On Beach Connections, an Avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user’s alter ego or image he/she wishes to be known by on our Forum. The Avatar can have a special meaning or not, it’s your call. Your Username is what you will go by on BeachConnections.com. You can pick any acceptable name as long as it’s not already being used. I would not recommend your real name as your Username. If you prefer to use your real name, there’s no rule against it.
The Avatar is a small square-shaped area, no larger than 80 x 80 pixels, that is close to the user’s forum post (Look at our forum and you’ll see other members’ Avatars.). The Avatar lets other users easily identify who has written the post without having to read their username. You will get to know people by their Avatars. Beach Connections not have a preset list of Avatars. You must find or build your own and load it through your “User Settings” after you register. You can also Youtube “How to make Avatars” to find lots of information.
Avatars may represent your unique persona, beliefs, interests or social status on the Beach Connections forum. Basically, it’s a small picture that other people will know you by. Often Avatars represent the personality of the member, but not always. A user (member) may choose to use his/her real picture as an Avatar. That’s fine. As the administrator, I chose to use my picture. Just seemed a little more professional than Daffy Duck. Some members pick Avatars that they look like or connect with or admire. Some Avatars are picked because a member may like that particular image or person or ideology. I’ve seen some people pick Avatars that are the opposite of who they are. You get the picture (no pun intended), your Avatar is your personal choice.
So, you get to chose whether you want to be represented by Hannibal Lector or Nellie Olson or even Santa Clause; just make sure you choose an Avatar and Username that follows our Rules Policy.
Much has been written about choosing an Avatar and what what Avatars say about the people behind them. Two pretty good articles:
What Does Your Pic Say About You? (PsychCentral.com)
What Do Our Online Pictures Reveal About Us? (NY Times)