Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Simple invisibility

It's easy to go through life being unseen. Just never, ever do anything worthy of notice.

This is not something I have much skill with. Not that I seek out recognition, but rather that because of whatever it is I AM, I am recognizeable.

(Sometimes as someone else, but that's another matter for another day, and has already been explored here once (or, you know, maybe twice, but I'm way too lazy to go back to the archives to figure out how many times I've flogged THAT particular dead horse).)

Take, for example, my laugh. Well, OK, a lot of you CAN'T take it for example, and sorry about that, but you should believe me when I say that I have been tracked down across entire buildings because someone heard me laugh and just followed the sound. There are people who have commented that a place seemed empty when I'd gone because that laugh wasn't there anymore. (an aside - I hope this is a good thing, and not a cry of relief from the assualted few who were unfortunate enough to be in proximity to the bellow.) In college my friends imitated the up and down swoop of it, which made me self-conscious for a few minutes, and I tried to tone it down to a gentle twittering few-second flight rather than it's natural bursting guffawing zoom. As it so happens, well after college one of those friends told me she'd love to have a laugh like mine.

Now, the laugh isn't something I've cultivated. It just IS. I can't change it any more than I can change the color of my eyes or the thickness of my ankles. Somehow it has become noticeable, an identifier, and thing that makes me forever not-invisible.

And boy howdy, you know that if there were a way to make some money off of it, I would SO do that, because what's the use of having a hallmark if you can't reap some payout?

Anyway, because a life of simple invisibility has eluded me in the real world, I present a somewhat more skewed version of "me" through using a cartoon avatar in the virtual world. Yes, yes, you've seen a picture of me on this blog once, and I was a mere floating eyeball for a long time, but that pink-headed gal is "me" now to a lot of people. She's my little fake, my "other" personality, my cloak of invisibility that allows a lot more freedom than the "real" me might dare take.

(Those of you who know me, feel free to rebut. This is simply my perception, and as such is very likely untrue.)

Which leads me to this: I notice that a lot of people lately are changing their avatars. A lot of people who come HERE have changed their avatars. But why? Why did YOU do it? Why do you not just have your picture up there? Why protect yourself from the rest of us? What makes us relish invisibility? What are the freedoms we afford ourselves through the use of a floating eyeball or pink-haired ghoul or some other not-me choice?

I anxiously await your insights....and maybe an explanation of why you picked what you did.

14 comments:

Wordnerd said...

You know me well enough by now to know how much I relish anonymity! Hence the Hot Sauce. Just enough spice, just enough southern flavor, and very little 'me'!

Tracy Lynn said...

My avatar is, in the words of the song, the best, cutest, quietest version of me. Ok, maybe not the quietest, I'm not sure that it's possible to have a quiet version of me, no matter what paralell universe you may traverse, but you get the idea.

And people who know the 3D me think it's a good representation anyway. It's like me, only thinner. It certainly retains my attitude.

Kim said...

And now I must embarrassingly ask, "How does one get an avatar?" My non-techy, naive-blogging self has often wondered. If you select one through Blogger, can you only use it within Blogger?

And thank you (NOT), because now that song "Abacab" by Phil Collins (or was it Genesis?) is streaming through my head.

Kingfisher said...

At first I had a pic of my broken-nosed mug, but security and paranoia won out over ego, so I changed it to something anonymous.

I've always loved bears; they're independent, strong, and smart. My avatar is a bear peeking over some shrubs, which seems to say "You can see me now, but I can hide really quick," or "What's going on over there?"

I love fishing, bears fish, voila! Kingfisher. Somebody recently protested my change of avatar (*cough* Erica *cough*). I decided she's right, and ditched the goldfish escapee for the old one.

tiff said...

WN - you ditched the Southern Belle for hot sauce - a darned good move. :>

TL - your gal is so damn cute, but is she winking at us?

Kim - blogger has a space for an "avater" picture, and yes, I believe it only shows up if you sign in with your acount.

KF - too bad - I kinda liked the flying goldfish. Or the enormous goldfish. But the bear is cute too. Now, if you'd just post your OLD avatar I could make a completely informed decision.

rennratt said...

I had NO avatar until I created it with Tek Tek. I liked how closely she represents the 'real' me. Personality wise.

If I went to work with green hair, the universe would likely implode.

Deb R said...

I change mine every few months simply because I get tired of looking at the same one all the time. I've been bloggin a year and a half and I'm on my...lessee...fourth or fifth avatar. I'll probably change again along about the time winter rolls around. I have a low boredom threshhold. :-)

PS...this is actually the most first "anonymous" avatar I've had. The others have all showed my face.

Jess Riley said...

I need to post an avatar...but what? Hmmmmm...I'll have to ponder this one for a bit.

tiff said...

renn - I totally DARE you to get green hair. A universal implsion would be worth it.

DebR - so, the avatar schozophrenia is common? I'm glad to hear it!!

Jess - all the cool kids have one, jump in! Might I suggest a kidney? :>

dreadmouse said...

(delurking... hello!)

I'm avatar-free, for the most part, and I don't think I would put my face up as my avatar in any case.

It's not that I have a particularly bad (or good) face. It's just that the thing I like best about blogging is that people read what a person writes without getting all wrapped up in the rest of the package. The value of a person's thoughts shouldn't depend on their body or facial symmetry, and on the net they don't have to be filtered like that.

trinamick said...

I change back and forth between my real face and my fake face. I prefer my South Park avatar, but I get bored with it and switch back to my original.

Chelle said...

You are my long lost relative. Apparently we both have a recognizable laugh.

Chelle said...

Sorry - just read the rest of the post. I like abstract art and music. The picture is one done by an artist, whose name escapes me, but the art is a reflection of what two things I like.

tiff said...

dreadmouse - I'm there with ya. I think that's why the little fake me is there.

Trina - I noticed you weren't packing heat lately. See ya quit smoking too.

mmm3 - how cool re: the laugh thing. :> you're one person who doesn't change the avatar. You're the stable one!! WOo!