The Mask We Wear

Some might believe that blogosphere is a virtual world; people wear false faces and pretend to be someone they are not. But, is this completely true? Ain’t there any genuine souls who use ‘blogging’ as a platform to express their personal views on various issues? Our Premium Blogger, Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan in his post ‘The Mask We Wear’, tells us why it is important to listen to your heart and not to those who constantly pull you down by passing irrelevant comments. Here’s someone who totally understands you and your love towards blogging. Do not miss it.

“So what if you blog? That’s nothing great. You don’t affect anyone’s lives. You’re just wearing a mask online and writing some nonsense.”

Have any of you ever faced these kind of comments from people you know? I have. Many times. Like many of you, I’m quite protective of my blog – it’s a creation entirely of my own; be it the variations in headers, the theme of the posts or even just the order of what widget follows in the side-bar. So, when I come across these kind of snide comments, it really rankles me. But, there’s one aspect which also makes me smile wistfully – at how wrong they are.

You see, I have a theory. For me, blogging isn’t about putting on a mask and becoming a new online entity; it’s about removing the mask I have to wear all day long and finally becoming myself.

Oscar Wilde said “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”  While I totally agree with it, I do have one question to ask – which is your mask?

Everyday, for most of us, in our workplace, amongst our colleagues, relatives and even friends and families, we often have to compromise our beliefs and ideals. It may be just a silly matter of opinion over which animals make the best pets. (Dogs naturally… any cat-lovers trying to object will be prosecuted by the blogging blasphemy laws laid down during pre-Independence by Sir Archiebald Bloggingston!)

It maybe just an opinion about a movie you hated. And yet, when someone higher up in your life’s food-chain gives a different opinion, many a times you shy away from an argument; even if it is just an opinion.

“You loved, sir? I {ugh} loved it too. Wonderful movie. Best movie ever. ShahRukh is better than Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman put together. They should take tuition on acting from him. Yes, sir… Avatar was boring, sir. What 3D was there? Nothing was flying towards the screen. Chotta Chetan’s 3D was much better. 100% sir.”

It may also be less humorous and more personal – your inner outrage over something that has struck you on a personal level. A sense of elation of a heart in love. The anguish of a broken heart. An outlet for a voice screaming to be heard within you. And yet, for fear of disagreeing or being viewed differently by those around you at work or at home, you bottle it up within. You live your lives hiding who you truly are – alone in a crowd of plenty. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that the real mask?

Coming online and blogging gives you a chance to remove that mask: to say ‘This is what I believe in and I don’t need to stifle it from you all. We can agree, we can disagree, we can agree to disagree but atleast you know how I feel’. Contrary to popular beliefs, opening yourself up emotionally on your blog doesn’t weaken you to the world’s eyes. In my experience, it has always been the opposite.

Blogging has helped me connect with so many like-minded people across the world. Those who don’t agree with your style will probably never return; no harm done. The ones who share your opinions – they are the ones who will come back. Time after time. They are the friends you will make with the right criteria: with no prejudices of caste, creed or religion. Whether they remain an online cameo in the script of your life or become friends you connect with in real-life depends upon the two of you. But, atleast you know that you have connected with someone without the compulsion of the social mask.

Don’t feel bad when someone ridicules your blog, calling it a waste of time or effort; that it doesn’t affect anyone’s lives. You aren’t there to do brain surgery online. You aren’t there to rid the world of hunger and poverty. You aren’t blogging to make others happy. You are blogging for yourself. It is your space to breathe and take a break from a life where you are constantly trying to appease people all day long.

And, something that therapeutically allows you to be the person you truly are… that can never be a wasted effort.


27 Replies to “The Mask We Wear”

  1. Doc, writing your own blog is like democracy; it is by you , for you , and of you. You dont do it to expressly change lives. But for those who read it, there is a time well spent, a bit of a smile on a busy day, some learning about something one was unaware of, and possibly even a great disagreement. Like in democracy, there are all kinds of folks. And you must learn to live peacefully amongst all. Which you do. And no one should be saying stuff to you. just put on a special mask and give them a glare…

  2. @Suranga, totally agree.. it is a democracy… you do get all forms of opinions, but unlike in real life where even meagre differences of opinion can lead to an actual loss of life, here there is a more sane.. a more sensible environment. Ironic, isn’t it ? Virtual trumping reality 🙂

  3. The difference between real world and the blogosphere is that you don’t have to please anyone with your words. . The freedom you get with words in your blog is ultimate. . But many a times blogs have become platforms where people put masks and shout out so much they can’t otherwise. . Blogs have been made solely to criticise organisations and personalities. .

  4. I totally second your views. I really do. Writing a blog has gained me all sorts of reactions from ‘whats the big deal’, ‘you write well’ to ‘there are so many better writers out there, what’s the point in you writing?’. When I started out, I didn’t think there would be much beyond my most immediate family who would read, but I wrote for my own satisfaction. My blog is who I am and I am able to speak freely about topics that wouldn’t necessarily figure in everyday mundane discussions. The written word definitely helps articulate thoughts better and get rid of the mask than the verbal word where one may follow social niceties.

  5. true Richa… I still get the odd annoying comment even after all these years.. as you said, write for yourself.. write what you like, your opinions, what interests you. I always feel this is the place where I can best ‘be myself’

  6. Rohan.. you have a point there. Those kind of blogs are specifically created to insult and embarass companies or organisations… thats the other side of the coin. I was referring to those who write for themselves – to unleash their personal creativity and opinions – not for the targetted attacks. The motivations there are different.

  7. To me, my blog is my world. Everything that’s happening in my life is out there. If someone ridicules it, I will surely get disturbed. But then again, if you have pleased everyone, you’ve compromised a whole lot in life!

    As for wearing a mask, blogging has helped me take everything by my stride. When you vent out in public and get views of so many people, your problems look trivial and you find a way to solve them. It’s important to be true to your blog, it will help you grow and shed that mask in real life as well.

  8. Blogging is a outlet for my thoughts and anger at times. I have always got amusing looks from people when they get to know that I blog. They have been really appreciative.
    Yes, I do get those stupid comments at times but you have to remember that they are frustrated people who do not share your opinion and the best they can come up with is abusive language or random attacks.

  9. Nisha, true – seeing things from the point of view of those who stop by and comment also helps us gain a different perspective on our problems.
    And yes, it does help us grow and see new facets to our personality.. as for shedding the mask in real life, well.. thats always easier said than done 🙂

  10. Amit, I have seen all ends of the spectrum of comments and knowing your awesome blog and its variety of topics, Im sure you have too… true, it hurts occasionally seeing the disdain, but hey, as long as we’re being our selves and not intentionally hurting anyone, why take these odd spiteful comments to heart, right ?

  11. I concur.. In fact blogging should be used as a platform where we should be very rigid with our views. Why be a part of the crowd and think the way everyone wants.. we have a voice and it must be put up.. As you say like minded people join in and u have all the love and support.

  12. agree with what you say roshan – well penned; blogging for me is a way of life and yes it is therapeutic too. As for those who don’t like my posts they are free not to come back

  13. Manjulika, exactly.. so many times, people ( myself included ) just become yes-men, agreeing with what their superiors/elders/spouses say.. we lose our own identity and opinions… or we are scared of being judged differently.. dont u feel more free while writing atleast ?

  14. Priya, again – thats the best part. Those who dont like what you have to say wont come back… over time, u get a core group of bloggers who do agree with your views and share your opinions.. makes for the beginnings of some very good friendships

  15. You are bang on, Roshan! Have heard these type of comments from acquaintances and ‘friends’ on so many occasions!
    My blog is my baby, my space, which is very dear to me and it’s a wonderful creative outlet and has given me so much… knowledge, information, varied views on a subject and some great friends for life. 🙂

  16. @Shilpa, agree with each and every word u said… it is indeed ‘my baby, my space and very dear to me too’… 🙂

    @Danny, this is just the beginning. Keep at it and you will make friends for a lifetime too. Some of the people I trust the most in my life are certain fellow bloggers.

  17. Hi Dr.Roshan,
    I am new to blogging.In the beginning when I did not get any comments I used to feel disappointed. Later on I felt the same way as you have expressed very clearly.Yes, I do write for my own satisfaction.If others appreciate It does make me feel elated.But if I get taunts. and adverse remarks, I do not react. After all it is my creation,my prized possession and my views,coming straight from my heart..Frankly, I enjoyed reading your views.

  18. Usha, the first year or so when I blogged, I think maybe a couple of friends would stop by more out of courtesy than anything else… slowly, while going through other blogs, I found those I liked.. some of them liked a few posts of mine too.. and slowly the reader base grew…

    But what mattered the most was I could be myself – write the way I speak, my own silly or serious thoughts depending upon my mood- and thats what I’d ask of you too. Write from your heart.. dont write to please others. For that, we have politicians anyway 🙂

  19. Thats a great expression Dr.Roshan.. I started blogging recently and i have named it expressions of life, the space where I pour my expressions with no hesitation or mask…

  20. very true words… it gave me solace somehow.. the mask we wear throughout the day is heavy, very unbearably heavy sometimes… yes, my blog is my place to breathe.. i’m happy and proud of it.. inspired by your feel good words..

  21. A Mask is another form of trying to share without the fear of being targeted for what we are, If blogging let’s us take off this mask then I welcome it with open arms.
    Blogging is indeed liberating.
    Great post.

  22. I love what you have written. today, I was angry at some very close people who have been trying to put me down. It made me think, I am happy, so why are they always trying to put me down. Then I happened to be on your post and I felt really good. 🙂 thanks

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