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I’m thinking of changing my blog image or what you might call my “icon.” You know, that little image that pops up whenever you make a comment or write to someone from Google email. Why? I’m not sure exactly but for some reason my current icon doesn’t feel like it ‘fits’ anymore. Can an icon be shed and reborn as we grow and change?

How existential.

And since I often think long and hard about things that maybe don’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things, I decided to dig a little deeper to understand what the word icon means. So I looked up the formal definition and here you have it:

Icon:

1. An image; a representation

2. A representation or picture of a sacred or sanctified Christian personage, traditionally used and venerated in the Eastern Church.

3. An important and enduring symbol.

I thought it would probably be ok to leave number 2 alone for the purposes of my study since I’m fairly certain no one needs to venerate my anything, let alone my blog icon. But numbers 1 and 3 are sort of interesting, no?

If you are on WordPress (love you guys!) then whenever we interact here in our little cyber neighborhood we see tiny images next to our words. We see “important and enduring symbols” that represent each other. Some are photos of what we actually look like, some are photos of us on our best day, some are faces, some are silly, some are smiley or serious, some are symbols, some are images of a flower or a pretty shoe or a mountain or some other thing that moves us enough to want it to represent us.

People also choose icons on Facebook, of course, and I feel like I remember a time when everyone used their actual image. Then people who were camera shy but also didn’t want to keep that creepy default ghost head icon that is assigned to you by Facebook in the hopes of forcing you to at least choose anything else, started to get creative. These people would choose a picture of a bird or surfboard or sunrise.

Some people have an image of their child as their icon which I’m not judging but I am saying this – I have a hard time reading your sarcastic comments with the same wit when it looks as though your newborn is posting them.

In any case, the possibilities for blog icons are endless. It is fascinating to me why people choose one thing or another as the little symbol to represent them to the online world. And I would like to choose an icon that welcomes groovy conversation.

I’m curious what you guys think about the use of icons. Why did you choose the one you did? Do you feel it is easier to relate to a person in the cyber universe if they use their actual photo or if they use a symbol?

Peace, always.

xxx