Are you a different person on Twitter than you are in “real life”?
Social media (and, indeed, the internet) is a glittering lure. It presents a clean slate. You can be anyone. On Twitter, or any social network, it pays to present the best version of yourself. That’s a good thing – in fact, it’s smart, and advisable, especially if you’re using Twitter in any kind of professional capacity.
But if the you that we see on our screens is completely different to the you behind it, then it’s simply a matter of time before that illusion is exposed.
The four panes of the Johari Window represent the four parts of our self. Your public or known self is what you show to others, whereas your hidden self is made up of the pieces that only you know. Your blind spots are what others see but you do not, and your unconscious self is comprised of the parts that nobody sees, including you, but they exist, tucked away beneath the surface.
The ideal is a large public self with the other three areas relatively small in comparison. By being genuine and open you can make this happen naturally – your hidden self and blind spots will be minimised, and you’ll begin to gain a greater control of the subconscious you. This “best version” of yourself, organic and real as it is, will be attractive to others. They will quickly learn to trust you, valuing your expertise and insights.
The flipside of this window – a minimised public self with dominant hidden, blind and unconscious panes – is highly toxic. Defensive, guarded behaviour and a closed, dishonest mind make destructive but eager bedfellows.
This kind of duality cannot continue forever. The dots are out there, waiting to be joined. You’re going to have to trust me on this: somebody is going to find out. It’s simply a matter of if, not when.
If the Twitter you doesn’t stand up to the real you, then make amends, and fast. Otherwise, when that mask slips – and it will – the face that is suddenly unveiled isn’t going to be a welcome surprise for any of your followers.