Seeping underneath
public enigma of face,
the grit of true self.
Does social media make us happier?
It's probably true that having more “friends” increases our impression of self-worth. And yet, many of us feel that scrolling through bullet-pointed versions of other people's lives invites constant comparisons, making us feel that everyone else is leading a perfect life.
The habit of overestimating others' happiness is not new. But a constant stream of joyful snapshots and accomplished bios puts some added pressure on this Achilles' heel of human nature.
Off the online stage, many of our feelings remain hidden -- at least the "bad" ones. It makes me think deeply how happiness is worthy of public viewing, and the struggles that build our true character remain largely private. Of course, there are exceptions to this. Do we consider happiness much more impersonal in a way that pain is not?
This project explores how we make only a sliver of ourselves accessible on new platforms of connectivity. The images display a portion of the subjects' face, continued by the uniform mask that hides many of our emotions - the challenges we carry with us. And yet, this is the side we are most interested in.
The discussion around "which side is more real" could go on for a while. When researching the different viewpoints, I found this statement: "Nothing is more real than the masks we make to show each other who we are." (Christopher Barzak)
Click on any image to scroll through larger views
8 x 10 print on 9 x 11 sheet (inches)
16 x 20 print on 18 x 32 sheet (inches)
24 x 30 print on 26 x 32 sheet (inches)

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