Isn't "befuddlement" a smashing word? I attempt to use it at least twice a week....to befuddle someone. (hah, I slay me!) But in all seriousness, (can you tell this is going to be one of my more thought-provoking posts?) what the hell is up with avatars??
No, not the blue people in space with a glowing tree, "The Picture That Represents You." In a virtual world where you can be anyone--anyone at all--we have to choose a visual snap that all will forever associate with your name/persona/bewitching (or possibly vapid) expulsion of repartee and endowment. (ahem, I meant that as in "competency," but take it any way you wish)
From Facebook to Blogland, Mylife and Linkdn--there is a jpg file that embodies you. A mere casual glance and the Click-er has an idea already forming about the Click-ee... So why in the name of a monkey's ass (wow, does it have a name?) does one pick a GREMLIN?!
I AM NOT GOING TO HIRE YOU TO DO MY ROOF!
Men. Ah yes, the prismatic minefield that is the mind of a man. Torn between his masculinity (hence the shot of his maxed out Thunderbird with the old school leather seats and the fuzzy dice) and his professionalism (represented by the serene headshot sporting a checkered tie) all the while warring with the 15 yr-old that is perpetually present and screaming to use the two oranges with the banana in the middle. May the better man win. Which is the better? Well a simple rule of appropriateness should come into play here, please don't let Juvi pick out your Linkdn pic.
Women. *sigh* Here is the swamp of emotional slush that one must carefully wade through, hoping to find enough solid ground to stand on....only to have it change a week later. Do we choose a pic of our kids being cute? Being stupid? The one of the new baby or of hubby when he fell asleep with his face squelched against the window drooling? How about fluffy chicks or the cat or the neighbor's goat..... A flower? (does that mean she feels pretty?) A giant eye? (I think that means she's really deep) And while I am all for this artistic expressionism of the meaningful parts of our lives, (the neighbor's goat is questionable) I am so confused because I just want to see YOU.
I know there are privacy issues, (for those of you with your millions of zealous followers that scour your posts for references to grocery stores they will then haunt--I feel for you, really) and the rare case of tragedy that encroaches into reality--I firmly believe all stalkers/abusers of children and whatnot should be penned for life. Additionally we have the very shy, ah love--we all are just enjoying your BRAIN--that's the magic of this intangible world. I doubt we'll ever share a cup of tea, so release your inner Madonna. (strike a pose, there's nothing to it--vogue!) I also personally know people who--even in real life--would wear a costume every day; I admit--dressing up is fun. I do have a soft spot for fun. (I mean who doesn't want to deck out as Abby from NCIS and casually go to the office?) Perhaps it all boils down to not being judged for your appearance...but then, I'm left looking at a flower and wondering if you're a redhead too.
It would really make for an interesting thesis, don't you think? Some study researching the avatars we pick and correlating the personalities behind them. How they influence the business world (does a pony-tailed jogging suit Linkdn pic get more traffic than the brunette in glasses?) and virtual success. Besides, it's all smoke and mirrors in the long run, right? I certainly realize even as I'm smiling back at a handsome fellow on screen named Bert--that it could quite possibly be Bert's son....or cousin....locked up now for three years after smuggling opium into the country in his bum.
It's all conjectural, isn't it? I'm just as guilty--this is my fb pic:
However, the reality that my husband and neighbors see on a much more regular basis is this.
Me in drywall dust, stained hands, flecked with paint, smelling of sweat and sawdust.
Maybe I should use a Gremlin.