Rowley: Who we are when we’re being watched

From SABR member Meg Rowley at FanGraphs on October 25, 2018:

Who we choose to be when we know someone else is watching is very revealing. It isn’t necessarily who we actually are; researchers have long fretted over the corrupting influence of observed observation. People pick their noses in their cars alone; they remember Kleenex when Grandma is near. But who we decide to be when we can feel another person’s gaze does tell us something about who we think we should be, or perhaps who we wish we were. Someone who sat up straighter, or who knew the right, snappy thing to say. Someone who was kinder. Someone like ourselves, only different. A not-a-nose-picker.

Most people go through life without inspiring much sustained notice, save for the odd grocery-store lurker. But a funny thing happens during October baseball, when the stakes are high and we all find ourselves watching the same games. The drama in front of us serves to make us aware of strangers’ keen notice.

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Originally published: October 26, 2018. Last Updated: October 26, 2018.