I have been listening to an audiobook of Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts this week. I found out about the book through @RileyPaton‘s podcast: Are You Listening? I have really been enjoying it. It discusses personality dynamics in some interesting societal and historical contexts. This has given me a better sense of some of the influencing forces experienced by my grandparents’, parents’, and own generation.
The mention of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock was particularly meaningful to me. I enjoyed this poem in English 12, but this perspective brought a new connection and understanding when I revisited it. In high school, I did not reflect much on the theme of cultivating a persona (preparing a face) and social demands (“eyes that fix you”). Cain describes how “it’s dutifully memorized and then forgotten by teens increasingly skilled at shaping their online and offline personae.” That really resonated. As an introverted learner, I have found Twitter and other backchannels very helpful. Here is a blog post I wrote about Twitter and Anxiety. The idea of cultivating a persona is an important one to consider. What is your online persona?