When I sat down to write an article about “curated self”, little did I know about the topic. When dissected, the term obviously refers to ‘self’ and relates to something about caretaking, a custodian or a conservator. I would know about curation from the cricketing term “curator”, a person in charge of deciding, preparing, maintaining and preserving cricket pitches (surface on which the game is played). So, curated self refers to the decision you take to include what you want to and exclude that you wish not to be seen by others.
The word curation is mostly used in art galleries. The art curators decide what to include/exclude from the gallery, how to order the pieces (segregate by chronology, theme or medium), how much information to include in the description, what color the wall must be painted, how to promote the exhibition and so on. With retrospection, I feel the concept is closely related to social media where art galleries are replaced by my social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
There has been a lot of blogs and articles against curation. The strong claim is that people post not what they really like but only what they think their friends will praise. Many have also argued that people hide their originality when online and adapt to a different virtual self. While I accept that it is a dangerous practice and should be addressed, I also feel that curation, when performed rightly could make a world of difference to oneself. It is a double-edged sword but the benefits on the positive edge are immense and worth trying.
There is a lot of my content on exhibition all over the web and I do not have an eye on everything every time. But if one could curate his/her content or learn to do it well, it shall lead to meaningful changes in practices and policy. I realize I am a researcher as well as my own research subject. What if I decide to do research on myself and curate continually? Will an exhaustive analysis of my online presence reveal unidentified patterns, help me correct my mistakes and change my presence for social well-being? Yes, I believe.
So, the next time you visit an art gallery, look past just the art. Look at the walls, the descriptions, the sequence, and promotion materials. And then like great artists, steal those ideas and apply them to your own work. Even before that, open your social gallery (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) now and try curating. Witness you surprise yourself.
Lessons are everywhere, yet only visible to who wants to learn.
What is your one takeaway from this? Do share your feedback by commenting on the post, or shoot me a personal message. Your feedback helps me write better.
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