How Important is an Online Friend's Avatar in the Way You Perceive Him or Her?
When I have known people on one site, such as myLot, Gather, or even Persona Paper, I have had a tendency to incorporate their avatars into my concept of who they are. Then, when I see them on Facebook or Tsu or somewhere else where they post a real photo of themselves, I sometimes need to adjust my thinking. I had so associated them with their avatars, that’s who they seemed to me. So seeing what they really looked like kind of jarred me.
It’s been the same sort of feeling as that I’ve had when people change their avatars. I remember one person in particular you might know. When I first came across her on myLot her avatar was one of strength. Then she disappeared for a while on the site. When she returned, her avatar was a human child, not a cartoon figure. And my mental picture of who she was changed with the avatar. She still uses that avatar n at least one site.
Although I hid my identity behind a pseudonym on myLot, I’ve never had any avatar but my own photo on a content writing site. I just used a different version of it on myLot than on most other pages. My writing voice stays pretty much the same from site to site, too. If you know me here, you will know the same me as you have on Persona Paper, Squidoo, HubPages, Wizzley, Zujava, Gather, or myLot. I just may be writing under a different name.
As to your avatar, if you change it, why do you change it? Is it because you have changed or because you want people to think of you differently? Are you trying to remake yourself in the minds of others or have a different persona on a new site?
When you see an avatar, do you think of the person it represents as that avatar and feel a sort of jolt when you see an actual photo? My curious mind wonders.
B. Radisavljevic, ©2014 All Rights Reserved
Originally published on Bubblews in 2013.
Image Credit » My husband took the picture at my request and I have permission to use it.