Lately I am seeing a preponderance of user icons which are not pictures of the owner of the journal, or any pet, car, or other personally identifiable device. This both worries me and makes me slap myself upside the head. Often there are no photos of the person at all.
In the early days of the Internet, there were no images, and fat, bald, toothless old farts like I've become looked just as purty as Miss Teen Oregon, and Miss Teen Oregon was accepted as the rocket scientist she was if her writings justified it.
The first real friend I had in the BBS world turned out to be a short chubby Chinese-American boy of 14 who wore pop-bottle glasses and was legally deaf. I only met him by chance - online I knew him as the developer who sold me my first BBS software, I had no idea (nor did I care) what he looked like, how old he was, whether he was a he or she or undecided, whether he had the full complement of limbs, or whatever. But now that photos are not only available but a routine part of the posting, for some reason I want to see an image of the poster, at least from time to time.
And I really shouldn't.