I've kept different identities over the years
Here's how they've reflected at home and in the office.
It all started with figuring out that the extra display I had at home from an old computer could be connected to my laptop to give me an additional display.
This unlocked a whole new world for me. What were the possibilities of all these different screens? How much screen could I control at once?
I found a USB TV tuner card at home and decided to connect the extra screen, my TV, and my laptop all together to see what screen monster I could come up with.
Soon enough, felt like I needed two different displays — I really benefited a lot from it, especially as I was doing a lot of music production at that point in time. I wanted to be able to spread out my DAW workspace in a way that made it easier for me to create.
And then, I upgraded my speakers to studio speakers.
The speakers were necessary for me since they were studio speakers intended to help me judge my sound mixing much better than standard consumer-level speakers.
I guess a lot of it was also a matter of identity.
First, I was a tech geek kid who was trying new things. The initial purpose of my connecting my external display to the laptop was just to see what would happen. And then when I realized how cool it was, I kept it.
When friends came over, I was that kid who did the different thing.
“Wow, is that two computers?” “Actually, no it’s the same. Look! I can move my mouse between the two!”
Then, I was a music producer. All music producers had a desk, a big display, and speakers. And so by having those things, I was fitting into that identity.
But even after I stopped producing music as much, I kept the speakers.
They were large and heavy, but they sounded great. I then was the guy who absolutely loves music, and hence who would do the sacrifice space and weight to have them on his desk.
In college, I was the creative-tech-art-music guy. And so my desk setup, with the MacBook, speakers, and decor like photographs and wall art reflected that.
But I had another desk next to my computer desk, which was meant for studying. I was also a studious kid. It was mostly empty (for focus) except for a clock (actually an old iPad), and some other small stuff.
It was meant to reflect the priority I gave to my academics.
One of my speakers occupied part of the study desk. I guess that was also reflective of my priorities.
The idea was for me to mentally switch between “fun” and academics.
When I worked at SpringRole, I was the creative marketing and video editor intern. I needed not just one, but two displays.
In my first year at HEC, I was a nomad. It was the first time in a long time without my speakers and display, and that was not by choice. It was just not feasible to bring them with me on my first trip. Back to studious mode by default.
At Giggster, in Los Angeles, I was again the creative tech-media intern. I had to have more screens. This one time I went overkill before I realized I was being ridiculous and removed the extra vertical ultra-wide screen after 3 days.
More screens isn’t always better.
In my second year of HEC Paris, I was the YouTuber. I had an aesthetic space, with a big screen for video editing, a nice microphone for zoom classes, and little plants and trinkets everywhere for the aesthetics and the mood.
But the key was that I had only one screen. I would close my laptop. It was my first time trying this setup out, and I realized I preferred a single but large and high-res screen over having two screens because I was able to focus better.
I was now less tech, and more media + writing.
When I first started working 8 months ago, I was the tech startup guy.
Back to the tech. That’s why the headphone hangers and double screen.
I then became the tech startup marketing-person-creator.
Business books, but also art. Mechanical keyboard. The double screen is back, this time with a laptop stand. Organized pinboard too.
Recently, I got rid of my desk. I prefer now to work on the sofa, on my dining table, or outside at a café or a coworking space.
I also stopped using my display and my speakers. I still have them in case I choose to go back (the speakers are being used as book-ends for now), but for now, I’m pretty happy with just my laptop. The big screen on the 16” MacBook helps a lot with that.
What does this mean about my identity now?