Ultimately the way in which we make sense of this world, what is known as our mental representations of the world, would be based on a platform which does not represent the real world. This is where a difference may emerge amongst the online and offline identity expressions. Especially if one modality of expression is preferred over the other,in which one is attending to one more than the other. Especially if for example – online self expression is preferred to offline methods. Perhaps this is preferred due to the fact that it may be perceived to be safer to express one’s identity due to perceived negative external influencers such as; peers, criticising parents, or having a dismissive family members amongst others. Attending to exclusively expressing parts of the self online as opposed to offline methods may cause the individual some problems.
This is due to the fact that the individual may experience anxiety due to the perception that the offline world is not safe to express oneself within. Therefore, observing people’s behaviour of exposing only their positive aspects of their lives through their online selves may be of concern to someone who experiences negative situations or emotions from time to time in the offline world. This gets the individual thinking that since positive experiences do not constantly happen in one’s life, then something must be wrong.
It important to note that it is worth striving towards wellbeing which includes difficult times sometimes. Difficult times present us with new perspectives and new opportunities for growth. If we accept the difficult times as avenues for growth this will make us become more authentic as human beings. This will in turn make us feel better about ourselves as there is less of a difference between our online selves and our offline selves.
Our identity is never in a static state it is always developing, which means that we constantly need to work on it to understand ourselves and our surroundings better.
Some tips for the reader to facilitate understanding one’s needs:
- Start a journal
- In which one can free write whatever comes into their minds. The act of journally is very stress relieving and is a good way to stay in touch with one’s feelings due to the free styling nature of the activity in which one writes down whatever it is that they are feeling at the given moment in time.
- Remember to keep it safe from prying eyes!
- Nature Walks
- This helps the individual feel more grounded and in touch with one’s surroundings.
- Ask yourself:
- What do you need?
- What do you feel?
- How do I bring about the things I need?