I am mixed on this. I like seeing others so I can get a feel for them when reading their posts, but I also like the cool avatars that can be used that aren't pictures of us.
I think you can get a sense of the person by the picture, but it might not be the right sense. So, it is better to use a generic avatar at first. After everyone had an opinion, then maybe change to your picture. But, I think I will keep the one I am using now.
I really wouldn't like to see my picture as an avatar. Not that I don't like the way I look or that I'm afraid of others opinion about my looks, but I wouldn't feel comfortable to look at my picture while I'm posting. I'm very happy with the avatar I have now and I don't have any intention to change it. :D
Doesn't really bother me at all JB. Looking at my own picture may be depressing at times lol but I wouldn't say uncomfortable. If I ever get around to taking a half way recent picture of myself I am planning to have it put on here. Maybe I can get one during Christmas.
Bwren, that is good, I am glad you have decided to go with it, and remember your upgrade entitles you to a custom avatar, so send it over to me with instructions.
As for me, my avatar really does not serve as a distraction, but rather as a point of location, it seems to immediately identify a thread without having to look at a text name. Additionally, I have changed my avatar to be more 'normal' rather than the Matrix look.
I have just recently changed my avatar to a current picture of myself that I actually like very much. My old one never bothered me however I do prefer my new one. I also believe that having a face to associate with the posts of others helps to put everything on a more personal level which is very nice.
Changing Available Avatars
Soon we will be doing some Avatar renovations by substituting older possibly copyrighted graphics that were once circulated in the public domain for Avatars that do not infringe on anyone's rights. This is in keeping with the site's attempt to make sure all graphics and intellectual property is: credited appropriately, permission secured, license obtained or unique to this site.