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Would The Real Erica Please Stand Up?

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As I’m sitting in Starbucks with Erica, her phone rings, and I immediately know by the way she answers and speaks that it is a friend. Then it occurs to me that there are 3 distinct roles Erica takes on for the 3 distinct groups of people in her life: there’s the “parental-response,” the “friend-response,” and the “brother-response.” Her phone persona clearly exhibits the responses of Erica the daughter, Erica the friend, and Erica the sister.

When her caller-ID reads “Madre” or “Padre,” and Erica answers the call, her tone or greeting is always a genuine indication of exactly how she’s feeling. When talking to our parents, Erica never puts on any sort of façade, and she always displays her honest emotion at the time. For example, if Erica is rushing to a class and our mom calls, she may answer with a frantic and irritated “I’m on my way to class, call you later,” and quickly end the call.

On the other hand, if a friend is calling Erica on her rush to class, no matter how frustrated or rushed she seems to be, her answer is a very calm, cool “Hey, what’s up? I’m in a hurry. Can I call you back in a little bit?” She doesn’t cut these conversations quite as short as the ones with my parents. Whenever Erica the friend answers the phone, she is a perky, funny girl who seems to have no bigger problems than a bag of stale gummy bears. To her friends, Erica always appears upbeat and care-free.

The “brother-response” to Erica’s race to class is quite different from both the other responses. If she reads my name in the caller-ID, chances are she won’t answer at all, but rather rush to class and text me from there. Even though she never answered the call, her phone persona with me is still an honest display of her emotion, but our chats are best left in text messages.
Though the distinct responses could seem to be very different people, they are all Erica. This change of character is something we all do, whether it’s known to us or not





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