Life in a way, is all about politics. Because if there’s one thing I’ve definitely learnt from my life, is that everything is political. It’s a simple concept, really. Politics has never been only limited to the government. It has and still exists in each of our lives, and indirectly constructs on how we interact socially with society. I’d also like to say that to some degree, how others perceive us concerns us, so we adopt certain personas we know will leave specific impressions on certain people. And hey, guess what? Much like politicians in our government, we too want to impress others, don’t we? Demonstrate where we stand on issues? And oh, even cover up our ugliness (cough).
Each interaction that one makes with another person is different, therefore unique, also forcing us to change face multiple times a day, depending on who we surround ourselves with. Whether it is slightly tweaking your dialect, or putting on a totally different persona; we all do it, whether we are conscious of it or not. It’s not a bad thing, always. I mean, you know who you are in this case. Like so, an example of this would be a conversation you have with your best friend, versus conversations you might have with your grandparents. With your best friends, you might talk about that one crazy house party that got out of hand, or the reckless things you guys did. But with your grandmother, you might prefer to only talk about how well you are doing in your classes, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want to find out that you smoke weed, or that you’ve been skipping classes for a week.
My point is that we keep trying to keep up certain images by selectively spilling out certain details of our lives to particular individuals. Sometimes we have to filter what we say in order to maintain political correctness with some people; but sometimes we are lucky enough to meet a group of people who do not care whether we have a filter or not. Not to mention that even our definition of “dress to impress” changes depending on where we are present. For example, when going out to a bar or club with your friends, you might wear a flattering outfit; while we dress professionally when we are either attending a job fair or a job interview. What you wear can determine your initial impression on people, which could lead to potential social or professional connections.
Thanks to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. we have the power to construct how we express our opinions and personalities with our friends, family, and total strangers. From status updates, to filters on photographs, social media makes it easier to carefully edit how we present ourselves; thus allowing us to mold an online persona. With all this masking, tweaking, and filtering that happens on a daily basis, at the end of the day we sometimes wonder, ‘How much of this persona is really us?’ We sometimes work so hard to build up an image, that we sacrifice the true essence of what it means to be us. Have we become slaves to the expectations of others, living our lives to impress them, and the worst part is that sometimes we don’t even have a choice?
Being involved with societies, I realize that I have gained more of an awareness and understanding of other people's identities, while at the same time constructing my own. If you were to ask me, one year ago, about my current self, then I never would have imagined the disparity between the two personas. Being exposed to educational experiences in addition to various talks and conversations I have had with peers and teachers has made me critical of society for the better. To what extent, however, should be determined at a later date.
When others around me would gossip about the actions of presidents or the budgets for school functions, I would intentionally disconnect and shut myself out from the world, hoping that one day, I would be able to live successfully and in peace without having to involve myself within these parameters.
The idea of society was a topic I attempted to avoid throughout my childhood, mainly due to a mixture of disinterest and fear regarding the future. When others around me would gossip about the actions of presidents or the budgets for school functions, I would intentionally disconnect and shut myself out from the world, hoping that one day, I would be able to live successfully and in peace without having to involve myself within these parameters. However, therein lies the paradox; one cannot reject the world and still expect to thrive in the same area.