The Five Types of Avatars


I recently started looking at Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn again, largely to see if I was missing anything.  I’m not.  But, while looking for people I knew, I noticed something about the pictures that people pick for themselves – they all fall into 5 major types – 4 of which are useless:

  1. The too-close up:  This is the one where all you can see of a person’s face are one eye, part of the nose, and a little bit of forehead or cheek.  This is obviously because the person doesn’t like some part of their face.  But its also useless if you are trying to see if you remember the person – “oh yeah, I remember that eyeball.”
  2. The kid picture: Sure, yeah, I get it – you like your kids.  They are the focus of your life.  But if I want to see your kids, then I’ll do so after I friend you and call look at your profile.   Besides, are you really saying there is nothing to you except your kid?
  3. The ironically posed photo: This is the one where the person obviously posed and think they look really good, but its okay, because they are knowingly putting an overly posed photo on their profile, so its obviously done ironically, wink wink. So its all okay.  In the interest of full disclosure, this is the photo type that I chose.  Because at least it lets people know who I am.
  4. The group photo that may or may not be cropped: We get it, you are really popular and your photo reflects that you are to busy being social for all this social media. But which one of the many people in your tiny picture is you?
  5. The “stuff you like” avatar:  Mad men and the Simpsons and Star Wars and Charlie Sheen are all great – but I can’t really use a Simpsonized version of you to really tell if you are the guy I went to high school or not.  Its been fifteen years, I don’t really remember your stance on the Simpsons – I am barely sure of your last name.
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