Thursday, May 6, 2010

Face Value

How are you at making visual profiles of your online friends?
Or do you even do it??
I've gotta tell you, I'm not so good at it.
I'm constantly amazed by how surprised I am when I see an online friend in a new light.
An online profile is usually a few sentences accompanied by a small head shot.
That's not much to go by.
Often when the picture is changed or photos are posted I have to change my in-mind profile because I got it completely wrong the first time.
The more photos, audio (like Carol Duncan's radio interviews with bloggers) or videos I see, the better the in-mind profile becomes. 
There are quite a few people who I think I have all worked out now.  So if I actually met them in real life, I don't think I'd be too surprised.
But isn't it a funny thing?
Getting to know people without many visual or auditory cues.
There are some online friends who have never used their name or a photo of themself as an avatar.  But I still think of them as friends.
I think it's great. I know I can express myself much easier by writting and I'm guessing a lot of you do too.
When I first joined Twitter a little over a year ago, I was always putting only flattering avatars up.  Then I got over myself and used more true to life ones. 
Having said that I am at the moment using a recent but quite flattering one, it doesn't really look anything like me at all.

So I wonder how many of you have an accurate in-mind profile of me?
And I wonder who'd be surprised if we did bump into each other in the street.
Here are some extra clues, just in case we ever do...

I'm probably shorter than you'd expect (I'm 158cm).
I'm probably slightly chubbier than you'd expect (My Wii Fit tells me I'm slightly overweight (Yes, it's very rude!)).
I probably have bigger boobs than you'd expect (size ginormi-cup).
I'd probably giggle more than you'd expect (it's a nervous thing).
I probably have more grey hairs than you'd expect.
I probably stumble over my words more than you'd expect.
I probably have more wrinkles than you'd expect.
I probably laugh louder than you might expect.
I probably have a bigger smile than you'd expect.

There you go. Now I've prepared you in case we ever meet.
Just one more thing...
Would you be brave enough to say hello if you did recognize me or would you cross the street and pretend you never saw me?

I don't know what I do.


  1. Well I dyed my hair dark brown yesterday so I don't look anything like I used to look like!
    I'm probably bigger than you'd think and like you I laugh alot.
    But tragically lacking in the boob dept, care to share some of that?
    And I would so say hi to you!

  2. I only put nice photos in my avatar :)
    If you met me, you'd probably be surprised by the enormous black bags under my eyes.
    And if I saw you in the street I reckon I'd probably give you a hug!

  3. If I saw you in the street I would give you a huge hug and say "OH mY God Thea, quick, where can we get cofee together right now?"

    I changed my profile pic recently, and am amazed at the comments that that has evoked.

    Thea, you look smiley in all the snaps I have seen of you.

  4. rofl Thea, I'd say hello. I'd be like "Thea!!! Thea!!!". It's funny too, that list you wrote, apart from the big boobies, all of that could be applied to me.

  5. I actually wonder if the photos people put up are of themselves or someone else. Now if they post a lot of pics, then you can see the changing styles etc which helps me to get a better feel for the person.

    I don't use my pic or real name most of the time so I really wonder what idea that gives of me? insecure, aloof, highly protective or a model or someone in witness protection.

    I'd be more than happy to have coffee with you too.


    Also, I found this post incredibly weird because I had the exact same thoughts the other night.

    Every time somebody changes their Twitter pic, I think "ohhh, that's what they REALLY look like!" And hearing things like Jodie's interview make me go "Ohh, so that's what she sounds like!"

    I often wonder whether I'd be able to recognise all my Twitter friends if I saw them in the street. I think I could do it...

    But I wonder if people would recognise me!

  7. I'd say hello, and at 158cm you are about my height! I'd give you a big hug and say come one lets go find some bubbly & some wheat free snacks! x

  8. I've only just started with photos. Not sure before if I was paranoid about online crazy people or if I hadn't thought of it, or I was scared or what but now they are coming up every now and then. I've had a few people comment that I wasn't what they imagined - before any photos - but mostly that was just hair colour, length etc. cos I think I've only put top half photos. I must admit I'm unlikely to put a photo I don't like or that is too embarrassing just yet but I'm sure I'll get there!

    I would love to say hi if I saw you. I love your tweets and think we would have a bit in common. The online thing really is a good equaliser - you don't really know age, background, looks, etc. that sometimes get in the way in 'real' life.

    Great topic. Lou.

  9. You are just as beautiful in your pics as you are in real life... and I'd know!
    (maybe my pics are too honest??)

  10. I would LOVE to meet you Thea, so I'd run over and say a big hi! (I wouldn't do that with everyone; I'm a bit of an avoider at times).

  11. I would say Hi! In fact it would be lovely to run into you walking the streets of your town one day. I probably don't look like my photo - a few extra kilo's hanging around - didn't ask them to come along but they did anyway! I love your blog. xx

  12. I would say Hi! In fact it would be lovely to run into you walking the streets of your town one day. I probably don't look like my photo - a few extra kilo's hanging around - didn't ask them to come along but they did anyway! I love your blog. xx

  13. I honestly wish I could run into any of you lovely ladies.
    Wouldn't it be loverly!! :D

  14. I enjoyed the anonymity of a cartoon avatar until I got used to Twitter and settled in to the online community. Then I was happy to reveal myself a bit more.
    I think the main thing that would suprise people if they met me would be how tall I am (178cm) because when you picture some one randomly you usually picture them as a regular height I reckon! Also I agree with the notion that part of the appeal of Twitter is the freedom to express yourself in words and not as a whole package - the ability to delete/ think about what you want to say before saying it comes in handy! I'm often at a loss for words IRL (or I think about the right thing to say way too late!) whereas online I'm a regular chatterbox!

  15. By the way, if I saw you and I was sure it was you, I would definately say hello. My main issue would be if I was only 50% sure, the risk of embarrassing myself by asking a total stranger, "Are you Thea from Twitter?" would be a pretty big one.

  16. I'm not a hugger...but I would give you one! Absolutely!! :)

  17. Hi Thea, I just followed you over here from DL's blog so I thought I would become a new follower. Nice to meet ya!

  18. Well, I'm determined to meet you someday. Yes siree - it's gonna happen. We'll have a lovely long chat. And if you're a little shy, and giggle with nervousness - that's ok. Because I'm quite happy to chat and I'll try and make you laugh anyway!

    This is a great post. And so true!

    I def think of you as my friend.


  19. Hi Matthew, so nice to have you on board!

  20. Well I would definitely say hello to you.

    I do look like my twitter profile photo if I tilt my head a certain way to remove the double chins, only half smile so my eyes don't crinkle and take about an hour to get the right no I probably don't look exactly like my photo very often at all.

  21. I've had a few people recognise me in the street from my blog, and it's always when I haven't had time to do my hair or make-up. So I guess I'm recognisable from my profiles.

    Plus I post a photo of myself every week on my blog, so I guess there is no hiding!

    I would definitely say hello if I saw you. It'd be weird if I didn't.

    Great thought provoking post. x

  22. You are lovely and I would totally have a coffee with you x


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