Your Avatar and You: Self Expression via Virtual Worlds

 In today’s society, sightings of diversity and freedom of expression are far from few. How we dress, act, speak and behave are all personal adaptations that we have made in order to become our ideal selves. Individuality may be formed by the culture we surround ourselves in or an interest in another one. We design the unique person we become. The choices we make as adults are our own and we are simply what we choose to be.

 Although our world is rich with diversity and freedom of choice, the human error of bias still stands strong. It seems that for every personal identity created, criticism is quick to follow. Instead of seeing others for inner beauty, many judge individuals on weight, hair color, clothing style and made up cultural standards. Spending copious amounts of money on how we portray ourselves on is unnecessary, but sporting subtle personal touches on the outside is an expressive gift. We can design ourselves to represent our inner beauty, from hair color to the shoes on our feet but will we ever truly be accepted for the entire package?

 The struggle of acceptance is dealt with in all ages of life. Some people may max out crazy hair colors, sport tattoos and soak up ridicule like a sponge. However, others will hide their self expression in order to steer clear of criticism. With blossoming technology, a growing “online world” is thriving daily. Many who feel the pressure to hide who they are turn to online worlds where they are able to create avatars and finally become who they truly desire to aesthetically be. These sites encourage interaction of all kinds (both positive and negative) but give the user a sense of power to handle themselves in a manner that they strive towards in real life. You can look, dress and even act via messaging the way you may aspire to in daily life. These sites boost confidence by leaps and bounds on many levels, but are they truly helping you or just your avatar?

Hiding behind a self created fictional character may allow you to go through the motions of showing individuality but until you step away from the computer and actually express yourself in the sunshine nothing will change. Some view these sites as a mere video game that just takes entertainment too far. Technology has the ability to provide the tools for personal growth, but spending all day behind the screen of a fictional environment does nothing towards betterment in the real world.

 Though online worlds are a “virtual reality”, reality is far from ideal. We are all human. We are all flawed. Though nothing we do is perfect and it is completely up to us how we choose to view others. Less pointless judgments  towards  the  “benefit” of others, and a deeper look into the betterment of ourselves is a necessity in today’s society. If you can accept yourself inside and out, then those that matter will as well.

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