Our Online Masks, What Jung Wants you to Know About them

Picture of Carl Jung.
What would Carl Jung have to say about the online masks we wear today? Perhaps that they reflect a self twice removed. (Photo, World History Archive.)

As someone who considers himself to be a very amateur Jungian, I kind of smile when I hear, or read about, people who suggest that our offline personality is our true self, whereas our online personality–our online masks– is a persona.

Nancy Baym, in Personal Connections in the Digital Age, suggests (although she doesn’t exactly articulate it this way) that in the early days of the Internet some believed that assuming an online presence would be in effect to remove our masks so that our true selves could shine through. Baym writes, “On a societal level, [online] anonymity opens the possibility of liberation from the divisions that come about from seeing one another’s race, age, gender, disabilities and so on.”

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