I take way too many selfies. The number of selfies on my phone probably rivals that of a bored teenager, yet I still keep pointing the camera at myself and snapping more shots, and playing with filters, and editing them beyond all recognition. It’s just immensely fun to play with photos, and if I can make myself look cute then hey, big bonus 😀
It only stands to reason that I’d do the same thing in SL, where every pic I snap of myself is going to be a glamour shot and I’m always pretty darn cute. When I was reading Vanessa Blaylock’s article on avatar selfies I knew, knew, I had to take some new ones immediately, because Selfies! And then I started considering other images I put online. And then I had to write a long rambly post to contemplate everything.
I know people tease about taking too many shots of your real life self and consider it a little narcissistic, particularly if you post your face all the time, but is an an avatar selfie really all that remarkable? I suspect most of the avatar images out there are self portraits, whether they’re from Second Life, or an MMO, or the Sims. If you can customize your avatar and you’re inclined to take screenshots you’ve probably taken at least one or two shots of them. The Sims I make are usually not meant to be me at all, they’re just playable characters, but I still have that same desire to take pretty pictures of them, because they’re my creations and I’m proud of how they turn out.
But on occasion there are the ones that are intended to be my sim-self, and they do get photographed a bit more. They’re always quite delighted by the extra attention, I’m sure. On the other hand, they’re pretty happy if I can just keep them from burning their kitchen down and making puddles on the floor o.O
Considering what makes up a selfie started me thinking about the images I use for other social media, and how I regard them. In some cases if it’s not a service I plan to use much I choose random clip art because I hate to leave profiles blank, so I suppose that might be a representation of my general indifference. Usually, however, I try to give some thought to the image because whenever someone views my profile this is their first visual impression, and I like to get something about myself across.
Could all of the other avatars/icons that I use also be considered selfies, in a broad sense? They’re not the traditional big heads and human imagery that Vanessa was considering in her blog post, but they’re representations of my identity nevertheless. I thought I’d take a look at some of my own previous profile images that I’ve used here and there, on various social media services.
Sometimes they seem to sum up my personality well, whether it’s really me or a cute ‘toon. And sometimes if I’m not yet committed to using a service I’ll just go with a sort of generic little image like the wee me there. She’s customized a little, she’s caffienated and sparkly, but not tremendously personalized. She was actually the perfect little icon to use for services that I didn’t want to reveal too much of myself on.
The rock concert has turned up as my current Tumblr icon, and the one associated with my YouTube (although I don’t actively do anything on YouTube I hate to leave the icon blank.) Since for me both of those services are heavily oriented to music this just seemed fitting… Even if it’s not really a picture of me in any form, I’m still trying to find some way to say something about myself or things I like, or trying to find some way to relate my icon to a particular service.
In the case of the Tumblr fan community, and it seems to apply to fans on every other social media service as well, a lot of profile icons don’t picture the blogger at all, instead you go for a celebrity’s pic, typically whomever you post frequently. In this case it’s not so much representing “me” as it is representing favorite music, and acting as an extension of the blog itself. I move back and forth with that, at the moment it’s the pebbles, previously it was the RL image beneath, before that I had a series of icons related to fandoms, such as this .
I change my Twitter pic more than I should, and it’s gone through about every possible profile image choice out there. Sometimes it has been my SL self, sometimes random art I like or a photo I’ve taken. Recently I’ve been comfortable just leaving it as a real life shot.
Which is, of course, a selfie. 🙂
In many ways Ravensong is a just a placeholder for me while I’m logged into SL, since I can’t physically import myself into the game. At times I see her as a virtual Barbie doll, or a game character much like I see my generic Sims characters, but sometimes I feel quite identified with her.
A few moments ago when my husband walked past the computer and noticed part of the pic below on the screen he asked, “Who’s that?” (since my alt and my main look a good bit alike, and he wasn’t sure)
“That’s me!” I said automatically.