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josie's avatar

Is it better to have an avatar that is a picture of you, or one that is a symbol of some sort?

Asked by josie (30931points) June 29th, 2011

My avatars are me, except (maybe) for Captain America, which I use rarely.
I was thinking that maybe I should just go with a symbol or some sort of iconic image.
Just in case people respond negatively to the cult of personality that might arise around an avatar. I need all the help I can get.

What are your opinions. The real thing or a symbol or icon?

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54 Answers

Jude's avatar

Whatever you want.

JilltheTooth's avatar

<——- I’m just too darned cute.

DominicX's avatar

I really don’t care what people use as their avatar. I use a picture of me because I want people to think of me as a person rather than just a faceless robot :)

wundayatta's avatar

It’s silly to make a judgement about this. You do what makes sense to you. I use a symbol because I don’t want people making fun of my ugly mug and because the symbols mean something to me. If someone else figures it out, then I know that person is pretty special.

Berserker's avatar

Avatars aren’t really important in my eyes. Whatever people like, for whatever reason, fine with me. I currently have actress Renee O’Connor (Gabrielle from Xena Warrior Princess) because I think it’s totally funny and cute. Nothing much deeper than that. Most of my avatar choices have always been something a little silly or light hearted. But whatever works for whoever. I realize that an avatar is a strong indication of recognition, and perhaps even first time thoughts or assumptions, but it probably shouldn’t be all that important.
Pictures of users, or their pets, something I see a lot, is very cool too. Maybe some day I’ll stick me mug as an avatar. Or my kitties. I don’t see any of the choices being any more important than another, really.

josie's avatar

@wundayatta It is neither silly, nor not silly. Just something to get people involved. Why the insult?

Coloma's avatar

I like to see real faces, put mine up from time to time for a few weeks. or one of my pets. Now Occasionally something random I find in my browsing jags.

I’m about due for a change again..maybe soon. :-)

josie's avatar

@Coloma I like the one of you, assuming the girl with the big grin is you.

Some_Ghost's avatar

I died over seventy years ago. I don’t think anyone needs to see that.

TexasDude's avatar

I mostly use a picture of myself… usually as up to date as possible so people know what I look like more or less at that very moment. I guess it’s because I’m kind of a huge narcissist.

I do use symbols or artistic images occasionally. I use a picture of Theodore Roosevelt pretty often.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I like to see who I am talking to.

tom_g's avatar

I do not include a real photo of myself out of respect for the good people of fluther who would vomit at my grotesque appearance.

wundayatta's avatar

@josie I’m not insulting anybody. I’m saying it’s silly to make judgments about a personal process. No one can say what is better and what is worse. It doesn’t make sense. In fact, I actually think that making judgments about whether one avatar is better than another is an insult. So I refuse to do it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I alternate between both, and think it’s more fun that way. I like changing my avatar often, and since I quit caring if it was always some sort of chocolate to match my username, I’ve been having more fun with swapping out pics from week to week.

FutureMemory's avatar

I like to use things I find humorous, as well as the occasional hot female. Some are just images I found on the net, others I created (such as the Fact From Fiction crucifixion scene).

KateTheGreat's avatar

I switch back and forth a lot.

But today I changed it to one of the more recent pictures of me.

Facade's avatar

I think a photo of the user helps personalize their contributions.

AmWiser's avatar

Who knows for sure if someone is using the real thing?
Just use whatever you’re comfortable with.
“An avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user’s alter ego or character. The term “avatar” can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user”. source(computing)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Spoof/homage pay other peoples, it is more fun. ;-P

Cruiser's avatar

I don’t look anything like my car avatars and feel safer more secure that way. Now that Fluther is out and about connected to twitter, FB, etc. I am not content with the the depth of the witness protection program especially with all the budget cuts coming so I went incognito. Go to ask and type in your Jelly name and see how “exposed” you really are…

woodcutter's avatar

I am a faceless robot

mazingerz88's avatar

@DominicX I maybe a robot but I’m not faceless. : )

mazingerz88's avatar

Avatar is good. I like mysteries. I’d love to meet everybody face to face maybe that day when it’s our last day to Fluther.

woodcutter's avatar

Ive been needing some face

Coloma's avatar


Yep, that was me! :-D

FutureMemory's avatar

@Coloma Bring back the sunglasses pic! I love that one :)

Aethelwine's avatar

Just do whatever you want.

Jon and I like to see if anyone can guess how our avatars match. It’s been a little game of ours since we joined. He’s usually the brains behind the trickier matches.

Berserker's avatar

@jonsblond Yeah, I figured your current match out. ^^

Hot. For both.

filmfann's avatar

I first used my own picture, then used a variant on Butters, here.
After a few months, I changed it again, and people complained! So, I have used Mr. Stotch since, mostly.
It makes it easier for me to find what I have written.

Coloma's avatar


This one? haha
That was a happy day at the beach in the Redwoods last summer. :-)

josie's avatar

@Coloma That’s more like it.

Coloma's avatar


I think I look goofy..but hey, if you like it! I think I had sand in my undies. haha

Berserker's avatar

I repeat; your braids rock.

FutureMemory's avatar

No way Coloma, you’re so adorable in that pic :) Symb is right.

gailcalled's avatar

Mine has always brought me great pleasure; flowers from my daughter’s garden in my maternal grandmother’s vase.

Or this, if I were to switch. (Art work courtesy of @rooeytoo.)

Bellatrix's avatar

I like this picture. I like cats. I don’t really want my picture on the internet.

Whatever feels right for you @josie. It makes no difference to me. I take more notice of what you say than what you look like.

mrentropy's avatar

The pictures are too small for me to make out, anyway. I have an easier time identifying cartoons or simple drawings.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

I don’t have a picture of me up because I like to keep some anonymity. It’s just my paranoia that someone I know may find me by accident and then can stalk me (the internet sure can be dangerous)... Perhaps in a few more years I’ll put up pictures of myself… But for now, I like to have just any picture for my avatar, usually something that reflects my username.. I’ve only ever used two avatars on fluther. :) stop judging me ;)

But, maybe you can just alternate between symbols, and pictures of yourself. Whatever you feel like at the time. Everyone has different opinions. =D

ucme's avatar

Do I suit green? Be honest!
Well fuck you, it’s only a bloody pitcha ;¬}

asmonet's avatar

It’s up to you. I’ve had both at different times.

I eventually settled on Annie Lennox being a badass motherfucker who don’t take no shit from nobody… because well, I like her attitude. Seemed fitting. I also like how clear the image is at a tiny resolution, it’s easy for me to find my answers in threads when I’m looking and it’s recognizable. :)

Most people don’t focus on what the image is past recognizing the user. If they’ve gotten to that point of recognition yet.

whitenoise's avatar

I use an avatar, because I want to be anonymous on fluther. I am mostly totally honest in what I type here and I don’t want that to ever bite me in the behind.

Currently, for instance, I live in a country that has very little tolerance for atheists. (Even less than the evangelical people in the US). I would truly be unhappy if this profile would be linked to my person, over here.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I use my son’s photos because a) I lurve him so much
and b) because I don’t want to look at my own face (I hate having my pic taken so I always look weird IMO) But, I prefer a real photo because I like to keep it personal :)

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’d rather having a picture of something that means something to me rather than a picture of myself. I’m not trying to be anonymous because I am Facebook friends with a few people here and I have pictures of me on there. I just prefer looking at something special to me.

erichw1504's avatar

I like to change mine up all the time. I have never used a picture of myself. If I did, the ladies would be all over me and I’m married, so…

MilkyWay's avatar

I’m camera shy so, not much of a chioce for me.


I use the most recent picture of me. I know my avatar name is “Mr. Shiny Shoes”, and I’ve had pics of me in shiny black leather men’s dress shoes before, but people tell me my entire person “looks” like a shiny black leather men’s dress shoe! Shiny is what shiny shows. Lol.

lillycoyote's avatar

On some sites I change my avatar regularly. Here I keep the same one. It’s bright and easy to spot so I can recognize myself on a thread easily. If someone responds to something I said, and saying that I said this or that, I like to find myself easily and having the same brightly colored avatar helps me do that. Plus I like it and it’s kind of my fluther face.

Haleth's avatar

My normal camera pose is duck and cover. I’m way too shy to post a current picture of myself. But it is cool when people use their own pictures, because then we can put a face to the name.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I change my avatar a lot. They are all different facets of who I am.
I think it’s interesting that some people change a LOT, some only rarely, and some, virtually never. I’d like for someone to do a study into the various personalities there.

downtide's avatar

I don’t use a real photo of myself because I hate the way I look. My avatar here is a picture of my Second Life avatar. He’s far better looking, but in all other respects he’s still me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@downtide You said, ”...I hate the way I look.” That makes me sad….. : (

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