from Lynne Tillman, What Would Lynne Tillman Do?

“Being known might mean not having to know yourself.” That makes me think of social-media use, and the fantasy that algorithms will figure us out and lead us into true authentic subjectivity.

I don’t want fetishize the work of “really” knowing yourself, though. That seems like a writers and artists’ move to justify what they do and try to protect it from criticism. 

But I think that “self-expression” on social media is not about revealing oneself but purging, opening a space where the self might appear. The gambit is that the more you share on social media, the more mysterious you become, to others and to yourself

We shouldn’t demonize “not knowing oneself” when self-knowledge so often comes at the price of self-centeredness, and the expectation that everyone else be invested in the project of your having some stable sense of self. It seems better to attune to what other people need, what they want out of situations, and be frank about whether you think at that moment that your desires can commingle and collaborate.


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