I dont really know you ….or do I?

@jomcleay, @jessmcculloch, @johnpearce

Two of my twitter friends – Jo McLeay, John Pearce (both of whom I met f2f for the first time) and my dear ‘real world’ friend and teaching colleague, Jess McCulloch.

At a recent conference in Melbourne, I was rather excited at the prospect of meeting some of my online twitter friends. My online friends are very much a part of my friendship group and I regard them with great fondness.

However, I had some difficulty recognizing them. Why? Well… like me they put their best photos up or an avatar. My photo is 4 years old now, but I like it. Yet, my hair is cut differently and I have probably aged “10” years in that time.

One of my friends @bookjewel told me on twitter that she was going to be there but I could not trace her at all and assumed she may not even have come. When I tweeted her the next week, she was there but also said she did not recognize anyone. However, at one stage I got up on the podium and spoke about the online conferencing and social networking that I have been involved in. Why did I not find @bookjewel?

  1. I did not know her real name
  2. She has an avatar for her online presence
  3. I have a user name of murcha, but my real name is Anne Mirtschin
  4. I have my best photo up as my avatar.

I guess that means that basic cyber safety rules and procedures do work. Kim Cofino has written a recent post on the same topic of virtual friends and this makes an interesting read as well.

When I reflected on this on twitter, @adrianbruce gave me this reply….

yr used to seeing the u in the mirror ie inverted. When u c urself on cam its da way the world sees you – someone did a study on it.

I look forward to meeting even more twitter friends on Saturday at the ICTEV conference in Melbourne – ie if I ‘recognize’ them.

Are there any comments or other enlightenments on this interesting phenomena?


One response to “I dont really know you ….or do I?

  1. I think about the “old” or “best” picture issue every time I see my little avatar. My picture just happened to be the only one I had handy at the time I made my avatar. Now I have new glasses, longer hair (and am obviously a few years older). I keep debating about whether or not to go around and change all the old ones, but it’s such a hassle. I wish we could just have the picture posted somewhere online and then grab it from the URL – that way the picture could change, just not the URL. Unfortunately all of these tools require a direct upload… Oh well… For now I’ll have to be the mscofino from 2005😉

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