Imago Me

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He was an artist, practicing his craft from the first moment that his ego could entertain his own greatness.

With the commitment of a nervous tick, he would observe himself, making adjustments to his appearance in all of its wonderful manifestations.

Each day was a stage and he was the star!

The early days of his stardom were simple. At first, the kids in the playground formed his unwitting audience. After that he looked for more and more stages with larger and larger audiences— teams and classrooms often worked well.

There was one skill that made him so good at his art. It was…

Reading. People’s. Minds.

Yep. It might not have made sense to anyone else, but he knew what people were thinking, he knew what they wanted, he knew.

He never understood people that couldn’t find their life purpose? It was simple: Just give the people what they want.

But, as as he yearned for more people to buy a ticket to his show, an annoying nemesis tried to slow him down. He gave it a fancy name: anxiety.

The question would badger him like a begging dog: Was he good enough at his craft?

So, he doubled down, making sure to edit his masterpiece to the point of perfection.

And then it happened. The stars aligned. Like an explorer who stumbles upon an ancient, forgotten city — he got stuck in the world wide web.

The potential of an ever expanding audience? Rows of chairs appearing every second? Every half second? So many eyes focused intently on the product of his life long craft.

He called his exhibition, Me. He would show it in a new venue, Myspace. It would be awesome.

Forget the awkwardness of real life — now he could edit, reedit, edit the edit of the edit. He could finally perfect and present his greatest work, Me.

But as the crowd grew, so did his nemesis — eating his work from the inside out.

With so many people came so many expectations — his skill of reading people’s minds was really getting tested.

As the days went by and the size of his potential audience grew with every click, he was burning the candle at both ends, constantly editing Me, and reacting to the beliefs, the needs, the tastes, the expectations of his beautiful, glorious audience. They needed him, he needed them. They were in this together. No, wait. They were in this for, Me.

And then came the day.

His work of art, his gift to the world, crashed to the ground and it didn’t make a noise — because no one was there to hear it. His potential audience had left. He hadn’t been able to keep up.

The web was filled with people and more had been getting trapped every day. With so many people, he couldn’t read their minds anymore. His audience had merged into one comprehensible blob. They spoke with so many voices that he couldn’t keep it straight.

He longed for the simple days of the playground.

He saw the journey of his life:

He had gone from Me’s artist, to Me’s publicist, to Me’s PR person.

And now Me was finished. Even the venue for his great reveal — Myspace — had fallen so far away that many in the audience would be surprised to know that it still existed. With the noise of the audience gone, he focused and found his way out of the web. He set off on a journey to find out who he was, now that he had no show to perform and no people to please.

Such is the temptation of our age — the curation of Me for the world to see.

To each man his own… PR person.

Hi, I’m Michael and this is my daily project where I write about diverse ideas.

This is Dose #121.

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