I am quite fascinated with Twitter avatars and how we present ourselves online. As you probably know, our personal brand is wrapped up in our avatar and it truly becomes the way others perceive us.
Since many times we don’t to see each other in person, our avatar is the way people to get to know us and recognize us. If you would like to read an article I wrote about the impact of changing avatars, you can go here: http://retwt.me/xjA2
As a follow up to that article, I would like to take it one step further. I often have friends that send me direct messages that say things like, “I can’t believe I’m still in my pajamas today” or things that specifically refer to how they look. However, as we tweet, people only see us one way, as our avatar.
The best part of this is that in our avatar, we always look good. We never have a bad hair day or spill ketchup on our shirt. Through our avatar, we always present ourselves the way we want others to see us. My question to you is, is this really real? For me personally, I have a “Twitter look” and a “Client look”. In my Twitter look, my hair is messy, I don’t have on any makeup and I’m usually dressed in sweats. In my client look, I am wearing a suit, very high heels and a lot of makeup.
Here is the contrast below. The first picture is my Twitter look, the second picture is my Twitter avatar which is more like my Client look.
Since we are building such strong bonds with our friends online, are we being somewhat dishonest by not showing our “true selves” more often? In real life, we don’t always look great like our avatar. In real life, sometimes we have bad hair days and sometimes we don’t look our best.
When it’s all said and done, since it is not practical to change our avatar everyday to change with our look and our mood, I suppose we will all just have two different personas. Maybe that is where the world is headed with social media. We will always present ourselves to the world in two different ways, one online persona and one offline persona.
I still agree with @ShellyKramer though, it is best to use an avatar that shows the “real you” because that honesty is the basis for starting a real friendship with someone, online or offline.