A BEGINNER’S PERSPECTIVE: Creating Your Online RLSH Identity (Part 2) by Phantasm

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In Part 1 of A BEGINNER’S PERSPECTIVE: Creating your online RLSH identity (see previous article) I went into how to get started on Facebook and gave a few tips and pointers on picking your RLSH name. In Part 2, I’m going to go into more detail about the RLSH community online.

WHO’S ONLINE

Well, for starters, there’s fellow RLSH. We’re a wide range of races, ages, genders, political persuasions, and orientations. At the end of the day we all share the common desire to help our community. Most are welcoming and are happy to give you pointers. There’s kind of a debate on how many RLSH there really are. In my personal opinion there’s maybe 50 active RLSH members in the United States and most are located in California, with Chicago coming in second.

The reason I say ‘active’ is because you’ll come across many abandoned RLSH Facebook pages. They’re what I call ‘flash-in-the-pan’ RLSH. They come into the community, last 2-3 weeks and are gone never to be heard from again. More than likely, they had an idea they were going to be Batman and quickly realized being an RLSH is more about community service.

A lot of these flash-in-the-pan RLSH tend to be what the community calls ‘ninjalantees.’ These are people who’ve watched Batman one too many times and run around in a hoodie and bandana covering their face. They think they’re badass and talk about being a vigilante of the night.

There’s also the Real Life Supervillains (RLSV.) Yep, you read that right but it’s not what you think. In essence, to use a wrestling term they play the ‘heel’ to a superhero. A great example of this is Mr. Saturday Night who is Blue Beacon’s ‘archnemesis’ during her random acts of kindness videos.

And lastly, there’s also normal everyday people. These are people who follow the RLSH community but don’t dress in a costume themselves. Some are supporters and lend a helping hand at various outreaches and others are fellow geeks that are curious about being an RLSH but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge.

WHO TO FRIEND

That’s a personal choice and is totally up to you. For me, one of the quickest and easiest ways I use is: does the person have any real photos up? If they don’t then I pass. It tells me they’re probably not serious about actually getting out there and helping their community, which is fine if they’re still at least being supportive. But personally, I’m interested in getting out there in the real world and so try to surround myself with RLSH who want to do the same.

When first starting out it’s easy to send and accept as many friend requests as possible to build up your RLSH network. Eventually, however, you’ll want to slow down and really pay attention to who you’re friending. Are your new found friends being supportive? Are they actually out there doing stuff or are they more focused on criticizing others for not doing it ‘right’? As in the real world you should always keep the positive influences in your life and reject the negative ones.

In Part 3 we’ll discuss what online communities to join and what to share (or not to) online.


-Phantasm

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