I won't even try to guess how many blogs I read... some on a daily basis, some hit-and-miss. When I've read somebody's thoughts regularly and interacted with them online, whether through blogs or message boards, I start to feel as though I know them. Of course I don't really know them, because none of us reveals everything about ourselves. But it feels as though I do.
One of the things I'm always curious about is what each person looks like. If they're like me, it's no problem. Because I pretty much splash my face on the Internet at any excuse. Believe me, it isn't because I think I'm beautiful. It's just that I really don't mind my readers knowing what I look like. Of course, I'm careful not to smile too big since I recently had a tooth pulled; because the space does show in a broad smile. So I must posses a certain amount of vanity, right? But I digress.
I've noticed that if a person hasn't ever shared a photograph of himself, after a certain amount of time I get a mental image of what I think he looks like. Years ago I haunted an AOL chat room and met my first real online friend, Lona; she reminded me of my sister in the way she worded things, and because of her wisdom and good nature. So I found myself picturing her as looking similar to my sister.
When she finally sent me a picture of herself with her husband, she looked nothing at all like I had imagined. It took me a long time to get the false image I had of her out of my head. In fact, I don't think I successfully managed it until I met her face to face.
So, if I read your blog, or read your words on a message board on a regular basis and you've never posted a picture of yourself... rest assured I have a mental image of you. If you seem friendly and kind on the Internet, the picture I have of you is probably a pleasant one. You are most likely handsome and slim-and-trim, with a full head of hair. For some reason, women post pictures of themselves freely; men, not so much. So it's mostly men that I have to guess at. I suppose that would be a good reason for most of us to never show our likenesses on the Internet, but to be very careful to show kindness to all. Hmmm.
Online, my mom's old saying rings true: Beauty is as beauty does.