You may recognize the title from Ben Stein's role in the old movie The Mask, but I thought it would perhaps be a fitting title given the recent discussion which lead to this post.
Socially, everyone wears a mask and assumes a role. Roles often pend on situation, people, and context but everyone has a major variety of them. Not unlike multiple personalities in a way, these roles define our position in different social situations or groups.
I tend to be quite a fan of assuming roles, or changing masks if you prefer, I can think of three of four major mindsets which are dramatically different. Here on the blog, people probably get close to experiencing my rawest natural personality, but there are still some embellishments and specific regulatory checks which I put myself under to keep from scaring away my readers.
Some of my thoughts may offend some of the strongest individuals, or cause unneeded backlash and/or flame wars. A good example of this was my Draw Muhammad Day post, which lead to individuals flagging my blog. It was worth it by the way. There are just some posts I will make regardless of who is reading, but overall I try to be careful.
Some of the most interesting cases of masking yourself in a social arena is when someone assumes an identity behind the computer screen. This is an obvious one seen on online forums, blogs, and anywhere else where text tends to be the only interaction between people. This is where much malice and hatred is born, due to text backlash not being so scary people tend to turn off their social Politically Correctness. It seems that individuals feel that the internet is not governed by the same social framework which makes up how they compose themselves in the day to day world.
This can possibly be a good thing, because there are those who feel more comfortable being themselves from behind the computer screen and others who assume roles. Usually roles tend to be as extreme as possible within the boundaries of what ever site they are using but even those seemed to be pushed (with the ideology in mind that social frame works do not apply).
Just some interesting observations, I may think about more and continue on with...