Dreaming in Third Person

Are your dreams like movies in your head?

I learned something interesting about my teenage daughter a couple weeks ago. Often, as I’m driving her to school in the morning, she’ll tell me about some weird dream she had that morning – and they are almost always weird. Like seeing a library in the sky, or seeing people she knows in weird places or situations. But what I never realized until she mentioned something about how hair looked in her dream, was that she dreams in third person point-of-view. As in, she sees herself as if she’s someone else, like watching a movie.

It was hard for me to comprehend – and it’s also something I never thought about before. Sure, I’ve had dreams where I wasn’t playing an active role, but was just passively seeing other people going through whatever actions, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen myself, other than looking in a mirror. It never occurred to me that it would be otherwise for others. On the other hand, it seemed weird to my daughter that I would dream everything in first person point-of-view. Although when she thought about it, she thought some, if not most, of her friends dream in first person.

...or are you a first person shooter?

It reminded me of my Grandpa Adams, who told me he dreamed in black-and-white. I was maybe eight or nine at the time, and of course thought this was very odd, although it didn’t seem as strange at the time as it does when I think about it now. No, he wasn’t messing with me. At the time, I figured he dreamed like he watched TV, which for him was in black-and-white, until maybe ten years or so before we had that conversation. But why it seems stranger now, is that he was born in 1914, and therefore wouldn’t have had television until he was well into adulthood. Of course he went to the movies, but wouldn’t have had that frame of reference until he was at least elementary-school aged. I don’t think I know of anyone else who dreams (or did) in black and white, although it’s not a topic that we talk about all the time. It never occurred to me to ask my other grandparents.

It’s something I don’t think about often. I hardly ever remember my dreams, and of the few I do, 99% of them are just dumb and boring.

So what about you? Do you see yourself in your dreams, or are you a first person shooter like me? Does anyone you know dream in black and white?

Photo of people running via Microsoft Office Images
Game photo via gamingbolt.com