The ‘Batman Effect’: how having an alter ego empowers you

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/25/the-batman-effect-how-having-an-alter-ego-empowers-you.html

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Sounds a bit like controlled schizophrenia.

It’s true. For many years, I had an alter ego named “Person Who Likes His Job”.
No one at work ever guessed at my secret identity, “Person Who Would Rather Not”.

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Is “Person Who Likes His Job” also a “Person Who is Fine if Asked”? I’m definitely that guy if someone asks how I am.

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being a billionaire is empowering, good to know

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How are you? If you don’t mind me asking.

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Why settle for an alter ego when you can have several of them?

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I recall Janis Joplin saying that before each show, she “put on” the Pearl character, who performed in ways that Janis never could.

Parallel this with the freedom that comes with travel. Go somewhere your old self isn’t known and you can be anyone or anything you want – which is how ordinary folks at home can be fucktards on vacation.

The world IS a stage and we ARE players upon it. Adopt another persona and become someone else. Who do you perform as?

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I’m sure the ‘Batman Effect’ can also be tied right into or considered similar to the ‘Anonymous Effect’ where people feel more free to voice their opinions or act in ways they’d never act in person while in anonymous or pseudo-anonymous situations like those found on the internet.

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I do notice that the good Saint Fnordius is much better with his words than Sorry, you’re not cleared is. But really, having personas for me has the advantage that I can take them off, and discard them should they become no longer useful. And that gives them more room to experiment, since the consequences are less severe if they fail — they can “die” and I can live on.

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So you’re saying that if somehow someone had gotten rid of “John Barron” several years ago, we may have had a chance at avoiding this whole shitshow?

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Ziggy played guitar.

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A friend was a “mild mannered” arts administrator by day, and then organized a lot of events for lesbians. I said something about her secret identity being the lesbian event organizer, and someone missed the joke, “she doesn’t hide her lesbianism”. But while there is overlap, and she didn’t hide one from the other, the day job was a bit more miod mannered. She got a lot of recognition for the lesbian events, someone was once quoted in the paper saying one event “was the lesbian event if the season”, or maybe it was “the Event of the lesbian season”.

But which is the alter-ego? Batman puts on a disguise so he can lead a normal life. But Superman takes off his costume to have a normal life, his power is constant

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You wouldn’t guess it the way they whinge endless about the burden of fame and fortune.

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I’m thinking many people do this in an unconscious way everyday when they interact with different social groups and circumstances. I find a may emphasise more (stereotypical) masculine or feminine traits when interacting with a mechanic compared to my therapist - be more or less sub/dominant in different work environments. I feel this is why I can feel a high level of anxiety when different social and work environment people meet - which face do I wear?

To ‘consciously’ construct a persona that is enabling, the ‘Batman Effect’ seems like a useful tool to have in ones emotional toolbox.

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Where does the Batman Effect end, and where does the Zelig Effect start?

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Poor, misunderstood overachievers.

Listen, all you fools out there
Go on and love me, I don’t care
Oh, it’s lonely at the top
–R.Newman

ETA: We saw Mr Newman in ‘concert’ at a county fair north of San Francisco. He spent the session bitching about his agent. Poor fella…

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::channels a former boss, who had a somewhat larger than life personality:: SUPER, THANKS FOR ASKING!!
:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

(In all seriousness, we all wear masks to hide our true selves, filter what we WANT to say with something more… socially acceptable for the situation, and hide portions of us that might otherwise be considered unacceptable in a business setting. And this username? Is a mask, as it’s the name of my avatar in WoW when I still played.)

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