My Personal Choice
The first avatar I ever heard about was Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender (not the movie) but the Cartoon Network show. The more famous Avatar, of course, might be those blue alien beings on the big screen. So in this post of the Teacher Challenge – we study creating an avatar for a web persona.
Since the onset of social networking and Facebook, well, I first saw it on MySpace but people are obsessed with presenting themselves online. Photography has also become a more assessable hobby, but I digress. Choosing the “perfect” profile picture can be such a chore, after all it is an “image” you place out there to represent yourself.
Unfortunately, we hear of the nightmare stories and misinterpretations of photos that have been published intentionally / unintentionally on the Internet. I originally posted a photo of myself on Gravatar, thinking that a more professional “thing to do” is present yourself truthfully and honestly. Sometimes the use of a character can be fun and represent another side of your personality. Could using an avatar be considered deceiving? I think not.
Regardless if you use a real photo or a representation, readers, viewers (and well, people in general) will “judge” you whether they know it or not, should they act upon that judgment positively or negatively is another matter. We hope to put our best foot forward, but keep a sense of anonymity is really up to the person’s comfort level.
I’ve always been a private person, but I love to write and journal. So it is kind of interesting to start blogging when it is so. . . public.
For experimentation purposes, I chose Picassohead since I’ve never used it before. It’s cute. I like the simplicity in the lines and the obscurity as is Picasso art. I chose a simple splash of color to highlight that extra oomph that lurks beneath the surface – simple, uncomplicated really.
Avatar Use With Students
When it comes to student usage, it is all about privacy issues. We have a closed server in our school and take the necessary preliminary cautions for Internet use and waivers. These same students will post the most “interesting” photos on social network sites and love being in front of the camera. Yet there are others, who are the extreme. Bottom line, I’m all about freedom of choice. Like this assignment, they can opt to use real photos or a representation.
Either way you look at it, it reveals some aspect of self.. . .and that would be interesting to get to know.