Shroud of anonymity

Written by Strategist on the 26th of February 2013 at 19:22

I just changed my profile picture. It's the first time in here that I use a picture as an avatar that's actually and identifiably of me, and not some image I found on Google.

I was hesitant about it.
First of all I'm not one for changing profile photo very often. I've been on Gamereactor (Norway) for almost six years now, and I've had five different profile photos. I get attached to them. They're me online, and how I present myself to the world. And people immediately recognize me in the forum by my avatar without having to check my nickname, just like I do with others. And I don't see the point in having a new profile photo all the time.

Secondly, I'm fond of the anonymity a generic photo from Google Images lends me. Nobody knows how I look or who I am IRL. I can make my own, separate persona online. I don't have to be me. I can be creative in my writing and in how I formulate myself.

So why did I change to a photo of me this time? Well. With the new design to this page I thought I was up for a change. And as quite a few users in the Norwegian forums already know who I am from being featured both online and in the magazine, there was hardly a point anymore. So I decided to try it out.

But I'm not shredding my shroud of anonymity lightly. I think in many cases it's important to put a wall between your online persona and your IRL self, especially when you're younger and more vulnerable. Any mistakes you make just affects your fake persona, and doesn't haunt you IRL. And there are people out there who might not have good intentions towards young, vulnerable people.

How about you? What's your perspective on your online anonymity? Or do you openly go by your real name and real face all over online?

Shroud of anonymity

Source: http://www.explosm.net/comics/3089/