Identity protected

Lorri Drumm

“https://s3.amazonaws.com/ogden_images/www.timesobserver.com/images/2019/02/22235757/DrummColumn-800×334.jpg” alt=”” width=”800″ height=”334″ class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-684520″ />Rarely ever am I the least bit pleased with photos of myself but even my worst photo might outdo the “No Pic” head used to identify me this week.

My lack of photogenicness prompted an internet search to see if there is a name for my affliction. That search led me to a couple of statements that made me feel a little less camera-shy:

Someone who looks better in photos than in real life would be photogenic.

Someone who looks better in real life than in photos doesn’t photograph well.

So, it’s not me, it’s the photographer, right?

Anyway, the silhouetted No Pic identity got me thinking about more than just the hordes of selfies I’ve deleted in fear that someone would somehow retrieve them some day.

Despite my inability to photograph well, I still manage to use a photo to identify myself on documents, on social media and even with my columns. But, I can’t help noticing that some people prefer to self-identify as Mr. No Pic.

What’s up with that? Do silhouette people not have a single photo of themselves? Do they lack the know-how to replace the monochromatic head with a photo? Or, do they prefer to protect their identity, much like interviewees whose appearance and voice are disguised — although, we all know somebody recognizes them, right?

It’s not unlikely to assume a No Pic person might be trying to protect their privacy. It’s probably not unwise to fear face-recognition algorithms.

Maybe someone who prefers to be a No Pic just doesn’t want to be judged by their appearance. I suppose I’d prefer to see a silhouette as opposed to a doctored photo that erases every imperfection. That works until you meet the person face-to-face. We’ve all been there. They introduce themselves. You shake your head and say, “No you’re not. I’ve seen your picture.” Awkward.

Maybe some people prefer No Pic because they’re scheduled for face transplant surgery. It would just be a waste of time to post a photo of yourself only to do a post-surgery repost.

So, nothing against the No Pic silhouette, but in this age of technology, I’d like to see t least a bit more creativity in our labeling systems.

Why not at least have a generic Avatar based loosely on a person’s appearance. You know, just the basics, like hair color and length, eye color, facial hair…nothing elaborate.

It might be a bit more fun to identify yourself as a cartoon-type character at your next gathering as opposed to the no-featured No Pic person.

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