Horrors. Crabby has just discovered she is less credible that a creepy-looking talking ketchup bottle!
At least according to this recent study of how much people trust various computer avatars. (And they have a picture of the yucky condiment, so you may just want to take a quick peek).
And those of you who think you don't know what an avatar is? Yes, you do. It's just a fancy name for those little pictures or cartoons or, in some cases, sophisticated 3-D animations, that people use to represent themselves on the web.
Like, for example, Crabby McSlacker. The grouchy little Crab who brings you all the Weirdness that is Cranky Fitness.
The study was really more focused on androgyny. Researchers randomly assigned avatars and had volunteers pair up and chat online for 20 minutes. Then people rated their partners on how credible and how androgynous they seemed. And guess what? Avatars like a Cute Blond with pigtails were more trusted than androgynous avatars, like the freaky-looking Ketchup Bottle.
But the least trusted avatar, the one that came in dead last--was a lizard!
So sure, Crabby is not a reptile, but she is a cold-blooded crustacean. And the lizard was called "intimidating," whereas Crabby is perhaps more accurately described as "crotchety."
But Crabby can't escape the sad conclusion that she is way more like an Intimidating Lizard than a Bottle of Ketchup. And she is even less like the Perky Pigtail Girl!
However, she is quite happy being a Crab. It suits her. So she is not going to transform herself into a Perky Pigtail Girl no matter how much you beg her.
Anyway, this study brings up some interesting questions. Others of you must choose how to identify yourself here and other places. We have Bunnies and Chickens and Royalty; we have Goats and Bananas and Cats with or without headphones. We also have brave folks who use regular names! But even doing that, there are decisions. Use your own, first and last? Or something else? And are you always the same person wherever you visit?
So Crabby is quite curious to see what you all think of avatars and how you decide how to represent yourselves on the internet. Does your chosen identity reflect something important about you? Do you give a crap what other people think about it? Ever tempted to "go wild" with something new?