This is a subject about which princeHerman has devoted much thought. He took a class called “Social Media for Professionals”, which helped him make conscious decisions about a public persona.
In spite of approaching the format with intention, using language to obscure mature content, princeHerman has noticed that some of his posts to other people’s timelines have been deleted. When he notices that there is pang of hurt, mixed with, “that’s fine, its their timeline and they know their audience, this was just fun.” But still no regret.
The considerations are more significant, though. What princeHerman posts on his own timeline caters to shaping and reinforcing his professional image. That professional identity as princeHerman the artist is decidedly mature and possibly offensive. He made a decision about living a transparent life. A strong moral compass guides his behavior, but morality occurs on a spectrum that varies dependent on the community providing context. More, well considered morality is individual. Individuals take the assumed values of their upbringing and decide how those values will guide their behavior. When social media enters the consideration, a person must decide what to share and with whom to share, putting themselves up to public scrutiny.
princeHerman knows he will offend someone. He is careful about whom he accepts for friendship; no one under 21. He un-friends anyone that tries to push their religion at him. And he un-friends those who would be belligerent about any subject, usually but not exclusively Republicans.
A curious offense occurred a few months back when he referred to himself using the royal ‘we’, being told that term is reserved for sitting monarchs. Another offense occurred when he invited a retired gallery owner to a show, being told that was insensitive, and pH still doesn’t understand this one. Although he knows some folk have unfriended him, only one person, an in-law, has confronted him about his art or activities. And that person confronted through the family. His response was a request to be unfriended, which instead garnered an apology.
Social acceptance changes over time. Nevertheless princeHerman’s identity offends many and he uses prudence. A trip to ancestral Russia will occur when it can be embarked upon safely. pH cannot control who’s social mores will be offended, and thus has decided on transparency because his behavior harms no one and breaks no laws in the community in which he resides, San Francisco.
Here’s the sticky part. princeHerman has engaged and plans on engaging in activities and art which will undoubtedly limit his future choices. Some of his art confronts assumed morality, giving over an attempt at beauty to the topic of sex, which most people try to hide in their bedrooms, their closets, a dark room. Although not for discussion in this particular writing, pH sees this discourse between erotica and pornography. This frank treatment of explicit sex will limit career choices, but as has been pointed out, does he really want to work for companies that would hold those contradictory standards.
During the Pride festivities, a new project formed. The project is a sub-portion of a larger project, The Chapel of Perpetual Indulgence. It is a video that makes, even princeHerman uncomfortable. The video, titled ‘Beatitudes’, presents a religious figure relishing a debaucherous activity for pleasure. During the discussions, pH did decide not to use a religious figure that would generate credible death threats. The project will go on. It will make him uncomfortable. It will offend. Hopefully it will also confront dogma that stigmatizes the human nature of certain pleasures. It will not be posted to Facebook.
Image from fotopedia.com, not attribution provided, copyright: listed as free use.
Aside: searching for a free use image for this post, princeHerman came upon this strange quote, “She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved.” pH asks, “Huh, the other disciple has no name, but is specifically the one that Jesus loved.”