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Does Someone's Avatar Picture Affect Your Opinion?

iLander

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May 23, 2010
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Does the avatar affect your opinion of that poster?

Does your opinion of a poster change when their avatar changes? Does it bother you when it changes?

Or do you not care what they "look" like?

I'm very visual, and it does seem to affect me. I sometimes see very pleasant peaceful avatars next to unhappy posts (nothing right now, I noticed this several months ago) and I'm somehow shocked. Then I see a few avatars that are very sophisticated, and I automatically think the person is smart. I'm very disappointed when someone doesn't have an avatar, because somehow I can't relate to them as easily. Then there are a bunch of avatars that are very similar, and I get the posters all mixed up and can't remember who said what.

I was wondering if anyone else has these thoughts?

Without naming any names in a negative way, how affected are you by someone's visual representation?
 

Dancing Fire

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i get confused with who's who's when members change their avatar.
 

yssie

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Interesting question ::)


Definitely bothers me when people change their avatars - I don't read poster's names as I scroll down a thread, I just recognise (or don't recognise) avatars.. and some posters' opinions mean more to me on some topics than others', so I am on the lookout for those in particular.

I do form 'pictures' of people by their avatars, or posts, probably both... I'm not sure *why* I thought CharmyPoo for instance was blonde, but I was shocked to discover that's not the case!

I would say that in RT newbies definitely judge by avatars, trade badge - maybe post count, too... it has struck me at times how clearly they give posts by people with snazzy CADs or geometric patterns or headshots or standalone gems (as opposed to ring, or ring on the finger, or the ubiquitous furry critter) more credence. I don't *think* I imagined it. One ring on the finger RT poster always struck me as having a very masculine posting style - abrupt, to the point, no flowery verbiage or emotie showers... then he mentioned his fiancee in some thread and I felt vindicated 8)


Edited - pictures, not opinions, closer to what I mean!
 

lbbaber

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691
I just change my avatar and I completely understand that it gets confusing. I am visual and I tend to remember the pics but not the names. Also, I tend to confuse some of the similar photos. I form opinions (not intentionally) based on the photos. I almost didn't change my avatar bc of this but I didn't have a good pic up and I LOVE nesting dolls.....so this will be my forever (I think) avatar!!!
 

HollyS

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Just WHO among us has an avatar that might cause drama?

Now that it's not Christmas, even I'm not offending anyone. :bigsmile:



Avatars seem to mostly picture pets, jewelry purchases, or hobbies/interests, don't they? I don't know of anyone with an eyeroll-worthy avatar, unless I've missed something.
 

Upgradable

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Dancing Fire|1306542129|2932078 said:
i get confused with who's who's when members change their avatar.
DF, we all know that you don't care who's who!
 

Octavia

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Dancing Fire|1306542129|2932078 said:
i get confused with who's who's when members change their avatar.
Me too, until I get used to it.

There are very few avatars that have struck me the wrong way. Mostly I love it when you can tell someone has a good sense of humor, or excellent taste in diamonds/gems/kitties. So I think it does affect the way I think of people, but that's rarely a bad thing.
 

zoebartlett

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It doesn't bother me too much if someone changes their avatar but I will always associate Yssie with her red-capped kitty. Haven is Getty with his blue collar, and so on. The picture in someone's avatar means more to me than their name, if that makes sense. I feel like I know that person a bit more. I don't have any negative opinions of anyone's picture at all. That seems silly.
 

zoebartlett

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HollyS|1306542908|2932085 said:
Just WHO among us has an avatar that might cause drama?

Now that it's not Christmas, even I'm not offending anyone. :bigsmile:



Avatars seem to mostly picture pets, jewelry purchases, or hobbies/interests, don't they? I don't know of anyone with an eyeroll-worthy avatar, unless I've missed something.
I'm still surprised that happened, Holly. :rolleyes: :bigsmile:
 

iLander

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Zoe said:
HollyS|1306542908|2932085 said:
Just WHO among us has an avatar that might cause drama?

Now that it's not Christmas, even I'm not offending anyone. :bigsmile:



Avatars seem to mostly picture pets, jewelry purchases, or hobbies/interests, don't they? I don't know of anyone with an eyeroll-worthy avatar, unless I've missed something.
I'm still surprised that happened, Holly. :rolleyes: :bigsmile:
I think I missed something . . . :confused:

I'm exploring a strictly anthropological question. I tend to do that, I find it interesting.
 

iLander

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Okay, let's try this; what if I changed my avatar from the cute puppy to this guy?

Would it affect (or is it effect, I don't know!) your opinion of me?

doberman.jpeg
 

VapidLapid

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Then I would have to download your avatar, make the dog's nose red and shiney like a reindeer, and upload the Altered Image (I loved that band!) back to your profile here. Merry almost 1/2 Christmas!
 

zoebartlett

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No, that dobie pic wouldn't affect anything.

About Holly being offensive, she'll probably chime in, but basically, an avatar she had around Christmas was a religious one. I can't remember the name of the pic but I've seen it before. Anyway, some PSers got offended and she had to change it.
 

Dancing Fire

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Upgradable|1306543034|2932090 said:
Dancing Fire|1306542129|2932078 said:
i get confused with who's who's when members change their avatar.
DF, we all know that you don't care who's who!
true...i am Mr. Nice Guy to all the members... :praise:
i get more coufused by members with a "similar" screen name. :confused:
 

Circe

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For the most part, only generally - I associate people's icons with them, but I don't have fuzzier feelings for the kitty posters than the bling posters, or anything. There is one that bugs me, of a female celebrity made into some sort of hairy beast-monster that strikes me as vaguely misogynist, so I gotta admit, I think a little less of its owner (who, for all I know, is a lovely person for whom that image has some kind of personal meaning). But that's the only one that stands out for me, and even then, it took this question to prompt strong feelings!

Honestly, it's the writing style that gets me paying attention to the icon in the first place, so that I'll recognize it and look for it in the future - Doberman or tiny cute-dog (what breed is that?), you'll always be the same sweetheart to me. :mrgreen:
 

MissGotRocks

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I don't know that it affects my opinion but there are picture/word associations. If you used that Doberman picture, I would probably associate aggression with you - until through written word I got to know you better. It's not always easy to determine someone's personality through written word though as their expressions are not so easily discernable.

I met someone in person this week that I have talked to for years on the phone for work. I was shocked at how different she looked compared to the mental picture I had of her for all of these years. I think our minds most definitely make associations with whatever tidbits of a person are presented to us; in this case, it was just her voice and her helpful manner. She looked TOTALLY different than what I thought!
 

iheartscience

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Interesting question! An avatar would have to really stand out for it to affect my opinion. I know I've seen a few I dislike but I can't even think of them off the top of my head. I don't think the doberman would affect me either way.

I do get confused when people change avatars because that's the first thing I look at when I see a post. That's the main reason why I never change my avatar, even though it's unfair to my other 2 kitties to just feature Olivia. :cheeky:
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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Ooh I'm guilty of changing my av every once in a while, not to mention I also changed my screen name at one point (really just went from Brown.Eyed.Girl to B.E.G., which is what everyone inevitably called me).

I actually don't really notice avs very much at all! I guess I'm not nearly as visual as other PSers, or maybe I focus less on images and more on words (English major, not surprising) so I always read the screen name first rather than looking at the av.

I did love my old av (a great pic of 4 of my gems) but since I no longer own ANY of those gems.... :razz:

file.jpg


And Thing - I feel like I need to give Dante some PS av time too! Kipling's been dominating lately!
 

dreamer_dachsie

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Yssie|1306542336|2932080 said:
I would say that in RT newbies definitely judge by avatars, trade badge - maybe post count, too... it has struck me at times how clearly they give posts by people with snazzy CADs or geometric patterns or headshots or standalone gems (as opposed to ring, or ring on the finger, or the ubiquitous furry critter) more credence. I don't *think* I imagined it. One ring on the finger RT poster always struck me as having a very masculine posting style - abrupt, to the point, no flowery verbiage or emotie showers... then he mentioned his fiancee in some thread and I felt vindicated 8)
My RT sister in the trenches I think you are totally right on this one ;)) I think I started a thread once about how the men who help often get more props from the newbies (who are mostly men looking for e-rings) than do the women sometimes. Its related to the avatar issue you bring up. I think it is hard for some young men to accept that they are getting advice from women about techy stuff.

The irony of my avatar, and screen name actually, is that when I joined PS I chose a fluffy name and avatar so I would seem warm and likeable :tongue: But I find the puppy name and avatar too fluffy for my actual personality. I dropped the "dachsie" part from my name and that makes me feel a little more authentic. I tried to change my avatar a couple times but people got mad at me. So I changed it back!

I think if my avatar and name were authentic to my personality it would be some type of IS image and my name would be "Diamond Nerd" or some such thing :cheeky: But when I joined PS I didn't really know about RT, just SMTB, so I names myself accordingly.
 

Haven

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It really confuses me when people change their avatar photos. I don't really read people's names unless I don't recognize their avatar, and I'm always surprised when it's a poster I know with a new avatar.

I don't believe a person's choice in avatar photos affects my perception of them, but most of the avatars around here are pretty benign. I *do* remember rolling my eyes the first time I saw "Lauren the Partier" on here because I thought it was pretty lame to label herself a partier. I quickly realized she is pretty darn cool, and ultimately learned there was another reason for her name so that eye roll was completely unwarranted. (Sorry, LTP!)

I think names are more interesting than avatar photos, and I always enjoy learning why people choose certain names.
 

ksinger

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I don't change mine often, but I certainly don't mind when people do, although changing them weekly might get a bit confusing. I actually kinda like seeing another facet of a person and I can see that via the avatar change, because most people choose something that has SOME meaning at least, or something they find attractive in some way.

Mine started out as one of the the stock avatars here, then became a macro photo of an icy blue snowflake for a long time, then my pearl, which is one of 2 11-mm perfectly round metallic FW pearls I had made into dangle earrings. I don't know what impression is/was given by either of the 2 I've chosen, but I [/i ]chose them both for their serenity (to my eye anyway) symmetry and balance. Can't say that that's me all the time certainly, but the concepts have a prime place in the way I strive to approach my life.
 

ksinger

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Haven|1306564818|2932282 said:
It really confuses me when people change their avatar photos. I don't really read people's names unless I don't recognize their avatar, and I'm always surprised when it's a poster I know with a new avatar.

I don't believe a person's choice in avatar photos affects my perception of them, but most of the avatars around here are pretty benign. I *do* remember rolling my eyes the first time I saw "Lauren the Partier" on here because I thought it was pretty lame to label herself a partier. I quickly realized she is pretty darn cool, and ultimately learned there was another reason for her name so that eye roll was completely unwarranted. (Sorry, LTP!)

I think names are more interesting than avatar photos, and I always enjoy learning why people choose certain names.
Yeah, well, I've already told you what I think of the fact that your poor long-suffering cat must eternally wear that blasted "cone of shame".
BAD Haven!!
 

hawaiianorangetree

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I wouldn't say that it affects my opinion of someone but I used to find Monarch's old avatar of the little girl with the grumpy face would make me read her posts with a rather stern tone to them. I would have to remind myself that she was actually a really nice, kind and caring poster who wasn't giving everyone a piece of her mind! :bigsmile: :cheeky: :bigsmile: I think she has changed it now and I have a much easier time reading her posts without a certain tone attached to them.

(All my doing and all in my own head, nothing to do with the person behind the avatar!)
 

Jennifer W

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iLander|1306544142|2932106 said:
Okay, let's try this; what if I changed my avatar from the cute puppy to this guy?

Would it affect (or is it effect, I don't know!) your opinion of me?
It certainly would! I LOVE dobermans! When I was a kid, I was never allowed a dog, probably not least because I didn't ask for a dog, I asked for a doberman. I love big dogs, my mother has a bit of a dog phobia. She loathes and fears all dogs equally, but dobermans the most, for some reason.

To answer the question, I don't really pay much attention to avatars, because they're prone to change. I tend to recognise the name first.
 

fieryred33143

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I only post from my phone. To save space on the screen I usually don't see the avatars. I actually don't see names either and am getting pretty good at guessing who's speaking based on writing style ;-)
 

FrekeChild

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I haven't changed my avatar in years. TGal made me a christmas shoe once upon a time, and I've changed the color of the shoe to a color of a gemstone that was headed my way...

I know my avatar is distinctive so I leave it the way it is. I think if I changed it, no one would notice it was me!
 

kenny

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Yes it is handy when people keep the same distinctive avatar.
Then I recognize the person without reading the name.

An avatar can convey an impression about the owner, but of course impression are often oversimplifications.
I've seen some harsh ugly posts from members with the sweetest avatars.

I'm only annoyed by avatars I can't figure out.
Graphics can be clear or not clear.
Sometimes it's an object that's too small to recognize or a close up of something and you can't tell what it is.
My current parrot avatar would be better without all that confusing background detail at the top.
A good photograph does not waste your eyes' time.

Still when people change their avatar I just figure it's their right to express their creative freedom, and they just wanted something new.
No biggie.

I'm about to change mine.

I love a good GIF animated avatar.
Does PS allow those?
 

HollyS

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iLander|1306544142|2932106 said:
Okay, let's try this; what if I changed my avatar from the cute puppy to this guy?

Would it affect (or is it effect, I don't know!) your opinion of me?





Most people would be put off by this, and respond to you accordingly. Human nature. Isn't that why we all pick 'cute' or 'nice' avatars?

It's like the jacka**es that MUST respond to every Yahoo article online. They have 'in-your-face' screen names just to mess with other people, and the content of their comments is usually calculated to incite, as well. My response, as you can see above, is to assume they are jacka**es IRL.

But, as part of a community, where we want a percentage of the population to like us, agree with us, care about us, we choose mild mannered avatars that won't offend.

SOME people are stuck in ruts. They don't like to change their avatars, and don't like to get used to new ones from other posters. (Stick-in-the-muds.) The rest of us feel a need to express ourselves. (We're more open to change and experimentation in life.) :bigsmile:
 
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