I've purposely chosen to leave my avatar untouched so as to not influence others reading my posts in any particular way.
There are many cool avatars here, but I find that the images do have an impact on me no matter how I try for them not to.
For instance, MrSpad. Love his avatar(and his posts). Who isn't a big fan of Kurt Russell? And the image he bears in his avatar is of MacReady in John
Carpenter's The Thing.
MacReady is an ideal, trustworthy hero. I canNOT help but trust what MrSpad says just a LITTLE bit more than others solely due to the honest, down to
Earth, All American guy represented in his avatar. I often read his posts several times to assure that it's something I agree with just because that
image is so strong to me.
Phage bears the image of John Lithgow; another famous and excellent actor. Thankfully, Lithgow has portrayed his share of bad guys as well, so his
avatar does not radiate "unquestioning trust" to me as MrSpad's does. However, I highly value and respect his posts so much, that's it's to the point
where I see LIthgow's image and think "that's Phage". Seriously. I often (this post included) have to look up LIthgow's name as that face registers
to me as Phage instead.
Truebrit is another one. (and was pleased to see your post here) His avatar isn't of an actor or character, but rather himself who just happens to
look like the kind of easy-going, fun-loving dude that would be great to know in RL. Again, I have to double-read his posts to ensure I'm not just
automatically agreeing with the most friendly looking guy on this site. And it still doesn't matter all the time, because that association is already
It goes the other way as well, of course. If I see someone with a scary clown(not a fan of them) as an avatar, I'm ready to not give them the benefit
of the doubt. The same is true to a degree when I see an avatar that's strongly religious based. It has a negative connotation to me and thus
influences my reactions at least a little bit even though I try hard for it not to.
I'm not just saying I'm easily influenced by these images. I'm saying EVERYone is in their own way. Heck, it's the reason advertising has the selling
power that it does. I'm not trying to say "Down with avatars!" because I think people SHOULD be free to express themselves in forums as they choose.
I'm saying that they are frequently influential is all.
I also mean no disrespect to anyone I mentioned in this thread nor do I think you should change anything. Seeing the familiar "faces" is a nice part
of this site. I'm just expressing my thoughts on this topic.
I am considering changing my avatar to something small, just to not be so completely generic. But, then lazy.