he could ever be in real life, where he felt constrained by the etiquette of polite society. His blogging self, he said, was more reflective of who he was than his “real” self. My mind was blown.

So the question is:

It’s obvious that Fandango never lived with someone who appears on television or any other performance art. Because pretty much all of them have two separate personalities: the stage or screen, and at home.

Garry has always been shy and not much of a talker. Put a microphone and camera in front of him and he’s a nonstop talker. Not at home, but sometimes with close friends and family when he tells stories about work, it’s like he is back at work. I talk a lot if there’s something that interests me, but not about everything and this transforms into writing, too. I write things that interest me and they are not always current events. They can be history, anecdotes, or tales. Or funny, if I’m lucky.

The same goes for writers. People write murder mysteries, but they aren’t murderers. They write historical dramas, but they live in the present. They write about women, but they are men. Vice versa, too.

We ALL have differing personalities and typically our “work” personality is not the same as our private selves. I have no idea why anyone would find this shocking. It’s absolutely normal for a lot of folks.

So do I like my “real” self as much, more, or less than my “writing” self? It depends on how well I write. When I write very well, I like it better. It doesn’t mean I like myself less.

Categories: #FPQ, Marilyn Armstrong, Provocative Questions

Tags: , , ,

27 replies

  1. Hmm, late to this conversation but have to add my experience. I made it my top priority early on in my 43 years as a psychotherapist to never, ever wear a mask…to be as fully transparent, real, authentic as possible at all times. (Be the same in my life as in my office…practice what I preach, etc.)
    This pissed my colleagues right off. They thought it was dangerous, and that it put them at risk for losing “power” with their clients. I never wanted that power in the first place. Made it my goal to never get comfortable up on someone else’s pedestal for me. I’m afraid of heights! Even taught myself how to audibly, un-apologetically fart on command, just in case someone ever insisted on worshiping me.
    Don’t get me wrong! I claimed, and demanded respect for, my expertise, but then insisted on balancing it with some of theirs.

    Wore different “Hats” maybe, but my goal was no masks.


  2. I agree that we have different personalities at work versus at home. I guess I was thinking of how one presents himself or herself online versus how one actually is in real life. In you’re case, I imagine you are the same person on your blog as you are in the real world.


  3. I am much calmer on my blog than I am in real life. I never read or comment on political posts, even if I agree with the blogger, because I prefer to keep politics and blogging separate. I blog to share artworks, books and writing with other like minded and interested people and I read other people’s posts for the same reasons. Blogging and reading are must escape from real life and I like to keep it that way if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I try to not write a lot of political stuff unless it’s just my feelings. I stay away from material where facts are needed because I don’t always trust the sources. When Garry was working, reporters were careful about sourcing, but that’s no longer true and those who try often get whacked by management for taking too much time to get the job done. That was Garry’s fatal flaw. He wouldn’t do it if he didn’t have what he considered quality sources. But it took him much longer than most reporters to do important stories. Calling sources takes time and there’s no time anymore in news.

      I do reblog other people who have done the work. I figure if someone else I trust has done the work, then I don’t need to reinvent that particular wheel. Mostly, I stick with flying squirrels, birds, raccoons, and gray squirrels. If I ever get outside again, I might take different pictures. But today, it’s freezing rain and wind. It’s cold and very nasty.

      I should review books more, but the truth is, unless it’s a book I can really throw my soul into, I don’t get much response. So I stick with books I really love and think everyone else should also love. On a more positive note, if I bother to review it, I think it’s not merely good. I think it’s wonderful. That goes for TV and movies, too.

      I think I’m going to review “The West Wing.” I don’t know if I’ve ever reviewed it, even though I’ve watched the entire 7-year series at least half a dozen times. It has kept us sane, remembering fondly days when we HAD a government.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Agree with your comments, especially the “split personalities” of those who in the media, held elective office or are sports and entertainment figures. You wear, at least, two faces. The extrovert me is the guy with the mic, on camera, often ad libbing stories while dancing on a dime to cover emergencies. No teleprompter, no script, just free association jabber to cover everything until the “cut” signal is received. I always hoped there was some sense behind the ad lib stuff because I was always out on a limb.

        It’s interesting to watch late night comics like Colbert, working from home, without audience feedback. It’s like being outside the space capsule – with a very slim rope.

        In real life, silence is golden.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I really enjoy your nature posts and I know your political views. They do not bother me at all and I may even share them but I don’t make political comments. I do a lot of book reviews and enjoy most books I read. I haven’t watched a TV show or movie for three years but have never really been interested in visual media. I prefer to read, bake or blog. Enjoy your Easter, Marilyn, and stay well and safe.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you Marilyn.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s possible to wear many hats….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of my very first blog posts was about how we take on different personas depending on context and that blogging was no different. The theme of that post was “masks”, which is funny, because when I wrote yesterday’s post about masks, this one pops up at the bottom as “related”…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we all wear masks, though the ones they want us to wear today are in a different sphere. I know that when I get into the kind of writing I did professionally for so many years, I write differently, I also write absolutely best directions ever — excluding a former boss who I swear measured each distance to the foot — and included them. But he has a Ph.D. from MIT in Higher Mathematics, so he always killed me on numbers. He was the best boss EVER.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Something about those mathematicians 😉 OK, I am full of BS, that is a BS in mathematics, but still, math is math. Yes, I write different for different audiences, I talk different, etc. My boss sees one side of Trent and my friends a different. Coworkers see a third.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Trent, the mask analogy is perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure where I took it from, but it works – different masks for different audiences, like ancient Greek theater.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t think we have a real choice. I remember when I met President Clinton on the Vineyard and I had a perfectly intelligent comment to make and yet all I could say is “You’re the President.” Now if I’d had the RIGHT mask, maybe I could have made that intelligent comment. Alas, I was still on vacation on the Vineyard where putting on shoes or for that matter, underwear is a big deal.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yeah, I think I mumbled something incoherent when I met him, and I didn’t have your excuse because I was at a political event 😉 I knew enough to keep my mouth shut when having my photo taken with “Wish she was President” Clinton in ’16…

            Liked by 2 people

            • Garry, who had interviewed every president starting with Kennedy, Mother Theresa AND the Pope couldn’t say anything intelligent either. It turns out that interview him was one mask, but a social event? The man was used to interviewing important people, but a party? Hopeless. The funny thing was that the entire event was for the press who had been following Clinton around all week and he felt they deserved a party. NO one had anything intelligent to say. Wrong masks.

              Liked by 2 people

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