Each person is sure that one knows oneself well and how to interact with the world. It seems to be wrong when one delves into the model of Charles Cooley’s Looking Glass Selfie. The basic principle of the model is that one can take a lot of information about himself according to how he is perceived by others (Keirns et al., 2016). In other words, the “mirror” principle is used according to the name, and in this case, the mirror is the perception of a person by other people. Moreover, this principle is becoming especially popular in the era of digitalization and social media. Namely, one can post the photo in a couple of clicks and get other people’s reactions, not even from acquaintances. It greatly influences the formation of the perception of oneself, as it displays an accurate picture, and one subconsciously understands this.
Irving Hoffmann’s principle that all people are actors, and communicate with others this performance on stage is an interesting comparison to a broad spectrum of thought. One may agree with this principle, moreover, it can be assumed that it is happening subconsciously. Probably, one often tells oneself that one will be who one is, that one will not pretend and put on a “face”, according to the “facework”. Thus, one will not use the emotional mask displayed on the face to match the emotional state. However, often unconsciously, people forget about it and begin their “performance”, taking into account the stigma raised by others. For example, that one needs to hide these extra couple of pounds by wearing black, and these couple of pounds will be a stigma. Indeed, the very formation of the idea that a couple of pounds are extra is based on social standards. And these standards, in turn, are based on the reaction of others, namely on the “front stage”, where we give our best to “play” well.
Today, one may observe how an extraordinary event, namely a pandemic and quarantine, affected people’s mental health. In some cases, social isolation has led people to experience negative consequences such as violence and rioting. It would be interesting to analyze this in the context of Sigmund Freud’s “id, ego and superego” model. Thus, according to this model, the id is something that every person was born with, desires that one wants to fulfill right now. It is an animal instinct, immediate gratification, and unlimited pleasure. The superego is responsible for aspects of morality and values in a person, people develop the superego after birth, following an example from their parents or close people. The ego is a sense of self that acts as a mediator between the id and the superego.
In the context of today’s situation, namely social isolation, it seems that the pandemic has led to the manifestation of negative emotional behaviors. Namely, disorder and brutality, which in the context of Sigmund Freud’s model are factors of the id. In other words, people experience ego weakening, which would act as a mediator and strengthen the superego, which would contribute to normal behavior. It could be one of the consequences of social isolation and stress, that people experience in this period. Thus, the dilute ego leads to an animal’s instinct and desires to discharge negative emotions through cruel behavior and destructive actions.
Keirns, N. J., Strayer, E., Griffiths, H., Rydzewski, S. C., Scaramuzzo, G., Sadler, T., Vyain, S., Bry, J. D., & Jones, F. (2016). Introduction in Sociology. (2nd ed.). OpenStax College.