We’re all Jekyll and Hyde.
We all have our sunny side, our pat-the-kids-on-the-head-with-an-eternal-smile-of-warmth side, our non-controversial I-breathe-oxygen, how-’bout you? side. That’s our Jekyll, our potential human paragon, our angel.
But we all have our Hyde, too, our goddamnit-won’t-those-kids-shut-the-hell-up side, our you’re-a-fuckwit-because-you-don’t-agree-with-me side, our good-lord-I-want-to-fuck-that-stranger-straight-through-till-sunrise-in-all-the-least-photogenic-ways side.
We’re all the whole Magilla Gorilla, a churning stew of human potential and passion and instinct and mind and soul (whatever the hell that is). And that’s not a bad thing, nor are all the qualities we might shove into the Hyde box actually evilwickedbad in and of themselves. Trying to completely squelch Hyde makes you, at best, neurotic, at worst a slavering hypocrite enslaved by the desires you dare not show. How many anti-gay crusaders have gotten caught with somebody’s dick in their mouth at this point? Probably a small fraction of those who will be.
Still, we all like other folks to think well of us, so we at least refrain from mentioning a lot of the things Hyde says in our heads, and hopefully retain rational control over our impulses and emotions and actions.
Online, we get to fine-tune our public persona a bit. We have the time and distance to choose what we want to present, and how (though it’s all too easy to just hit SEND in an emotional moment and let your Hyde out for all to see; writer Hugh Howey had this happen to him recently and brought down a virtual enraged church picnic of self righteous wrath ‘pon his head). Some splash their personalities all over the internet like monkeys with paintbrushes, or even chimpanzees with machine guns. Some are naturally more guarded than others, and some have concerns beyond the simply personal when it comes to what they’re presenting.
I’ve pondered my own online Jekyll/Hyde mix for a few years now. Continue reading