Anti-ageing Avatars

This post was written with tongue firmly in cheek and any offence caused to colleagues, friends, acquaintances or to those who self indentify is purely accidental :).

How many of you dear readers follow the prognostications and/or misadventures of your social networking friends and colleagues without actually having met them in person? If you’re like me, those whom I follow via Twitter, RSS feeds and the like and who are personally known to me, are vastly outnumbered by those who I have never had the pleasure of sharing a face to face conversation with. There are huge advantages with this sort of situation, all of which far outweigh the possible downsides of online interaction. For this I am hugely grateful as I have made many more valuable contacts via such networks than I could ever have hoped to do by any other means. Having gotten to “know” these colleagues, it’s always interesting when you do finally get the chance to meet face to face with these network nodes for the first time.

Last week as I have written previously, I was fortunate to be able to go to the DEECD Innovation Showcase which numerous nodes of my network also attended. As always it was great to catch up with some of the already “f2fed” nodes and several online conversations were continued often in a much more animated fashion than in their online iteration. What was more a challenge though was trying to catch up with those nodes yet to be “f2fed”. At a fairly large gathering, the need to be social, the need to get to sessions and all of the rigmarole of being in a strange place made life tricky in this regard. In most cases though it proved fairly straight forward to find folk.

For one or two however, things proved a little trickier. It would appear that some of the colleagues who I was scanning the room for might have inadvertently left the softening lens on the digital cam when their avatar pic was taken. Either that or said colleagues had not bought their Retinol with them down to the “Big City”. Try as I could it was just a little tricky to reconcile the person across the room with the avatar that I had previously stored in my mind against their name. Other problems stemmed from those clever folk who in developing their avatar, had chosen to show off their expertise with PhotoBooth, Photoshop or other image manipulation tools. All in all it caused this ageing bloke whose mind is on the decline, no end of problems when the image planted in my brain was not the person I’m expecting to greet :).

So an earnest plea from the heart, in order to spare me future befuddlement and/or embarrassment if you are ever at an event and you see some poor old beared bloke staring blankly into the crowd please come over and introduce yourself, I’ll be the one with the jar of Retinol inย  hand.

Full disclosure my latest avatar was taken earlier this year though given the ravages of my life at present maybe I should be updating it weekly ๐Ÿ™‚

Old Lady by jot.punkt

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2 Responses to Anti-ageing Avatars

  1. Colin says:

    Nice reflection John, and too true. I’ve also struggled at times to match avatars to faces, but a couple of times have had no problem matching them – due to the fact that the avatar was a very reasonable likeness. In fact I met a tweep for the first time last week, and was surprised that I could match her real face to her comic avatar after we swapped real twitter names. Someone’s suggested my avatar doesn’t reflect the real, so I’m thinking about what to do…

    One other thing I find tricky is when usernames are completely different from real names. Maybe these issues are no big deal and may even help as an icebreaker or discussion starter when finally meeting online friends f2f. I suppose it’s may about how much we want to be recognised or how much of a challenge we want to set our nodes when seeking each other out f2f.

  2. Lucy Barrow says:

    LOL…John, you make me laugh! ๐Ÿ™‚

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