That Thing Where I Draw: Masks or Filters?

I often feel like there's two Adams, and I'm always afraid one of them is a mask. Maybe both of them. I worry about a future in which I meet some of you in person -- or that one of you who DOES know me in person will notice something amiss -- and you find out one of these is a fake.

But the more I think about it, the more I think there's just one me. It's not that I'm putting on a mask; I couldn't put on an act like that for very long if it didn't come from something real inside of me. The truth is probably more like this:

Depending on how I know you, you might get a different version of me. But it's still me. Social Adam is not very social (I can hear my wife laughing). Online Adam is only social because that's the whole point of being online. My sometimes-grumpiness doesn't show up here because I filter it out (usually). In many social situations (like with scary people, new people, situations where I have to talk, situations without food or a movie, or any other time in which I cannot hide from the attention of others), my heavy filters pop up, and what you get might appear very different.

But it's all me. I swear.

Does anyone else get like this?


Rhys Milner said...

Yeah, it's not even slightly uncommon.

As an amateur observer of society; Online personalities are just the same as drunk personalities. It's just the person with a whole bunch of inhibitions removed.

Bigger difference = more inhibited person.


Jerk online = Jerk in real life.
Jerk when drunk = Jerk in real life.

They just aren't willing to show it in real life.

P.S. I'm not calling you a jerk. :P It's equally true for people who are always happy or nuts when drunk/online.

Simply my observations on this are based on internet forums and my time as a bouncer. The similarity in both experiences was uncanny.

Valerie Geary said...

Put a curly wig on that little cartoon and you've drawn me perfectly! :D

Joshua McCune said...

Yep, captures me nicely, too.

Myrna Foster said...

Yes. I love being able to edit myself online. There's a lot less pressure because we choose how and when we respond to one another. It's different in person. I do miss facial expressions and hand gestures though.

Adam Heine said...

Rhys: I sincerely hope I'm not a jerk online. (And, btw, I didn't think you were calling me one). I've actively tried to curb my online jerkiness ever since I realized (1) it doesn't change anyone's opinion and (2) everything I say online can be Googled forever.

Myrna: Drawing helps :-) (Also, emoticons, apparently). Even stick figures can be surprisingly expressive.

Adam Heine said...

Valerie and Bane: I didn't realize so many people owned that geek shirt ;-)

Natalie Whipple said...

Everyone has many faces, but they're all part of you.

Cindy Heine said...

It looks like the real Adam is shooting someone in a relaxing manner. Should I be concerned?

Rhys Milner said...

Agree with Natalie's tight summation.

Adam: Yeah after deciding to take myself seriously the concept that everything I ever say now can be Googled makes me worry, particularly if it comes to long lost facebook or livejournal archives when I was younger and full of more than a little BS.

And arguing on the internet being pointless is a lesson you learn early, or you have a stress based meltdown from caring too much about poorly laid out illegible counter arguments.

Adam Heine said...

Don't worry, Cindy. It's not like I can shoot bullets from my fingers.


Steve MC said...

Well, I'm a Gemini, so I'm supposed to be two people. But often it feels more like twelve. Depends on who I'm with, which is one reason being online is unsettling. If I'm with a friend who hunts, I'm different than if I'm with a friend who hunts good deals in head shops. But online, you're there in front of both of them at the same time, so you don't know which role to play. It's like being in both an Avengers movie and a Shakespeare play at the same time - whatever lines you use, they're going to sound off to someone.

I've read interviews with musicians who often say the same thing - about having to play a certain role. Van Morrison said being Van Morrison is a drag, and Dylan often writes of masks. Like he did a concert once in which he said, "It's Halloween, and I got my Bob Dylan mask on." So I guess we all have filters.

By the way, your filter works well, 'cause I never would've thought you to be grumpy. For one thing, you're never at the meetings.