Names and avatars
I was wondering what the impact of people their names and avatars have on how we relate to each other on a forum. I was wondering this because of the reason that I wondered how it would be if in court, the judges would not be able to see the suspect visually nor would they hear the suspect. This came into my mind because I had a discussion about this issue earlier today. We are already biased towards certain people/ethnic minorities because of the ‘name’ they get in society. For example, here in Holland, the minoraties of Turkish/Moroccan people are being stereotyped as criminals and or linked with certain other bad behaviors. Therefore in court they are more often obliged to a penalty than indigenous.
To transfer this into our online virtual world, my question is how our virtual names and avatars have an influence on our manner of discussing with each other. How deep and how subconsciously does this have an impact on us? Because I am sure that it has some impact, stronger with one than the other.
And what about somebody his or her history of posting? Does this have an influence or how we discuss new discussions with each other? It should not have an influence, since the point of a discussion is to stick with the content and not the messenger, but we are humans and always influenced by subjective factors.
What do you guys think?
a) I think our viritual names and avatars have more of a personal impact on what we post as individuals. If i’m using a false name/picture,I have complete anonymity regarding whatever I post. If I use my real name/picture, then everything is traceable to a specific person.
I choose a real picture but fake name because I own a business. What I say here could be traced back to me, and eventually to the business – I try to keep certain personal & subjective matters separated from my business because it would affect the overall image. But I use a real picture so people can have a real representation of who/what is posting
b) Of course the messenger affects how the message is received – I’m way more prone to trust a post by someone who has a consistently fair and knowledgeable record
I’ve definitely noticed that the way I view what someone on High Existence says changes when I recognize the person posting. For example, someone left a comment on a topic I started and I read it and took it into consideration(like I do with all comments), but considered it much more deeply after realizing that this was someone I’ve interacted with a lot on here before, who had just changed their avatar. Maybe it shouldn’t be that way.
I prefer to see a picture of someone vs. an animation or picture. the reason i don’t have a pic is because i don’t have a digi cam and this desktop is old. When I see a pic, then read a post, i sorta try to sound like what i think the pic sounds like. If i don’t like the voice in my head, i tend to give the post less credibility (at least i’m honest about it). Then i read the words in my voice and try to remain neutral and unbiased.
|Sean D Stevens
I’m reminded of a line from “Samurai Jack”. In it, the titular character was asked what he called himself, to which he replied “A name is not what you call yourself, it’s what other call you.” In internet forums like this, we are unusually fortunate in that we can choose to call ourselves whatever we want, and provided the name is available, we can choose how others perceive us.
I agree with both of you. It doesn’t really matter to me who it is. It depends if they have a good response or if I recognize the person.
People make fun of me when they find out I’m a 56 year old, post-op transgendered Haitian with a botched boob-job and a lazy eye.
So I wear masks to feel sexy online.
Avatars have absolutely no impact on how I react to people, though.
Interesting views. I especially like @wizster, your way of facing this problem. Firstly judging like we all do, but then reflecting on it, and trying to see the post/comment in an objective non biased way.
I think it is not only difficult due to the names and avatars, but also the emotions that get involved, which of course can be due to the names and avatars as well, but also somebody his or her ‘history’.
I try to be as less judgmental as possible, and reply to the content, but I too catch myself on judging already by seeing a name or post coming up, even before I have seen the actual post. Whether these are positive or negative judgments, it does not really matter, and I think it can be seen in a positive way as well. We are not robots, and I think emotions and jugements are, and will always be, part of the discussion/conversation. There are not only negative sides involved.
I’ve noticed when people switch their avatars I’m more accepting of what they say.
Otherwise I become conditioned.
There are some sites out there that every month or so you must change your avatar & name. There are of course ways to make it obvious, but it really makes things interesting.
I’m using my real name and my pictures, and I don’t care about impressions. See how insecure and bored I am. Cowards.
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