?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Halloween - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2005-11-02 20:23
Halloween
Public
halloween, holidays, identity, online
Halloween is an interesting holiday in that it lets people experiment with their identity in ways they normally cannot. (However, many only "experiment" in stereotypical ways. For instance, women's prepackaged costumes are almost universally sexy.) What I really don't like - a sentiment I adopted from my dad - is how people use it as an excuse to abdicate restraint and responsibility. The usual social controls are absent or lessened. As I thought about this yesterday, I was reminded of all the research done on online identities. Online, people can "try on" different personalities different from the ones they usually have. In fact, they're even less constrained than they are on Halloween (or many other historical and current holidays, such as Mardi Gras, Robynne reminds me): though people's traces may be recorded permanently, they can interact anonymously (or pseudonymously). Somehow, while Halloween bothers me, this doesn't, though I suppose there are aspects of online interactions that I do find particularly odious.
Comment | 7 Comments | Share | Link






Darth Absinthe
darthabsinthe
2005-11-03 07:29 (UTC)
(no subject)
Did you alter your identity this Halloween?
Reply | Thread | Link



Darth Absinthe
darthabsinthe
2005-11-03 15:25 (UTC)
(no subject)
D makes a fabulous Tinkerbell!
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Jeff
lbchewie
2005-11-03 08:03 (UTC)
(no subject)
Haha. I went as myself, because all of my friends are encouraging to just be ... me ;) Of course, I was severely underdressed for the Castro!

Seriously, I need a Chewbacca costume. Having adopted the pseudonym for nearly eight years, it'd be very appropriate. I even respond to "Chewie" offline, I find.
Reply | Thread | Link



shallwedance_
shallwedance_
2005-11-03 09:17 (UTC)
(no subject)
Funny you mentioned it. As you know, I was in the office until late on Monday. As I was walking home via Shattuck, I was wondering why many women were wearing more revealing than usual clothes until I remembered what day it was.

I believe many people allow themselves go wild because it affords them a release valve, to satisfy their baser (but natural) personality forces which they cannot exercise during the rest of the year (for example, blood, violence, and weaponry are also assimilated into costumes and identities). There should probably be a distiction drawn between those for whom irresponsible behavior is abnormal, but wish to dabble with it, and those for whom it is normal and, as you say, Halloween offers a convenient excuse to relish in it. The former, I feel, is psychologically healthy.
Reply | Thread | Link



Kris
anemone
2005-11-03 15:43 (UTC)
(no subject)
Online indentities, I think, are usually about recreating yourself. It's the same process as moving from highschool to college, in which you get a blank slate to draw yourself anew. Halloween is generally creating an identity you don't have to live with.
Reply | Thread | Link



Fata Morgana
chimerically
2005-11-11 18:16 (UTC)
(no subject)
That's true, for some. But others use online forums to play, test limits, and mitigate responsibility for harrassment or abuse, just like some do on Halloween - see all the fake profiles on Friendster, Orkut, etc. Somehow playing online seems more acceptable to me, though it can also have serious consequences (usually more psychological than physical).
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



browse
my journal
September 2013