Hello, my fantastic reader, how was your week? Mine was okay, even though I had a bunch of school work to do.
Least I forget, this week my mom asked me an intriguing question, she said “Mandy, do you think you are building yourself on your true authenticity? Genuinely, she got me there; I couldn’t provide an answer.
Come to think of it, when you think of authenticity what comes to your mind? Authenticity is the quality of being real and genuine. Would you define yourself as an authentic person?
Erving Goffman, a Canadian-American sociologist, and writer wrote a book called Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. In this book, he uses a metaphor of theatrical production to give a better understanding of the human behavior and interaction. Here, he introduced the idea of our social life as a performance carried out by performers in three places; in what he identifies as the front stage, backstage and off stage. Goffman dramaturgical perspective emphasizes the importance of the theatrical setting, or context, in shaping the performer’s appearance and interaction with the audience. For this article, I would be referencing just the front and the backstage.
Goffman explains the front stage as what we do when we know that others are watching or aware of us. In other words, it’s how we behave and interact when we have an audience. While the backstage what we do when no one’s looking, or when we think no one is looking.
With the understanding of Goffman’s theory of the front and backstage, I must say, in this era, most of us walk around with a persona which doesn’t define our backstage, in other words, our reality. We put on a social mask to prove a point, and this drives away the existence of our actual being. This confirms what the front stage is about; it is all a show for the audience. In relating this to our social lives, the audience is our community, the people we hang around with, our social media presence, and in most cases the world in general.
Sometimes, being real, and true to yourself can be the best go-to option for survival. We don’t necessarily have to put up a show to prove a point. We don’t have to try to be like others and deny ourselves the truth of being real. We have mistaken the idea of reality to be a performance for the audience. Where is our real authenticity? How can we recover that? Or have we completely blurred our true reality or what goes on behind closed doors with a social mask? How would you define yourself, with the understanding of Goffman’s theory of the front and backstage?
We are all humans, and in one way or the other, we are guilty of putting up a reality that isn’t our reality. I know some of us might dispute this, but think about it, it is true. Kindly share your thoughts and let me know what you think.