Social Media- Cyber Facades and Virtual Masks, Which Do You Paint?

Fa·çade or Fa·cade

1. The face of a building, especially the principal or front face showing its most prominent architectural features

2. The way something or somebody appears on the surface, especially when that appearance is false or meant to deceive

Italian facciata, from faccia, face, from Vulgar Latin *facia, from Latin facies.

Mask

A covering worn on the face to conceal one’s identity, as:

1. A covering, as of cloth, that has openings for the eyes, entirely or partly conceals the face, and is worn especially at a masquerade ball.

2. A grotesque or comical representation of a face, worn especially to frighten or amuse, as at Halloween.

3. A facial covering worn for ritual.

4. A figure of a head worn by actors in Greek and Roman drama to identify a character or trait and to amplify the voice.

French masque, from Italian maschera, from Medieval Latin masca, specter, witch, mask.

I believe all people paint their own facades, masks or persona in one way or another to be behind at one point or another in life…  Be it to be polite, to be politically correct or of a poker face to not reveal what their thoughts or intentions are to others looking upon them be it honest in being polite with a smile or dishonest in trying to sell something that truly isn’t worth what they are selling…  But what mask or façade do you paint upon yourself in Social Media and Networking for busines

In one way now, we have a new form of Façade or Mask that Technology has offered, “Cyber Façade” or “Virtual Mask”…  It could be a small business trying to portray them selves as being larger then they truly are, or people living out a fantasy and some being false in their promises of the items or products they sell online…  Sometimes it is just being nice, a virtual smile or agreement in views or insights that one normally wouldn’t agree with, just to be polite…

Do you paint an honest representation of yourself online; are you truly candor in your descriptions and experience? I see so many that use a statement in their Bios on Twitter as Expert or Guru- but are they, are you?

I’ve been online and using the internet since 89-90, when it was just a links between colleges and universities that had government funding for the exchange of ideas and concepts mainly for government research and remember how it started to grow after it started using HTML, TCP/IP and Hypertext…  I even started using a lot TCP/IP for networking back then for many Macintosh computers, then saw it grow further into what we now know as the Internet…  But I rarely call myself an Expert or Guru, except in jest with many of my friends in a town with no stoplight as being an Internet Guru or Expert, even with over 20 years of being online and using Chat, video and imaging or what we now call Social Media…  But I would never call myself this in Business, there is always more to learn and this is ever a changing business, there is no room for those who think themselves as Expert or Guru…  To me it is a sign of being unprofessional if someone defines them selves as an Expert or Guru…  If you have a lot of years of Experience in one field or another, then state it, be honest and open about it!!!

I try to be as open and honest as I can be often too open I have been told, or talk too much in social media…  Some have even told me I should raise prices or try to portray myself as being a larger business then I truly am…  But this doesn’t sit well with me, to lie in my book- it gives me rotgut and doesn’t allow me to sleep well, so I found a long time ago it is a lot easier to just be honest…  It might be one thing to be polite to an older person or woman in saying they appear younger or more beautiful then others might honestly feel they are, but in Business I feel honesty is key and a major foundation to the building of a relationship…

Why paint Masks, as an artist or what I call a “Visual Problem Solver” with many years of experience in creating visuals- artwork, photography, graphic design web site design and marketing with degree’s in Illustration, commercial arts, past experiences of being an art director freelance photographer and creating advertising in many formats… I live in a small town without a stoplight named Candor, NY…  My business name is ArtWorks of Candor but my brand is not the business name but truly my own name and my own abilities…  The art studio is located behind my family farm’s house in an old chicken shack I renovated into a studio back in 1992 and the computer part of it I am renovating an office area inside my house, so I can keep the computers and art work separated some, mostly because of space…  This is about as honest and open as one can be, or Truly Candor…  But are you honest about your experience and abilities?

Using tweepsearch.com, I found that 9,249 have Guru, 17,517 for Expert and 2,099 for “years of experience” in their Twitter Bio’s… Why is it so few highlight how many years of experience they have, are they the few that are honest and share this?  Seems to me that there is a lot of Cyber Facades or Virtual Masks that some are painting upon them selves when you look at numbers like this…

When you wake in the morning, what “Cyber Façade” or “Virtual Mask” do you paint for all in this virtual world to see?

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10 Responses

  1. Be who you are, not who you’re not. The best way to brand yourself and your business (if you own one), is to be authentic. The most successful people I know will freely admit they’re not experts. They have an open and honest assessment of who they are and have a self confidence and security knowing they can’t do everything. Those who are willing to be open and honest, and understand they don’t always have the answers usually make for excellent entrepreneurs and/or employees. Great post.

    • Todd,
      So, so true!!! Always best to be who you really are and not something you aren’t… And I completely agree with you, the best people in Business are those who admit they can’t do it all, and find those who can do those things for them… This is something that I think all entrepreneurs have a bit of a problem doing, trusting others to take charge of things, when they need to grow in business… Self-confidence is one thing, being honest is far better…

      Just because one can build a website or Blog, because they have a computer, does not mean they truly are good at it, as an example… Also have to know when one needs to hire a professional to do the job… Just because one buys a Hammer & saw, doesn’t mean they are a great carpenter… I have the ratchets and wrenches, but I would rather hire someone to work on my vehicle…

      Charles

  2. Great post Charles!! I have the very same sentiment, especially when it comes to Twitter. I truly love Twitter, (I do!), and when I see (with just about every other new follower, it seems) ” Social Network Guru” it irks me just a bit. Primarily because I do not believe there is any right way to use Twitter or any social media for that matter. Its all changing, morphing and growing as we change and grow along. We are all novices really!

    Interesting that I just had a long email conversation with my Art For Critters co-leaders about a certain artist who is crossing over into art that is no longer “original”. Its sad, I believe money driven, maybe even driven by some desperation, but still dishonest! This makes me want to have even more integrity in what I do on paper and online.

    Sometimes I fault myself in wanting to “hide” behind my computer screen. I took a hard look at that after reading your post and I believe my reason is simply deep seated shyness. As Joni Mitchell says in an old song, “I wait for judgment anxiously”. Its much easier to put myself out there, anticipate judgment and then react via text rather than “in the flesh”. Chicken, I know…something I’ve worked on my whole life and will continue to wrestle with!

    Love the post, the images, the whole package. Great job!

    • Thank you Melody…
      I agree with you on the “Guru” status- My Grandfather was a classical Organ professor at Julliard, and though he taught there for over 42 years and also taught at Harvard, Yale and the like, he still felt even at age 93, there was always more to learn, and he was considered one of the great Classical Organ masters of the US, if you where to mention his name at the American Guild of Organists http://www.agohq.org

      I understand also what you mean also about the artist changing his style to copying, which is sad… I feel it is one thing to find other avenues to selling one’s art, be it a limited edition print, or having it printed on mugs, t-shirts and catalogs, an artist has to make a living and should I feel take pride in others wanting to have the image an artist create… But not right to copy other’s art, unless it is within a school environment, as often is the case of study of how the “Master’s” used their brush strokes… But to just boldly copy and sell is not right…

      I know a Glass Blower, who did the most amazing vases and bowls before he moved from my town, he once use to work for Corning Glass Works… But part of his art was what he called “Mindless Art” of creating many glass balls for Christmas Ornaments- he would say, I love to create, but have to pay the Bills, and the Christmas Ornaments help to pay the bills so I can afford to create the Finer Art Pieces…

      To be Shy, is not a problem, as long as you are honest with yourself and to others, I feel… Not everyone feels comfortable within the spotlight now should all be forced into it and to be shy can be a beautiful thing…

      Charles

  3. well first when i opened your link blog & read the tittle specially the french word Façade & see the masks , i thought some some what like you are writing about building & you related to masks art , but i did a fast reading to understand more i discovered that you talk about some thing more important the multiple faces that one person can exchange daily , in the real life and in some social media such as twitter .
    i will enjoy the response to your clever question by saying , i did paint for myself one unique mask that i don ‘t want to change it ,never & ever , it is the truth mask the real me , when i m sleeping or waking up ,with friends or alone ,the reason is simple who is acting & changing different masks will get tired in the end & may be he will be mix up & stay without futures , in that time no one can give him a trust even himself .

    • To paint your mask of the face within is ever the truest mask one could share… Thank you for your kind response…

      Charles

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Bullas, Social Network (RSS). Social Network (RSS) said: Charles Taggart: Social Media- Cyber Facades and Virtual Masks, Which Do You Paint? http://bit.ly/bxS4iB: http://bit.ly/9eSVIF […]

  5. It is serendipitous to read about the masks. removing uneffective unconcious masks is one of the protocols I do in an energy clearing session with a client. It is very effective. It is awesome to assist people in being aware of their masks in business and better yet, a means to take them off.

    • Thanks for the Great Comment Jen!!! And it is great you are able to politely inform people and teach them of their masks in business and maybe their masks also in life… If only all the world could be able to just be themselves and except themselves for who they truly are, with no envy and just pride in wanting to learn and be more…

      Charles

  6. Oh my gosh Charles, i love this post. I think we need to be talking about this reputation management epidemic in more detail. Honestly the thing that drives this need to impress and be someone we’re not is that we ALL put the pressure on our culture to do so. The more we can accept people for “WHO THEY ARE” the more we can be “WHO WE ARE” despite what everyone agrees with.

    I’ve always been known throughout the years of the guys that everyone knows, likes or agrees with. This is not necessarily a good things. Needless to say, since I’ve finally fallen in to my place of who I am, I’m finding that my numbers are not so great in the agreed with category. This is how I know that I’m finding who I truly am and what I believe in life, because not everyone can possibly agree with everything that you do in life. Life would not be as colorful and would honestly….be quite boring. Thanks Charles again for this post!

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