|Example of an Avatar|
Hello my fellow critical thinkers. Today’s post concerns our selection of avatars for our various social media sites. The thought for this post came from the various friend requests I receive on Facebook, the extremely popular social networking service launched in February 2004 [upd that now has over one billion active users.
In most cases I am not very finicky about who I confirm as a part of my Facebook network, however, every now and again (and the reason for this post) I receive friend requests with some of the strangest and weirdest avatars imaginable. For those of you unfamiliar with the term avatar, it is according to merriam-webster.com, a small picture that represents a computer user in a game, on the Internet, etc.(shown above). Therein is my problem in many cases when I choose to ignore or "Not Now" a friend request……the small picture that is selected to represent whoever is making the request. For example if someone sent me a friend request using the avatar that I am using in this post, he/she would quickly receive a Not Now or be ignored. I don’t know about you, but the selected avatar tells me a lot about the person making the request. Anytime I see something representing evil or something satanic, or something destructive, you can rest assured that that request will be a "not now." The same holds true for anything that has a racial or ethnic slur in the screen name.
I write this to make those of us who utilize the social media aware that I am sure that I am not the only one who bases his/her decision on who to Confirm or Not Now based on the avatar or screen name. We must be very selective in what we select to represent ourselves. Nowadays prospective employers, schools, banks and other institutions are actually checking out our social media services to see what we post and use to represent ourselves. It’s that serious. So my advice is to select an avatar and screen name that positively reflects who you are because not being befriended or receiving a "Not Now" is nothing compared with getting turned down for a job, loan, or educational institution acceptance. Something to critically think about. I welcome your thoughts by clicking on the red feedback box on the right side of your screen, and in the commentary section of the blog. You are also invited to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01. Be mindful of those avatars and screen names.