With every disaster or event there is an option to change your avatar. We either place a sheer flag over our profile picture or for a day change it completely with a different picture or logo. It is our way of showing solidarity, sympathy, and grief.
This option to change your avatar always leaves me baffled. Why? You start to do this when the event happened which is retroactively and I’d rather be proactive. I get the sharing of sympathy and solidarity but that should be a year-round mentality and not a one time change when a disaster happens. And when do you change your avatar back again? What is convention here, the acceptable time period?
I do not change my avatar if a disaster happens. Do I have sympathy? Yes. Grief with others? Oh, yes. Do I stand with you to defend your human rights? Always. But I do that 24/7/365. It is in my heart and soul and not in my head shot.
Changing an avatar is for some the only way to express solidarity. But to many it is an easy, empty gesture to go with the mainstream, to not stand out, and to give others the impression that you care. But do you act like it?
Do your actions match that change in avatar?
Some changed their avatar with rainbow colours while still calling others out for their partner choice. Some stand with Paris but discriminate when they speak about other cultures in an inferior way. Often they mask their disdain starting a sentence with “It isn’t nice to say but…” Their avatar changed but their attitudes in general didn’t.
I have mixed feelings about changing avatars so I don’t unless the new avatar reflects another picture that defines me. I understand that others feel different about this and are more comfortable with it. Maybe that is my issue: I am not comfortable with it.
It doesn’t reflect me, it doesn’t define me. My actions do.