Your online image - is it important to you?

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  1. profile image0
    Website Examinerposted 13 years ago

    Do you ever feel that people perceive you differently online than what you intended?

    Do you make a conscious effort to build and maintain an image, or is that unimportant?

    Would you like for others to tell you their impression of your online personae?

    Et cetera.

    1. KeithTax profile image73
      KeithTaxposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Do you ever feel that people perceive you differently online than what you intended?

      I don't know. How am I perceived?

      Do you make a conscious effort to build and maintain an image, or is that unimportant?

      No and Yes.

      Would you like for others to tell you their impression of your online personae?

      Does not bother me either way. I am very happy with who I am. If you tell me, fine; if not, no problem.

      Why do you ask? Do I have a smudge on my face? A zit? TELL ME. I GOTTA KNOW. AHHHHhhhhhh.

      1. Misha profile image63
        Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        It's unconscious smile

        1. profile image0
          Website Examinerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Good point. Maybe "backbone" for someone as experienced as yourself...

      2. Dorsi profile image88
        Dorsiposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Interesting topic. I'm pretty much me across the board online. I do however use alias when I am posting about personal things I don't want known (like certain forums where I may ask a legal question, etc)
        Otherwise I'm just pretty much me and have fun being my "real" self here, where I can joke and talk about the stuff I like. My family drives me nuts sometimes so at least here I can be my "truer"

        Yes image is important to me but I'm not afraid to post my controversial views!!

      3. darkside profile image68
        darksideposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I've had a cross-dressing cyber nut think I'm gay, so I guess it doesn't matter how you try and come across, most people will perceive you based on their own misconceptions.

    2. lxxy profile image60
      lxxyposted 13 years ago

      I'm no more or less sane than in real life.

      Ask k@ri. But, of course, I do try to stay away from online wars and try not to feed trolls.

      On rare occasion, I can even be funny.

      1. profile image0
        Website Examinerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Ixxy, it takes no stretch of my imagination to believe that you can be funny. Even your avatar, if not literally funny, is humorous and made me smile once I had deciphered it. Thanks.

        1. lxxy profile image60
          lxxyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Why thank you. wink

    3. Maddie Ruud profile image73
      Maddie Ruudposted 13 years ago

      People see me as the strict mum, the police, the censor, the tyrant, occasionally even the devil (someone once tried to perform an exorcism on me in the comments of one of my hubs!).

      I don't spend a lot of energy trying to dissuade those who think so.  In my experience, these are the folks who just aren't able to fully connect online activities with reality (see point #4 on my recent blog post), and chances are, I'm not going to be able to get them to make that connection all by my lonesome.

      Instead, I make sure that I remember that usernames correspond to real people, and try to be as real as possible myself.  That's why I like hanging out in the forums.  Folks get to see a little glimpse of Maddie beyond the job.

      1. profile image0
        Website Examinerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Maddie, you are a public servant (albeit in the private sector), and those are never popular with all of the masses. Judged by your 3160 followers, you must be doing a pretty good job nurturing your image - even if that consists in "being yourself." You no doubt have your secret admirerers, too, which should give you an ample buffer against those less sympathically inclined.

      2. Mrvoodoo profile image59
        Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        'People see me as the strict mum.'

        LOL, that is exactly how I see you. smile

        It's not a bad thing though (unless you catch me upto something dodgy). wink

      3. skyfire profile image80
        skyfireposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Lol, which hub ?

    4. thisisoli profile image73
      thisisoliposted 13 years ago

      I try to stay as real as possible online, although apparently I am always taller in real life tongue

      1. profile image0
        Website Examinerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thisisoli, you are understated in a very effective kind of way.

    5. luvpassion profile image62
      luvpassionposted 13 years ago

      My virtual persona is unimportant to's only a hobby.

      1. JulesGerome profile image61
        JulesGeromeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with you.

    6. Origin profile image60
      Originposted 13 years ago

      How I act online is how I act offline. I don't purposely try to forge a different persona while online. People get the real me.

      1. IzzyM profile image87
        IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Me too!
        I don't try to be someone I'm not. And anyone actually writing online has either got to be a great actor/actress, or else they give a lot about themselves away.
        I'm happy with who I am. I'm not happy about everything I've done in my life, but who I am is OK.
        That is why I think our online personas actually say so much about us, and why some people take attacks personally.
        All those that say 'this is the internet, it isn't real life' are kidding themselves.
        This is as real as it gets, and we just need to learn to deal with other people, who let's face it, are not all like us.

        1. luvpassion profile image62
          luvpassionposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          How is this as real as it gets you only see what the person wishes you to see the virtual world is just that...who is kidding themselves here?

          1. IzzyM profile image87
            IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Nope its real life. There is another person at the other end, another person reading your hubs, another person chatting in the forum, another person emailing you.
            Certainly one can act as if they are dealing with a machine and keep all real personal feelings out of things, but I'm not talking about that.
            Every opinion you hold, every thought you have, everything you do, is part of your personality.
            When you are a writer, some of your personality goes into what you write. You can be who you want to be online, but that takes some skill if you want to keep your own personality out of it.

            1. luvpassion profile image62
              luvpassionposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              I have learned a few things about you from this post. roll

              You see what I want you to could hire a detective or do a search of my IP address, but otherwise you know only what I tell you.

    7. Rafini profile image69
      Rafiniposted 13 years ago

      I'm the same online as I am offline however I get a better reception online that I do offline.  I'm guessing my image is better online wink

    8. Jane@CM profile image60
      Jane@CMposted 13 years ago

      I am myself here.  I don't get too personal - but at times I rant or whine, same as home!!

    9. profile image0
      ryankettposted 13 years ago

      Yes I do, I use my real name, I regret that now but no turning back. Therefore, I try hard not to leave any skeletons in my closet - at least not ones visible via a google search.

    10. ediggity profile image60
      ediggityposted 13 years ago

      I keeps it real.  Yeeeayaaaaah!

    11. frogdropping profile image77
      frogdroppingposted 13 years ago

      I have never really thought about my image. I was thought to be a man on the whole. Some still think I am. Then an assumption that I am not 'me' but another more experienced hubber sprung up.

      For the record, I'm 42, female, long dark hair with a slightly unhinged view of the world. And like thisisoli I'm quite a good bit taller than my avatar. Less green too smile

      1. Misha profile image63
        Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        And quite a bit more beautiful smile

    12. profile image0
      Website Examinerposted 13 years ago

      Good reply, thank you.

    13. raisingme profile image78
      raisingmeposted 13 years ago

      Where ever I go I am me.  No matter how hard I may try, I am the one person I can't get away from!

    14. Mrvoodoo profile image59
      Mrvoodooposted 13 years ago

      {b}Your online image - is it important to you?{/b}

      Not at all.

    15. Mike Lickteig profile image76
      Mike Lickteigposted 13 years ago

      My online image is important to me.  I don't consciously try to craft an image of myself, but I will always attempt to be honest and considerate of others.  Hopefully a continued effort to do that becomes a part of my image.  I also try to avoid online circumstances that will cast me in a negative light.

    16. humagaia profile image56
      humagaiaposted 13 years ago

      Hey we are not in second life here. We may put up an avatar but our personality will out in some form or other consciously or un-.
      If you don't like my personality that's your problem.
      If you like it that's your problem.
      Do you actually mean image or brand?
      If it is brand that you are refering to then yes I am most definitely critically aware of my brand as that is my shop front to attract readership and isn't that what we are all after?

      1. profile image0
        Website Examinerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I really didn't mean to distinguish between "image" and "brand." I don't believe that everybody on HubPages is deliberately trying to build or maintain a brand. In contrast, I do believe that everyone who seeks to build and maintain a brand must be image-conscious.

        So there would be hubbers with only an image to protect (like their basic hostesty, friendliness for example), and other hubbers with both an image and a brand to protect. Being misunderstood can be equally unpleasant for both groups.

        Then, of course, there are those who don't much care either way.

        1. humagaia profile image56
          humagaiaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Those that are at HubPages for the duration and not just passing through must, if they are creating hubs, wish to obtain a readership following. They must therefore be conscious of the audience to which they are aiming their "image" at. Tat may be "themselves" but that is still the image they are presenting. Even someone writing graffiti on a wall is crying out for someone to understand them. That understanding comes through image. Branding is necessary if you require the largest recurring audience to land on your hubs so that Adsense ads are pressed and you get paid for your efforts. It is all very well pesenting yourself to the Hubber community but it is the outside world that you need to buy in to your image / brand. Those that say they don't much care either way are deluding themselves. If they really don't much care they would not bother being here.

          1. Mrvoodoo profile image59
            Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            'Those that say they don't much care either way are deluding themselves. If they really don't much care they would not bother being here.'

            Very wrong.

            Most of my traffic comes from search engines, chances are those visitors don't go on to read more of my work and I'm fine with that.  I want them to click an ad or buy a product.  And that's it.

            1. humagaia profile image56
              humagaiaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              And if you created articles that were not satisfactory to achieve that goal?????
              You are deluding yourself if you think that your writing (your image / brand) is not a part of the thought process of your visitor in assessing whether to read on to the point where they get bored and click (whatever button).
              If your visitor arrives at your hub, finds that you are not giving him/her what they want they will disappear forever without clicking anything but the back button.
              You may not realise it but you are presenting an image by your hubs very existence.
              And I bet you do go through the process of "how can I influence the observer of my Hub to press the Adsense button". That in itself is a conscious or unconscious need to effectuate the response by adjusting your initial output to that which is effective - if that is not part of your image then what is? If you were not concerned about how something is portrayed then no change would be made.
              Are you really telling me that you jumble up a few paragraphs that make no sense but with sufficient key words to con the search engines that your Hub is an authoritative message about a particular product?
              And even if you are, and you do, your image would be observed and noted by those readers that were conned into arriving at your Hub.
              I'm sorry but everyone is concerned with their image. Those that say they are not are merely presenting the image that they are not concerned. And they are concerned that they present an image of not being concerned.

              1. humagaia profile image56
                humagaiaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                Hey MrVoodoo I take it all back. There are some hub writers that don't care about image. I just looked at your profile and you are living proof of your conviction. Your side of the argument is proven.
                But then again I just noticed your profile picture. Nice image.

                1. Mrvoodoo profile image59
                  Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  Well, I did say as much, but it seems that rather than admit that you were wrong you've decided to try and insult me with a thinly veiled childish attack. Which is pretty much what I would have expected from someone of your ilk. 

                  And your profile certainly proves your point too, with a description of yourself that runs on for at least two hubs length that I suspect nobody but yourself will ever take the time to read.  If you're looking to make money online then give the visitors what they want when they want it, as the average website visitor flutters like a butterfly, and if you don't, somebody else will.  However if you choose to inflict upon your readers every 'deep' thought in your head for the purpose of massaging your own ego then go for it.  And see how far that gets you.


              2. Mrvoodoo profile image59
                Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                ^ Absolute nonsense.

                You are speculating based upon your own 'thoughts' that you hold in a much higher regard than facts.  You clearly have no understanding of that which you strangely consider yourself to be an authority on.

    17. Smart Rookie profile image59
      Smart Rookieposted 13 years ago

      I proceed with caution just like in "real life," but I've gotten bolder with age.

    18. Lisa HW profile image62
      Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

      I've never paid attention to my own image (in offline life or here), but what happens is even if we're "who we really are", an image gets formed "by default".  I guess that's why I don't bother thinking about my image - because I know people form their own image of who we are, no matter what we do.  hmm  .  Maybe because I know I tend to have a formal writing style, I do try to add things to whatever I write as a way of showing that I'm not as formal as my writing sometimes makes me seem. 

      I don't put anything online that I'd care about anyone seeing it (a potential employer, my kids, other relatives, etc.).  If I put it online I've probably talked about to someone offline (many times) anyway.  I use a name that's different from the one I use in offline life (for an added "layer of protection" if I write about personal experience).  I don't "put it all out there".  I put quite a bit of it out there, though, because this is hobby writing for me; and one reason I write some things is to write what I want to.  At the same time, I also do non-hobby/professional writing online, so I need to know if the "twain" ever meet (and they often do) it won't be a problem.

      As far as branding goes, I suppose I do some half-baked version of it with my casual/hobby writing - but it isn't about image in my case.  It's about consistency from one site to another.

      Whatever I present online is real.  What I present in person can be misleading because my appearance and my inner self don't always match (at least in eyes of people who tend to judge books by covers).

      I'd disagree with what Mrvoodoo and humagaia said about readership, caring, deluding, etc.   I want traffic because I'd rather have earnings than no earnings.  So there's that.  I separate that I want traffic/earnings from wanting "readership" or creating an image to try to get that.  (That may seem weird, but I do.)  I'm pretty much an I-am-what-I-am/take-it-or-leave-it kind of person, and I see any readers of individual Hubs as readers of only those, individual, Hubs.  I see trying to get traffic and higher earnings as "promotions efforts", and I think of whatever image I may have (and may have accidentally picked up by expressing the real me) as something people who like any one Hub or not don't care a lot about.  Maybe it's naive or dumb or whatever, but I need to know that if I do well anywhere it has to be because I'm real - not because I'm pretending to be someone/something I'm not (except, of course, for that one small matter of the altered name).  Otherwise, to me, it wouldn't "be any good".  hmm  (I do tell people in my offline life the version of the name under which I write, by the way - so it's not a deep, dark, secret.  smile  )

      1. Mrvoodoo profile image59
        Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        'I'd disagree with what Mrvoodoo and humagaia said...'

        And yet strangely it sounds like you're agreeing with me. wink

    19. relache profile image72
      relacheposted 13 years ago

      In answer to the questions posed:  Yes, not really and they certainly seem to do so regularly without any encouragement from me.

      As a follow-up to what thisisoli said, I did once meet someone I knew from online in real-life who was quite surprised to find me shorter than they had imagined.

    20. profile image0
      PrettyPantherposted 13 years ago

      I don't make a conscious effort to build a particular image, but I do try to conduct myself in a manner that I can be proud of, just as I do in real life.  I think people probably do perceive me differently online since they only see a small part of who I am.  In particular, when I participate in the forums I gravitate toward the political issues, mainly because I don't have much time to spend here and those issues mean more to me than idle chatting, although I do try to join in on that once in a great while.  And with regards to controversial issues, I don't mind playing rough but I make a concerted effort to be reasonable about it. 

      That was the long way of saying that I think people probably can't know the real me based on the limited amount of time I spend here; however, what you've seen of me IS the real me, but not all of the real me.  smile

      And, yes, I would be curious to know what people think of me online, because I'm curious about everything!

    21. profile image0
      Website Examinerposted 13 years ago

      Thanks for an interesting reply. All right, here is the opinion that I formed about you in 1 minute:

      - Very linear, correct writing style;
      - A seeming paradox between your chosen screen name and your avatar (panther versus tame household cat);
      - Open and forthcoming about your personal background, family and interests on your profile page;

      In conclusion, you are sincere, open, decent and apparently straightforward, except for the seeming difference between screen name and avatar.

      1. profile image0
        PrettyPantherposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Regarding the avatar, I used to have a close-up of a black panther as my avatar, and I thought it was rather "imposing" looking, so I switched to a picture of my own cat, Storm.  Maybe it was coincidence or just my imagination, but switching to a more friendly-looking avatar seemed to result in a more friendly attitude from other hubbers.  Besides, I am a combination of gentle and ferocious, like many people.

        Thank you for the feedback!

    22. manlypoetryman profile image78
      manlypoetrymanposted 13 years ago

      I found a picture of an ol' farmer out on the back 40, hanging w/ the livestock, and sitting on his Farmall tractor. He looked quite content or relaxed with the world there on that tractor. I said to myself: That is who aspire to be like. So, how best to start, but with an online image. Ever since that day...I've gone with that theme. This current Avatar is one of the red tractor in action...cause the ol' farmer...just don't sit around on his rear end all day!


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