|This is the Profile Pic I dared to use|
I touched briefly yesterday on Google + and its apparent policy which, in line with Facebook, disallows avatars from creating accounts. Well it doesn't really because many of us have, but it seems we're doing something bad and must expect that a guillotine will descend at some point and cut us off from many of our Google tools.
If I read the policy correctly, everything now associated with my Google + spawned profile would be out of my reach should my profile be suspended. I'm still trying to understand which components that would be - it should become clear on the day my attempt to infiltrate a different class of society is detected and I am punished.
In the meantime, while I await my inevitable fate, I've been pondering the reasons why avatars would not be wanted on some social networks. If it's just because of the giant corporations wanting to sell our information to advertisers well, they should really take a look at the amount of money we spend and get a grip. In addition, word of mouth is a very powerful selling tool and avatars love to share their latest finds and broadcast product information. This can't be the reason we're not wanted. Marketers are smarter than that I hope.
My mental exertions have resulted in only one possible conclusion. I could certainly be wrong but this is where I've arrived so far. I think Google and Facebook try to ban avatars because the general populace is afraid of us. After all, the one thing scarier than upgrading your operating system is the possibility that somebody on your social network is lying to you. So I'd like to address that issue and the remainder of this post is addressed to you, the avatar-fearing social networker.
I've seen comments over the years that avatars are "pretending" and that we "aren't real" and, therefore, can't be trusted. For reasons I'll explain further on these concerns are moot but for now let's address them and I'll do so individually.
The one thing avatars are not doing on social networks is "pretending". We are quite open and honest about being avatars. Our profile pics show you a representation of our inworld identities and our locations and descriptions relate to the metaverse and our activities therein. We aren't 49 year old women pretending to be 16 year old boys to bully 13 year old girls. We aren't sex offenders pretending to be contemporaries to groom young victims. We aren't stealing identities by pretending to be somebody else. Our avatars have friends and colleagues and work histories and established identities in the metaverse and by being up front and honest about that there is no pretense involved.
|OK I admit this one is scary|
As for not being real ...... I have some news for you. It might be difficult to read so I'd like you to prepare yourself. The fact is that the internet is not real life. Take your time dealing with this revelation. Get yourself a glass of water, maybe pace for a while or do some breathing exercises. This is something you must face. The internet is a wonderful tool which, in addition to other things not relevant at the moment, removes the barriers of distance, language, ability and even on occasion time to facilitate interaction with other people and information. But it is not real life.
On the internet my avatar is just as real as you are. Along with you and everybody else on the social network scene, she chooses what information she will share with others. She has acquired a history of interactions with others using technology. She has a sense of humour and ethics and her personality has emerged as a natural consequence of her activities on the net. Everybody around you that you have met solely through online interactions is projecting a persona. They hide or embellish or deceive at will.
One thing that avatars learn very quickly is that they are forced to deal with people without preconceptions based on gender, race, age or even culture. Avatars learn that trust must be earned and you must learn the same. Even if the photo is of a girl or boy much like you and their name is John or Jane Smith it is not real life. Don't assume they are telling you the truth. At least avatars are honest about their identity as an avatar.
I mentioned earlier that the concerns about avatars are moot and they are. So here it is - the real reason not to care about avatars. We aren't interested in you. The truth is that you really have nothing to fear from small enclaves of self admitted avatars within the giant social networks containing hundreds of millions of people. We socialize online with other avatars. With very rare exceptions usually having to do with mutual interests in certain topics, we don't interact with people who don't share our preoccupation with virtual worlds. In fact we're quite insular and don't want to talk to you.
So to you fine folks who are terrified of avatars on your social networks. Do not fear. There is no possibility of contagion or contamination. The gene pool will not be corrupted. Your children will not be born with fur or blue horns or fairy wings. You are quite safe from us. Better you should worry about that person pretending to be "real".
|Bird Flu is just a vicious rumour, really!|