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Scott Armstrong

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Our public vs our private persona

Often what we project in public is an edited version of our private selves (or at least our private opinions).

Is this 'social editing' a hallmark of humanity?

Is it a good thing that we do this? Is it a natural human tendency that we have learned through peer pressure?

Or is it one of humanity's bigger flaws?

Is it an issue of honesty vs self-protection?

Should we risk social criticism so that we can reconcile the two and be completely open and honest in public?

Would this merely increase friction and argument or could it lead to greater acceptance of peoples' differences?

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  • Jun 25 2011: "Social Editing", I liked the word and found it to be an interesting inference.
    Its a fact that our public projections of self are edited and cultivated.This is how we have evolved over time. We lived in groups since time immemorial and the groups have evolved its code and if we choose to live in harmony we have to live by the values and principles of the group. We may be an individual but cannot gainsay the fact of interdependence and need of other people in our lives.We need them. Unedited versions of ourselves in public will disrupt our lives.
    Not be yourself may be termed as hypocrisy or repression by some but it is called control by the others.The control is essential for relationships to be sustainable not creating avoidable friction.Many things unknown to us,owing to others' social editing make our lives simpler and leave us happier and confident to lead a happy life....Being too open will lead to a lot of friction and conflicts, think about the movie Jerry Mac quire, at work place for being honest and forthright,can be a reason for your exit Or Think of the Iraqi journalist throwing a shoe at George Bush at the press conference !!! What happened?
    Be Happy and choose what you want to be .You have the choice. But be prepared to face the music.
    Being Unedited is like a young liberal getting married to an old conservative....
    • Jun 25 2011: Learning to control our behaviors I find a necessity for any social order. Otherwise, the poor would be breaking into homes and killing people for shelter. However, learning physical control is one thing, while mental control is another. I'll state this here-I find yelling an event that is under the category of physical control. So as long as one can keep physical control, and be accepting and respectful of others beliefs while disputing anything about their beliefs one finds they don't believe themselves, the world would be a much better place. If not for fear of prosecution or rejection, I personally believe many more people would open up about their own beliefs and ideas, and as long as they aren't interrupting anyone, hurting anyone, or trying to force others to believe their ideas, I applaud their oppenness. Yes, we evolved into the groups and societal life we live in now. Let us continue to evolve into a world where we can listen to each others ideas, no matter how different they are than our own, and not hurt each other. Humans have not reached their peak by no means, so mental evolution should continue to exist.
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        Jun 26 2011: Katrina..how lovely..

        "Yes, we evolved into the groups and societal life we live in now. Let us continue to evolve into a world where we can listen to each others ideas, no matter how different they are than our own, and not hurt each other. Humans have not reached their peak by no means, so mental evolution should continue to exist"

        thank you for your wisdom
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      Jun 26 2011: Prashant - love that last sentence 'young liberals marrying old conservatives'.

      Katrina - agree with the yelling thing. Ever seen Albert Grossman 'managing' on behalf of Dylan. Very overbearing, obnoxious man who bulldozed over others. Effective at getting his way but not particularly inspiring.

      I'm a big believer in doing whatever it is that gets you through the night - as long as it doesn't hurt others..

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