We've always had two sides of us: our external persona and then our true selves. You could argue this is probably essential to participating in any kind of society: you have to play by set rules (basic hygiene, manners, constructed social expectations) because otherwise we're just a bunch of stinky, lonely animals. Those rules you play by (since they aren't inherent) are therefore learned skills, and arguably, our external personas.
But with the advent of the internet and social media, that divide between the true self vs. the projected persona-self is exaggerated to caricature-like extremes. If I look at my life objectively, I see I am not hero or villain-- I'm a neutral protagonist. But if I look at the persona of myself I have crafted and presented to the world, I see that I not only consistently paint myself as the hero, but I also make other people or events (that are objectively neutral) to look antagonistic. Why do I do this? To polish up the persona I'm presenting.
Do you find yourself misrepresenting your life in order to build your brand? By "your brand" I mean the persona you present to the world.
Think telling white lies to make yourself more interesting. Think sharing a story from a decidedly slanted perspective to make yourself seem victimized or angelic, therefore justifying any (however objectively irrational) overreaction.
So what's the solution? I don't think it's unhealthy to have an inner life that is private and wholly yours, but I do think that a preoccupation with public persona is a slippery slope. Like think of when the scales fully shift, and you're a Kardashian, whose public persona (you could argue) completely overtakes any inner life. Not dissing the Kardashians-- I think they're harbingers for the way we're headed. Maybe?
But where's the happy medium? How do you present yourself thoughtfully and honestly while maintaining your own inner life?
How do you balance both without being deeply lonely?