Ponderings of Identity

While I was rewriting my about page the other day, I got to rambling, as I often do, and came up with a few questions. I thought I’d share.

It’s a pretty standard page on any website, particularly a blog, but it’s quite a difficult one to write. Who am I? What defines me? Who am I to define myself? Surely it’s irrelevant how I define myself, because I’m somewhat bias. So then, it’s more important for someone else to define me from the outside? Although, can an outsider really know the inner workings of such a complex system?

In such a case, we are left with the notion that only you know who you are, because only you are aware of everything that goes on. That draws two questions from me. Firstly, isn’t who you are defined by what you do and how you do it, things clearly visible to other people? In that case, if other people do not know who you truly are, isn’t it your responsibility for not showing them. Secondly, are you really in a position to say you know everything about yourself? Sure you can spit out your favourite color, your mother’s maiden name and a list of childhood pets, but can you explain how you would react in any given situation of the infinite number you could experience?

Does it really matter how anyone sees us, or even how we see ourselves? I guess other people’s opinions could lead to new opportunities, and even shut some down, but does this make them important opinions? It does, I suppose, because without new situations arising from interaction with each other, nothing interesting would happen in the world. We would be zombies, and not even evil ones, at that.

So our identity provides us with interaction with others, leading to innovation, employment, relationships etc. Everything we hold dear about the human race. Does this mean we should be concerned about what other people think our identity is? We know it is important for other people to have an opinion, but should we take this into account in our every day decisions?

I think so, yes. Despite the social nature of humans, there are many introverts in the world. And the thing about an introvert is, you may think they are shy and don’t really have any personality, but it’s that they aren’t confident enough to share it with others. People look for personality in their peers, so it’s important that they think you have one, otherwise you will get passed over, a lot of the time.

So, we need an identity, and we need people to know what our identity is. But what exactly is our identity? Is it our favorite color, first pet and date of birth? Is is the way we interact with people, what we do in our spare time, and who we are friends with? How tangible or otherwise is our identity.

Should we even have to define our identity? If it is intangible, it doesn’t really need to be. But surely, the truly memorable people will be describable, not by their appearance, but by their personality. And that’s their identity, is it not, the words they are described with? In this case, our identity should be definable, for it to be important?

Of course, not everyone wants a memorable personality. You may be an introvert, you may not be a very social person, you might be a hermit, you could be a government spy, or you could be an alien spy. You should probably shy away from definable identities. Blend into the crowd.

What do you think? Who should define our identity? Does our identity matter? Should we try to mould our identity? And is identity tangible?

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About Katie Walker

Hey, I'm a student. I'm into web development, so currently I'm working on my blog, a few Tumblr themes, and a few web apps for various purposes. It's exciting stuff.

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