What’s Your Gravatar and Why?

I’m always intrigued by the images which people use to represent them on social media.

Which is why I titled this post with the question – What’s your Gravatar and Why?

I’m genuinely interested in your answers.

I once came across a wonderful post which discussed what each choice of avatar might mean, unfortunately due to my tendency to sporadically tidy up my bookmarks (which often ends up with my deleting almost all of them as I lack the patience to sift through them, revisit the sites), I’ve lost that link otherwise I would share it with you. If it still exists you and you would like to find it, I think I may have used a search term along the lines of – meaning of avatars. But I did make that search before the film of that name came out.

The images which people use to be their online face, can pass by us in the blink of an eye as we scroll through timelines, a bit like scanning faces in a crowd. Occasionally one face will grab our attention, arrest our roving eye. Why? What is it about that face which caught our eye?

What is it about that avatar, Gravatar, which made us stop and scroll back to have a better look?

What does it say to us? What does it reveal to us about ourselves?

What does it say about the person who used it?

Sometimes those who prefer not to use selfies of themselves, but instead opt for something a little more sideways from the straightforward, actually reveal more about themselves as a person than they would had they simply used a photograph of their face.

Faces reveal a lot, but they also can hide a lot too.

There are times when reading someone’s writing prompts me to want to see what they look like, I’m not entirely sure why this is important, but in the moment it feels necessary to satisfy what perhaps is only a temporary curiosity.

If you ever feel that about me, I use my own face as my WordPress Gravatar.

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I had to screenshot my Gravatar because I have no idea what I called the picture when I uploaded it, and waiting for the Media Library to load is agony for someone as impatient as I am.

I did quite a  filter and photoshop number on the image, and I’m not sure if I would do that now. I’m not sure if I would choose this ‘selfie’ to represent me now either.

Although I am fond of this picture as it was one of the first I took of myself after a long time avoiding the eye of the camera lens. In fact it’s one of the first shots I took after a long absence from using a camera.

I went through a temporary phase of not liking the camera. It started when I realised I was missing out on life by wanting to capture it all on film as it happened.

I have a different approach to photography now, thanks to going through several phases.

I have a different approach to photographs of myself now, thanks to going through several phases.

I went through a must take selfie phase, which gave me an insight into those who take lots of selfies – it’s fun. It also gets a bit dull after a while. I still love taking self portraits, but not as frequently as I once did.

If you’re curious, below is the original photograph of the one I use for my Gravatar – sans the fards of filter and photoshop. I did crop it, because I’m a tad naked in the shot. I won’t explain why, I’ll leave it to your imagination.

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While I was contemplating this particular temporary Daily Post Photo Challenge, I did consider taking a series of shots of my face and of the face of my blogging, business, and life partner in photographic crime, Steve, and I may still do that, to attempt to capture our micro-expressions – those fleeting facial tells which reveal what may be covert, hidden from others and from us too at times.

But then I had a temporary case of the lazies, and instead browsed my messy photographic archive, and came across an image, a blurry flash of movement in between poses, which appealed to me and my creative self said – share this.

So I’m sharing it.

I took this around Christmas time a couple of years ago, dressing up in a mask, a wig, a gown, and fairy lights. And wouldn’t you know it, just as I was in the middle of this photoshoot, the doorbell rang.

Life is funny, and so are we.

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“I think it’s so foolish for people to want to be happy. Happy is so momentary–you’re happy for an instant and then you start thinking again. Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.”
― Georgia O’Keeffe