Truth in Blogging

A couple of nights ago, I was trolling Blogland, trying to see if I’d missed someone interesting to follow, when I chanced upon the photo of a friendly-faced woman who unabashedly admitted her gravatar picture was 10 years old.

Well, actually more than 10 years, or so she said.

My first thought was if she’d fudged on her age, she might have fudged on everything else!

And while something like that carries little importance in the overall scheme of things, all of us have come to rely on the veracity of the bloggers we regularly read. We see their picture and instantly know what to expect — whether it be a snarky retort, a thoughtful comment, an encouraging word.

And we expect them to look like their pictures. Not to have grabbed the photo of an unnamed stranger from a photo frame at Wal-Mart and pretended to be that person.

Still, if I were going to fudge on my photo, which year would I choose?

Easy — the year I turned twenty-two.

I can still see 22-year-old me after my parents settled me in my first apartment. I’m seated at the kitchen table, fresh-faced, expectant, hopeful.


Twenty-two-year-old me was a clean slate, right out of the sheltering womb of college, ready to take on the world.

To right wrongs, expose corruption. The stuff good journalists were trained to do.

Twenty-two-year-old me didn’t have to agonize over programming languages because she wasn’t running a Web design business.

Nor did 22-year-old me need to finish her novel. Oh, she’d started many a one, and she and her colleagues often joked about wanting to write The Great American Novel one day. But she didn’t really think she could. Hadn’t countless English teachers throughout school told her as much?

Besides, wanting to and doing are two different things.

And it would be years before she summoned enough courage to create, to say something meaningful, in a novel.

But 22-year-old me didn’t have Domer. Or Darling Doggie Dallas. And without those two special boys, my life would be infinitely dreary.

So while I might prefer showing 22-year-old me to the world, I’m not doing it.

The gravatar I use is me — me and Dallas — and it hasn’t been Photoshopped. I’ve always been a “what you see is what you get” kind of person. No sense changing now.

Out of curiosity, though, how recent is your blogging photo??