The Danger of the Divided Self

The late Dr. Paul Tournier, known by many as the twentieth century’s most famous Christian physician, wrote a book back in 1954 titled “The Meaning Of Persons” that offers some very helpful insights for today’s world as we try to figure out how to best navigate social media in healthy ways. Tournier said that we all have to recognize the disparity that exists between who we know ourselves to be on the inside, along with how we decide to present ourselves to other people. He calls this disparity the difference between what we know to be our person, and the personage we present to the world. Because social media allows us to create, fabricate, curate, and present a false self to our followers, this disparity can be especially wide in today’s world. Tournier says we become contradictory beings. The further apart our persons and our personages are, the greater will be our problems with mental health, for part of our lives will be lie. Could it be that this is at the heart of our kids mental health issues?