An avatar is a real life digital photo or any graphic image (cartoon or otherwise) used to create an alter ego—an image or illustration meant to represent you. It is commonly seen alongside a user’s post, for others to easily recognize the owner/author of that post. Therefore choosing the perfect avatar, the ideal picture, certainly goes a long way in establishing a connection (a one-on-one feel) with the reader/visitor. So what does your “computer avatar” say about you to others?
Here are a couple of photos of me that I have used in the past.
Each one lends a different feel about the person that I am.
Obviously, one of those pictures portrays me when I was very young, and if I didn’t know me I’d say the younger picture of me makes me appear unapproachable as compared to the older photo of me.
No doubt by now you’ve visited many blog posts and seen just as many real-life digital photos as you have seen graphic images/illustrations (often putting the author of that blog incognito). And no doubt many of us have created a personality in our minds—even formed opinions—based solely on that avatar. Some of those formed ideas may go something like what follows.
Of a digital photo, we may see: a lovable and sweet and/or kind person, motherly, fatherly—family oriented—attractive, polished, educated, self-important and even stuck-up.
And of a cartoon or illustration, here’s what we might see: fun, daring, scary, artistic. We’ve often thought of the cartoon/illustration clearly to be in-hiding, perhaps someone afraid they won’t be liked, that they will be judged badly based on their appearance. Obviously each has a reason to have chosen something other than a real photo of themselves.
So we may or may not click with these individuals unless we create an opportunity to establish a common rapport.
Then, of course, we hope to form a second opinion; we hope to find a clearer depiction of who they are. Usually that will only happen after we have had the occasion to interact on-line for a while. But sometimes we also learn that photos can be very deceptive about a person! And that goes without saying.
Without meaning to insult anyone, in truth, many of us will typically “judge that book by its cover,” therefore, and sadly, first impressions are important to us.
Have you ever judged someone based on their computer avatar?
We dream a life to be; we live to dream that life! (vka)
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