Those who know me know that I’m not really a movie person. I watch about 5 movies a year in total. That’s inclusive of both the big screen and the small screen. Cinema, DVD, SABC, Etv, all of it. It also sucks in social situations, because whenever people are trying to make conversation with you, it defaults to 2 things: sport and movies, both of which I don’t follow. At least with sport you can fake it (social rule #34: if ever in a sport conversation, and don’t know what to say, just say, “WHAT’S UP WITH THE REF, HE’S SUCH A COST, THE GUY WAS OFFSIDE!” It always works.)
What I did grow up doing was watching soapies. Everyone watches Isidingo at home, so naturally, throughout my time at home at 18h30, it was Isidingo time. And no, you couldn’t watch anything else. Because if not that, it was Backstage. If not that, it was 7de Laan. If not that, it was some other random show like Egoli or Binnelanders (we didn’t have DSTV for a large part of my childhood, so no, I wasn’t watching The Hills, or O.C., or One Tree Hill, or whatever soppy soapie you watched).
It’s time for confession: I actually always wanted to act in one of these soapies. I mean, who didn’t want to be alongside Bra Georgie, or Barker Haines? (If you don’t know what in the world I’m talking about, you haven’t truly lived). Luckily for me, I got over wasting my life away watching soppy repetitive soaps, and a new platform for acting came along: Facebook!
Ever noticed how it’s so easy to make people think something of you just by putting it up as your status, or putting up a picture? For example, at one point in time, I wrote “Patrick is a closet atheist” as my status, and suddenly people started messaging me, asking “Patrick, how are you… how is Joburg… have you left the faith?” Tomorrow I write something else, and it continues to build people’s perceptions of me.
One thing I’ve noticed is how easy it is to play crowds with your Facebook profiles. It’s easy to get everyone to think of you as a certain personality, by carefully crafting your profile, pictures and statuses. It’s easy to look like a hard, tough, un-phased individual, yet in reality one is soft, sensitive and worried about what people’s perceptions are. At the same time, it’s easy to look like a soft, caring individual, when in reality one is hard, and un-phased. You often find an inconsistency between a person’s Facebook profile and their actual personality. I think there is a term for people like this: liars.
I too have done this a couple of times. Portraying myself and my thoughts in a certain way, just to get a certain reaction from the masses. But really, what’s the point? I’ve realised that posting something on your profile that is just meant for the masses, and misaligned with who I really am just exposes my insecurities to those who know who I really am. Is my security in who people think I am? Or is my security based on something more stable? As for me and my house, I’ve just decided to start being real.