Are we ourselves?
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Blog title courtesy of the band The Fixx
I was going to go with a different song by the band, but peeking at their Wikipedia page, there's a claim that this video is the first one to ever feature a mobile phone. As the song came out in 1984, the phone is, as you might imagine, quite the brick.
Dig the song title for other implications, too, thinking about whether we are who we want to be, or who we think we should be for the approval of others. Whether that's in a work situation, or in how you present yourself to some friends in contrast to how you behave around a different set of friends, or anything else along those lines. I just recently saw a movie called "The Hate You Give", which had an African-American protagonist from a poorer neighborhood going to school not at the nearby high school, but at a school in a richer (read: whiter) neighborhood, and the character spelled out for the audience the ways she acted differently around her friends from school, and around the friends she grew up with, a phenomenon (not sure that's the right word exactly) known as code switching. Acting according to the codes, written or unwritten of the crowd you find yourself in, in order to fit in, regardless of who you are at your core.
The thing that I find myself doing a lot, which I'm not sure falls under that code switch umbrella, is slightly mimicking the speech/mannerisms of people I'm talking to. It bothers me sometimes, not least when I find myself continuing to do it even after realizing that I'm doing it. Not sure if it's some mechanism trying to put the other person at ease, or something else, but I occasionally wonder if someone new I'm talking with has ever picked up on it and wondered whether I was mocking them. I hope that has never been the case.
(note: this entry took 22 minutes. I scribbled a blog yesterday (11/27) suggesting that it would only take me 10 frickin' minutes to throw out a semi-coherent entry. So far, the average is skewed a bit higher than that)