Are you yourself when you are online?


I remember a guild member once complaining that no one liked them in guild (actually this has happened a few times, usually when peeps return after being absent for significant slabs of time, ie whole xpacs) – and thinking to myself that they hadn’t made much effort to engage the guild community or participate in guild events recently and what could they expect? You have to work to achieve something like social inclusion after all. Even a returning guild vet has to spend some time getting to know an integrate with guild members because the social landscape is constantly changing.

I’ve always felt I have had trouble presenting a personality to people in the online environment – You’d think the virtual environment would make it all easier eh? …. It just made it more difficult for me originally as I am pretty quiet online and I work my RL relationships by constantly gageing, studying, reassessing and responding to the people around me.

It’s as bad with the blog sometimes. You know how you can go to one individuals blog and their personalities shine through the typeface? & there is humour and ranting and … well spark? These blogs always get epic followings (I have a whole lot sitting in my expired RSS folder hoping they’ll one day return lol) – well that spark, I really can’t see it anywhere in my own online presentations. I had a good run when I was presenting as a horde-orc-hunter but without the constructed identity I don’t feel very … distinct in my writings.

Of course speaking removes the virtual barrier for me quite a lot and guild-Vent has helped me transcend all sorts of social boundaries. With vent I can put across some sort of personality, with the guild forums I can post and have some sort of presence. I am learning to type more in guild chat when I see peeps logging in and I am learning to spontaneously participate in things that are happening in guild such as LFD and LFR instead of doing my own thing whenever I am online. These are the ways you develop rapport with guild members… these are the ways you can make yourself exist in the online environs. (Lol and its totally what we try to tell the neglected feeling guildies to do to get themselves included.)

On the topic of personality – recently I was reading comments posted on Matticus’s ‘what keeps a guild rolling post’ mentioned earlier in the week and the Myers-Briggs personality types were mentioned, as in you can test your officers and make sure you have good matches for particular job roles in the guild… lol running a guild in-game is SO human resources. I of course forwarded the post onto the guild officer team because really it’s a good topic… and my guild leader replied with the fact that she is in fact an ENTP/ENFP – that is an Extravert, Intuitive, Thinker/Feeler, Perceiver.

If you want to take a rough online test for your personality type you can try the QUIZ over here (the online ones are not as comprehensive as the one a trained psych or staff development peep will jump you through but it’s good for an indication if you are honest and a little self-aware.) And you can get a whole lot of write up on the personality profiles at this site or this. Its a lot of fun to post this on the guild forums and find out what fellow officers and guildies are 🙂

Remember a peep will always have a little cross over. That’s a given.

Sigh and then you have an individual like myself. I must admit while I am being 100% myself online… I am not particularly straightforward in real life… so this carries over to wow.

If I am asked I will always tell a peep that I too test up as an ENFP. The quote for an ENFP personality type is something along the lines of “Oh look a butterfly” – this amuses me and honestly I am more than happy to portray myself as a happy-go-lucky flake who likes people and gets a license to be zany but has an attention span that can be distracted in a second by the nearest shiny object.  It makes me seem harmless but likeable, in makes me a non-threat and its a useful tool for telling people how they should think about me. ENFP are fluffy people-people, they care and they socialise and they go out of their way to make the people around them happy as well. Everyone enjoys being around a mature and well balanced ENFP personality.

Hummm but to be honest (and I have to be the most honest liar you’ll ever meet) I usually test up as an INFJ.

It’s always been incredibly important to me to hide in plain sight, frankly I had a childhood hypothesis that I could stand to take a hell of a lot of abuse so long as no one ever hit anything on target or real, and despite being “all grown up” habits stick. Emotional karate-kid moves, don’t try to get out of the line of fire just make sure it is a glancing blow. The other person is also probably best off thinking they copped you good, despite missing the mark – makes for less real damage.

It’s not a big change really, it started in college when I began faking extroversion until it was practically a reality, but in all honestly social situations are a roller coaster of stress spikes and then I have to hide away from people to recuperate and hyperventilate – my social anxiety is practically invisible to all but my inner circle… and most of them would tell you I am a social butterfly. It didn’t take much more effort to start ‘presenting’ other personality traits publicly such as spontaneity and pretending my conclusions and actions were based mostly on impulse.

How does this duality impact on my activities as a guild officer?

ENFP presentation: Well on guild fun runs I can be a little extreme over vent, I have to crack the jokes… its as bad when I rev myself up to interact over guild chat or when I get long winded posting on the guild forums. Guild members are often left asking “What do you mean Bytes? Please communicate more clearly” and they face my deployment of “the wall of text”. Hey I have to ‘rev myself up’ to do this I may as well go all out. I push myself into guild activities even when all I want to do is have a nap or read a book or be off doing some solo PVP. I make a lot of noise.

~ with me presenting like this anyone thinking of utilizing me as a guild officer would probably thing I’ll be excellent for connecting with guild members and surely able to provide insight into the current guild climate. You might even think I am able to build more personal relationships with existing guild members and get to know them beyond their in-game toon. This is not really the case.  

INFJ actuality: I write help guides, boring methodological help guides – I do this without being asked to because I cannot seem to stop. I push the officers into talking about potential guild drama that hasn’t even happened yet and laying down policies for a solution (just go read that post i made on luckydo rolls.) When on a heal team with RL friends the intensity of my analytical nature added extra pressure to their perceived job roles because I would constantly rip WoL combat logs apart looking for ways to improve the process and talk about it with them… while telling them how they could improve their own processes.

~ you can expect me to be rule and system conscious. I’ll help make rules and I’ll help enforce them – balanced by the understanding that compromise gets things done.  I’ll be constantly trying to implement new systems or activities and refine the old ones, these systems will always be “for the people” not just “for the extra paper work” – but the people themselves are also systems to me. While I will find a way (its my nature to find a way to achieve the desired outcome)  to genuinely like and respect every single guild member for some aspect of themselves, I am still going to be constantly thinking about how to best utilize them within the guild system.

The end rub is that although I am busy presenting as a jolly ENFP people person, I hate conflict to the point of intolerance and that I am more distant person then your genuine ENFP type. And unlike a typical ENFP I dislike sudden change, I get upset if you mess the system without preparing me… lol I mean doing what is stated in the guild policy is important to me… not starting a raid on the designated raid time can actually stress me. I think I work well as an officer or raid organiser (a body to get stuff done)…. but i would be fairly lacking as a guild leader or agony aunt.


About Bytes

Returning wow player, one of those elderly burnt out ex-officer types. My current main is a Hunter (MS the under-dog talent tree Beast Master), but thats shifting back to hybrid Shaman. Together with my virtual cat I battle evil, kick butt and take names.
This entry was posted in Blah blah, Guild Admin, Officer Concerns, World of warcraft and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Are you yourself when you are online?

  1. matticus says:

    It’s really hard to maintain two sets of personalities for me. I knew when I first entered blogging that I’d just focus more on me being me. It just feels like it’s too much effort. And sometimes the rewards aren’t even worth it for being someone that you really aren’t.

    Granted though, there are times where one has to put on a slight facade or downplay/accentuate certain personality traits. There’s certain rules and forms one has to follow on the internet. One can’t just blatantly flip off someone because actions have consequences, right? The internet and WoW offers a certain layer or a shield just because of the semi-anonymous factor and I wager that’s going to have an impact somewhere.

    Good god am I exhausted.

    Anyway, just wanted to chime in about it with. Keep it up, yo!

  2. Bytes says:

    WE need to start a weary officers coffee club! oh how I relate on exhausted, but I keep logging in because I love my guildies … and my cartoon panda butt I suppose. Also imo the internet needs to progress to the point where you can email your mates a pie when things are particularly gnarly. Lol Internet ordered flowers don’t quiet cut it. My virtual pie thoughts are beaming in your direction (yup tired thats my excuse, our guild cow-obsessed-pally would be crying “Bytes no one can understand what you are trying to say” about now .)

    I hate to say it facades are hard for me to avoid – brought up to be one of those seen not heard types, not allowed to be too clever (girl child don’t-cha-know. Kid you not, backwater upbringings). Thus stuck in bad habits of dissimulating and self effacing… but usually not self-depreciating as I believe thats incredibly unhealthy (and somewhere along the line I picked up the idea that the new invisible was socially outgoing bwhahaha).

    Hum wouldn’t say I have the energy to construct a killer personality though… i have a friend who reviles wow and all mmo game contact due to the potential breeding ground for liars and two faced people O_o as they got them selves burned in an online relationship and blamed the game. Hum but honestly I don’t mind taking people as they come, however thats probably because I am not ever overly invested in a peep being exactly what they are portraying on the net. (Other than entertaining, I insist they remain entertaining!)

    I do miss my “UG horde hunter. For the Horde” gig though it was fun. This priest toon/personality needs more gumption.

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