Thursday, April 26, 2012

Avatar Befuddlement




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!

*deep breath*

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.
 
.

22 comments:

Shea Goff said...

The whole thing, too cute, said the English bulldog.

Chantel said...

Shea--LMAO!! Just spit coffee on my laptop...

BamaTrav said...

"This screaming laughter hides the pain, of it's reality" That's what my avatar says, I guess. Or, I just made that up to be full of bs but.....that is actually me on there. :D

Mandy_Fish said...

I like a real person in the avatar. If all this is about connecting, why not connect with a real person? I have a harder time caring about a mask. But I get the need for anonymity.

BamaTrav said...

The first pic reminds me of Liv Tyler. Very pretty ladies.

Lil' Nigglet said...

I repare roofes.

I love ass-fault work.

Shelly said...

This is a great post. I think there might be a whole sub-field in psychology about how people choose avatars for themselves.

You are refreshing and honest- love it!

terlee said...

Who I am isn't what I look like, but more who I am in my heart.

That's why my avatar is a happy, smiling Buddha. The inner me. The outer me is the shell of appearance, changeable by hair style, different glasses, attitude.

Great photos, by the way...

Out on the prairie said...

i have used the same shot for years, but did put a bit different one on my facebook.i have thought of a few others when i do a timer shot of me, but my daughter said I should delete the ones enjoying the sun in the buff.LOL i like both of yours, the first is elegant.maybe i need a better shot.

Chantel said...

BamaTrav--lol, thank you.

Mandy--exactly. I like seeing a face....but then, who knows if it's their real face??

Lil'--lol!

Shelly--thanks. I didn't want to offend anyone, I just find the subject interesting--how we all represent ourselves here. Sometimes I wonder if we are more real here....behind a screen, or perhaps I am just over-thinking it. lol

Terlee--you are so right, which is why I love your blog. :) And the fact that you chose the happy Buddha says so much about you! (which is directly why I will not hire the gremlin guy to do my roof)

Prairie--lol at the sun in the buff, that would take your blog to an entirely different level!

Brian Miller said...

ha for the record i like the one with the dry wall dust...my avater has changed over the years...one with me and one of my boys, one with me and the wife, one with just my face, and now the one with me performing...maybe i am stuck on me throughout...ha...

ND Mitchell said...

This is so true. Choosing your avatar is an art. Your paragraph on men made me laugh. Very entertaining post!

Mary said...

I'm an 80's Vampire. :P

I suppose I could have chosen a chick vampire but what fun would that be? This way I keep people guessing. lol

I use different avatars for different sites. On one site I use a woman with scary big black eyes and a black leaf tattoo on her face. I like to change it up a bit.

I love Vampires and my 'about me' is kinda snarky so I decided to be a fanged 80's character...lol

Chantel said...

Brian--but it's YOU that it's supposed to represent; sometimes I wonder at women (mostly) who only have pics of themselves with kids & husbands...as if there is no delineation?

David--thank you, did I get it about right? :)

Mary--I adore the 80's vamp! Besides, your true face is on all the articles that you write so I know you're not hiding behind a flower or a toad! xo

Matt and Janie said...

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth." ~Oscar Wilde

Recently discovered your blog and am enjoying it very much! Thank you!

ps...I think Abby (NCIS) is quite awesome, too!! :)

Anthony said...

Good post...as an aside, befuddle would be a great Scrabble word :-)

Sarah Kate said...

I like to see the real person - a cartoon avatar or something similar to that always makes me feel like that person has something to hide. But I guess we all do regardless of what we choose as our avatar.

Or maybe the issue is mine - I feel much more comfortable communicating with someone who looks like a person rather than a gargoyle.

Chantel said...

Matt & Janie--I LOVE that quote! Thank you, and seriously, this year I'm going to go all out Abby!

Anthony--are you a scrabble addict too? Sweet!

Sarah Kate--amen. I know the pic could be of anyone...perhaps I just want to BELILEVE it's of the real person? You're right...this is so much more about me, than them.

Paige + Shauna said...

great post - thought seductive.

my avatar speaks to the quiet me,
the shy listener, the one called
child whisper becuase of my patience.

your gorgeous - with pretty lips
to rival angelina jolie.

Chantel said...

Paige + Shauna--thank you, and I think your avatar says exactly that. My patience is not so great...

The Loerzels said...

You know how they say your car indicates how you want the world to see you, but your house is the way you really are. I would say avatars have a lot more in common with the car...

Chantel said...

Marie--haha! I never thought of it like that, but you are so right! *putting "clean the car" on the to do list* :)